Why do you blog?

A college friend posted this question on Facebook today, asking her blogger friends a really loaded question: why they began blogging.

The answers ranged from keeping in touch with family, work-related reasons, weight loss support, to share steals and deals, to cope with dramatic life changes … to as simple as just wanting to document one’s life (or to chronicle their children’s lives).

While many (all?) of those might fit why I blog now, this is how I answered: Blogotherapy and advocacy. Now 6 years later the focus has shifted, but I remain an advocate in my space.

After commenting, I realized I am coming up on my six-year blogiversary this year. Since my blog’s inception in June 2008, I’ve published 1,225 posts (and have 29 drafts sitting in the queue, likely to never see the light of day).

In addition to that, I realized I am on the cusp of my recovery anniversary, too: I’ve been recovered for five years, as of March 20, 2009!! Isn’t that wild? FIVE YEARS. A helluva lot has happened in these five years … including, most importantly, the births of our two little nuggets.

My friend’s post got my wheels turning about my own blogging evolution since 2008.

I blogged six years ago to climb out of a downward spiral. I struggled; I stumbled and tripped and fell on the way up, relying on this community to help get me on my feet. (I hated letting you all down as much as I hated letting my family and friends–and myself–down).

I blogged five years ago to give hope to those who were on their way down … to show “it can be done” — that recovery is possible.

I blogged four years ago because, as a result of my experiences, I realized have a voice in a really small community … and can use it to help others. I became an advocate, unafraid of sharing my story if it meant it could make a difference to someone else.

Later, I blogged about my pregnancies in an effort to show how someone could successfully maintain recovery throughout pregnancy, including all the physical and mental challenges that go along with it. The good, the bad and the ugly. The weight gain … the weight loss … and the changes — both physical and mental — that motherhood brings.

And I blog now because — in spite of all my success (i.e., not crossing over to the dark side) and in spite of the fact that I want to be a good role model for my children, I still have food issues.

I still sometimes have “fat” days (even though I’m loathe to admit I sometimes use that word to describe myself, recognizing it is not OK).

I still beat myself up when I feel like a failure for one reason or another.

And I still deal with anxiety (though I manage it much better).

I blog now because I’m human. With flaws. And that makes me who I am … and, I hope, makes me relate-able to my readers. I’m a wife, a mother, a professional, a writer, a daughter, a sister and a friend. We all have a story to tell, and mine is very much entrenched in these flaws which have, in time, made me stronger. More aware.

I used to think more about what I wrote before I hit publish … worrying about how the raw, ugly truth might turn some people off — especially those I care about who maybe didn’t know all the ins and outs of what I was going through.

I don’t do that anymore. And I don’t worry because this is my platform; my space. If my words make a reader uncomfortable, I understand and don’t hold it against him or her. Because if my words or experiences can help someone else … well, then I’ve done my job.

To tell you the truth, I don’t know who of my friends or family read anymore. I don’t publicize my posts anywhere and I don’t check my blog’s stats as often as I should. But I’m often touched by the random email or Facebook message from someone I hadn’t heard from in years who, it turns out, has been a loyal reader. The people who have come out of the woodwork to voice their support meant a ton to me on my long journey into recovery, and I owe much of why I continue to blog to them … because knowing we’ve made an impact in some way, shape or form is ultimately what it’s all about, isn’t it? Knowing we’ve left a mark. That our words — or experiences — have value.

So thank you, my readers, who have stuck by me those past nearly six years of blogging and five years of recovery. I know I’ve had blackout periods of general busy-ness or lack or inspiration/motivation to write. And I know my focus has changed a lot over the years. Yet through it all, I appreciate you sticking along for the ride and giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts — however convoluted they may be!

I really couldn’t have done this without you. So thank you.

How about you? If you blog, why did you begin? Have those reasons you began changed?

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