American bloggers, most of them women, are notorious for over-sharing. We blog pregnancies, postpartum depression, diet struggles, marriage issues and the kinds of problems our parents saved for the therapist, if they shared them at all. The secret life isn’t much — and if you’re someone allergic to knowing too much information about me — stop right here and move along — and if you’re determined to go ahead and read this post anyway, just don’t follow any of the links. Consider yourself forewarned.
I was struggling with a medical issue a couple of weeks ago, and while a blogger, have certain topics I hold private. This one was especially hard for me to share; I was uncomfortable with even the words involved to describe it.
When it became apparent just how serious my issue was and that, in fact, I would more than likely be undergoing surgery, I finally caved and, in a limited way, shared my diagnosis with a subset of my social network. My sister jokingly asked if I was planning to blog about this when I told her my diagnosis. A friend asked if I was going to “live blog” my surgery. (I totally would have tweeted if I hadn’t been put under!)
I asked for help — not something I like to do — but gulped down a bit of pride and decided it was time to reach out and share. I was rewarded with friends (especially this one) who reassured me that what I was going through was nothing to be embarrassed about, and who jumped into action to help me manage the coming weeks with additional support.
It reminded me of one of the reasons blogging is so important — the act of being human, and sharing human issues online has enabled people to discover one another — to learn that no matter how alone you might feel, you are not, in fact, the only person dealing with or having dealt with your particular issue.
There’s been great comfort discovered, not only for me, but for hundreds of thousands of bloggers and blog readers brought together through commonality. In my circle of friends it was a huge relief to learn that some one else had gone through what I experienced — and her words of encouragement and comfort meant so much to me.
I did have surgery last week and have been recuperating slowly. I’m glad, ultimately, that I decided to let people know what was going on; the tweets, comments and messages of support, encouragement, comfort, wishes and prayers were very appreciated and are contributing to making me feel better, each day.