5 Ways Contributing to The Mighty Has Already Done Me Good
OK, readers and followers alike, you gotta listen to me here.
When my therapist recommended I start blogging and sharing my perspective on things, I did not like the idea. My pain is personal, and in the real world it can be dangerous. But this therapist has yet to steer me wrong. So I signed up to contribute to The Mighty, to be a Mighty Voice about my issues and my world and how I am surviving in it. Somewhere around 2,500 people, between the two articles that have been published at the time I am writing this, have read and responded to my work. Around the same number have shared it. A few hundred have commented in various locations on them. A handful have thanked me for writing what I did. This is amazing. So, I have decided to list the ways that contributing to this site has done me some good already.
1. I feel useful.
Many have commented, when sharing my “10 Secrets” entry, that I gave them the feeling of not being alone or that they can seriously relate. Others, in relation to my “Christmas for the Major Depressive” post have asked if they’re doing the right things. I am seeing my writing inspire family and friend conversations about how to help the people with depression. This is helping me personally in a lot of ways. I feel a renewed sense of usefulness, that I really have something good to offer the world. Thank you, readers, for that.
2. My confidence has grown.
I got out of bed this morning, and I had real energy and a great mood. I brewed myself a pot of the coffee I saved just for the Christmas holiday and was able to really play with my daughter. I have major depression disorder, so I am sure this will be a rare and special day, but I feel so much more confident in what I am doing with my life – because you guys told me I did something good for you.
3. My family has noticed I am happier.
I live with my ex-husband. We have chosen to work together to be unified parents to our child. It’s a difficult situation and it is often very turbulent. But since you all started sharing my writing and telling me that you relate to me, I’ve had enough of a mood boost that everyone is noticing. From “Mandey, you wore color today!” to “Did you really just bake six dozen cookies?” This, is awesome. I would likely not have gotten the boost I am on right now if I had not started sharing my story on The Mighty.
4. I am inspired again.
My first entry “5 Gifts You Can Buy (And 3 You Can’t) For Someone With Major Depressive Disorder” was kind of just writing to a prompt I was given. I followed the suggestion and thought of things I am hoping to get this year. The response to that inspired me to keep writing. I submitted three posts in one night, and yesterday The Mighty published my entry, “10 Secrets I’ve Never Told About My Depression,” and yet again an outpour of relation and gratitude was shared. I currently have four stories being reviewed. Not all will be published (The Mighty is a very active site and is not always able to publish every story submitted). Heck, maybe none of them will be. But, I am going to keep writing what is going on in my world, and what does make the cut – I pray – will do you as much good as writing it is doing for me.
5. I genuinely feel empowered in my daily life.
I have this beat going in my head: “if I can influence 2,000 people online with my writing, I can do this,” and I am putting my little amounts of real energy into play with new things. I am baking, going to social settings, opening up dialogue with my loved ones about my illnesses and getting real responses. I feel totally empowered to pursue the relationships that have kind of withered through the course of my depression.
I want to thank all of you who “loved,” “liked,” commented and shared what I’ve already published. The outpouring of support has been so wonderful for me, and I am so grateful I could offer you the feeling of not being alone. I love you all so much already, and I really look forward to engaging with you and helping to answer your questions.
To those of you who are struggling with mental illnesses of your own – try this! Write it out, hit submit, and wait for an email. If you take the time to write clearly, and concisely, and honestly, I believe you may find yourself in my position — one of renewed confidence and deep gratitude for an opportunity of a lifetime.
It is already a pleasure, and I look forward to writing here for a long time to come.
We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.
Thinkstock photo by Tinatin1