Blogger of the month Dani Stone offers insight on why finding your tribe online is so important.
A few weeks ago I wrote about my daughter’s battle with a rare brain disorder (HERE) and the isolation my husband and I felt after we received the diagnosis. At the time we didn’t have social media channels to reach out to, and no blogs with parents chronicling their personal journeys. Thank God there was one site based out of Europe that encouraged parents to connect. Through this obscure channel we found information, and made an unexpected connection with a couple from Georgia who gave us the courage to seek help from the right doctor. We were no longer lonely, we were empowered.
Over the last five years there’s been a veritable blog explosion with people talking about everything from postpartum depression to bunion pain. I’m guessing about the bunion pain. I’ve never really sought that one out but I’m betting if you Google it you’ll find some poor guy or gal waxing on about causes and treatment complete with detailed pictures. Don’t do that now though. Put it on a Post-it for later. As a mother, the blogosphere is a welcome wealth of knowledge and kinship. Sure, there are a multitude of sites that make me feel less than. Like the ones that promise to provide ideas for “easy” weeknight meals the whole family can participate in, providing you have your own organic garden and you can take 72 hours out of your weekend to prepare everything ahead of time, oh and also take high quality, perfectly lighted pictures of the whole experience so you can make a scrapbook out of it AND get all the kids to soccer, ballet, tap and gymnastics before doing your own daughter’s hair for the prom. *BREATHE*
Then there are the sites I visit. The ones where the moms admit they haven’t blogged in two weeks because the whole family suddenly came down with the “crud” (that’s the high-tech medical terminology I enjoy) and they’ve just spent the last three days getting all the diarrhea laundry completely caught up and oh by the way, here’s an easy weeknight recipe with five ingredients and one of them is Fritos.
As popular as “mommy blogs” are, there are a whole host of courageous people who put themselves out there every day to tell their story. By bringing their plight, pain, addictions, questions and fear out of the darkness, others will be brave enough to say, “Yeah, I’ve been there too.”
One of my favorite social media celebrities is a woman named Jenny Lawson, but until recently, I only knew her as the Bloggess. I started following her on Twitter a few years ago and then became an avid reader of her blog. Originally, I enjoyed her because much like myself, her tweets often seemed like they were coming from the voices in her head, multiple rants about random happenings in her life and a hearty dose of clever curse words. No, seriously, if you don’t like filthy language don’t click on any of the links I’ve provided. She’s filth personified in the most delicious way. She’s also very real. She readily admits she suffers from crippling depression and a social anxiety disorder. Jenny has shown it’s okay to say, “I’m not okay.” P.S. If you want to read a short Bloggess story that made me say, “My Lord, Jenny and I are long lost relatives,” please refer to my favorite blog entry: I’m Pretty Sure It’s Pronounced Wesley-Ann.
“Effie, we all got pain.” That line is from the movie Dream Girls, which by the way, is one of my favorite movies of all time and not just because it single-handedly shows why American Idol is flawed. Watch Jennifer Hudson’s performance of, “I Am Telling You” and tell me why she didn’t win that year but Fantasia Barrino did? Who is Fantasia Barrino, you ask? Exactly.
I digress. “Effie we all got pain.” Yes we do. As beautiful as life can be, there are also dark, twisty painful moments and some people have more darkness than others. Thankfully, brave bloggers are putting themselves out there to heal and help others.
Whatever you’re dealing with, you are not alone.
I’d love to know, who are some of YOUR favorite bloggers?