I knew it had been a while since I last wrote an article, but I didn’t realize just how long. Yikes.
I can blame some of this on Covid, looking around my four walls for most of 2020 wondering how many times I can write about taking care of yourself, and drowingly busy in a 2021 that turned out to be far more eventful than I had planned. But that isn’t the whole story.
I have a Facebook page for this blog, Nightmares and Laughter Facebook, which was supposed to be a place to share my articles and reach more people. In other words, blog first, Facebook page second. It hasn’t turned out that way though.
I love this quote I previously thought was from Dorothy Parker but looked it up and now I’m sad – “I hate writing, but I love having written.” Yeah. That about sums it up. I put a lot of time into my writing here, edit after edit, making it worth people’s while to read them. I love it when they come together, that feeling of yes, this is what I want to say, this fits my goals and intentions. And the pictures are just spot on. I love that feeling.
You know what’s not so hard? Getting a picture up on Facebook. Finding something comforting if it is necessary, or something funny or cute to brighten a day. I love it. I love that I recognize so many names there now (hello FB readers!) but do you know what I love most about it? It’s easy. I mean yes I spend time choosing the right thing, I still craft my little write-ups, but it takes about 1% of the time it does to write here. And the responses are immediate. It’s like taking dopamine intravenously. Poof! Awesome.
But I started this whole shindig with a stated intention – to help others with mental health/substance abuse/survivor issues by telling my story, or sharing intimately how I view the world and the ups and downs that come with all that. My mission was to have a community where people, all people, have a safe space to share with each other, or just read and keep to themselves, whatever they’re comfortable with.
But I used a pseudonym, Belle Chapin because I was nervous about putting my real name out there, of people “finding out,” afraid of the stigma that can come with mental illness, and a million other reasons that came down to fear.
But I mean, I’ve given my real name a number of times. I’ve posted my freakin’ picture, mine and Chris’! (Also Crazy Legs, but he doesn’t care so much.)
My whole reason for starting all of this was to help. Maybe someone can relate to it and find their voice and power. Chris said “Why are you afraid? Hold your head up proudly and say ‘Do you know what I’ve been through and survived? Do you think I’m a’scared of you?’” A couple of days later, I changed the author name and display name here to Sue St. Blaine. That’s me. That’s my real name. So all articles now show that. Am I terrified to use my name on articles? Oh my, yes.
Another thing is, this blog is a labor of love, I do it because it fills my heart, because I love to have written (thank you person who said this before Dorothy) and because I think I can do some good with it. Unfortunately, none of that pays any bills. I don’t intend to monetize this blog, the idea makes my stomach turn, but I may start to offer other ways to support it, me, Chris, and Crazy Legs. That is in the future maybe-I-don’t-know stage, and will never affect reading here. I am not a very good capitalist. I came to peace with that in the ‘80s.
So I solemnly swear that I will be more present here, I will still post cute critters and funny memes on Facebook, and offer comfort when necessary. I value each and every person following me on any platform. And finally that I will never monetize this blog. Anything you may see that sends money my way will be voluntary.
Now, my friends, I suppose I should look for more venues to get my work out there. Nightmares and Laughter has a Twitter account and I guess I should use it, but Twitter scares the shit out of me.