It’s 2016 and I’m just starting off on my morning run. Good God it’s cold. It’s one of those days when my eyelashes freeze. I’m covered up completely and the only thing you can see is my eyes.
I don’t run or walk listening to music or podcasts– just me and my thoughts. And I get an idea which is what happens when I leave my brain some room to think and create. If I constantly have noise piping in, then it leaves no room for that.
I want to start a blog. But doesn’t everyone have that? And who would read mine? What would it be about? What would I call it?
That next second, I think, “Emotionally Naked.” That’s what I’ll call it. I pick up the pace because now I am anxious to get back and start it–whatever it’s going to be. I just know I need to do it. It will be about addiction, grief, mental illness and suicide. I’ll publish emotionally naked stories. Will anyone ever want to contribute and write their story?
I’ll post daily. Damn that’s a big commitment. Most give up on a blog after two years.
I’m going to do it. I race back to the house a break neck speed, unusual for me who runs like a dead, lopsided chicken. I am vestibulocochlear- challenged (balance issues) since my two brain surgeries back in 2000 so my gait is not a thing of beauty but I get it done.
For the first time in months, I’m excited about something. Charles has been dead only nine months and every day is struggle. It’s all I can do to kick myself out of bed to run. I make myself although many times I just whine and cry but by the end I’m grateful I did it. My legs normally weigh a hundred pounds each but today is different. They are lighter. I’m possessed and right now I don’t give a rat’s ass if no one reads it. And I know no one will share this dour stuff. No one was even asking about Charles.
The domain name is taken. Doggone it. I will put it on a watch list. (two years later I did get emotionallynaked.com) So I start it on a domain I’ve owned for ten years. Good enough.
I pick the basic theme for wordpress. No need for it to be fancy. Emotionally Naked doesn’t scream bells and whistles. It has to be stripped down and naked like the title. Am I crazy? You bet.
Years ago as a teenager I had abandoned my diary because people would break into it and read and broadcast those tender contents and the humiliation was too much. This time I’d make it public and ASK people to share. That way I couldn’t worry about diary break ins.
Geez, was I really going to publish all this stuff? Second thoughts got squashed and my inner whining child was silenced by the deafening noise of my excited self which wasn’t going to let inner whining child get a word in sideways.
I got it up and published in hours, pulled the posts I’d put on Facebook the last few months and posted them on the corresponding Facebook dates. That took a while–a couple of days. They are the ones at the very end with no shares. It was up but I wasn’t ready to share yet because I didn’t have anything new yet.
I actually published my first new post on this blog February 4, 2016. It’s at the bottom of this post.
Would the lack of interest crush my spirit?
Would others be embarrassed to know me?
Who cares? I’d lost my son to suicide. Who was going to tell me I couldn’t?
Would they get tired of it?
Again. Who knows?
Fast forward to today which is actually January 31, 2019 as I’m writing this post with tears running down my face in one of those ugly cries where your scrunch up all your features. So 496,138 visits since January 30, 2019 because Google Analytics is one day behind. Almost a half million. A HALF MILLION for a blog about suicide and all the issues that trigger this cause of death, mental illness and addiction. Number of pages read is 690,135.
My pathetic little blog is now a growing community. It’s not just me any more. It’s all of us.
That young girl who sent me the message that it saved her life last night didn’t see the post that “saved her” on my Facebook page. She saw it on a friend of her mother’s. Because you share. (And they say seventeen year olds don’t use Facebook.)
It’s the sharing that has saved lives
I can’t believe it worked. I just can’t. I thought it was a stupid fantasy.
We came together in our pain, we persevered and you guys cheered me on in dark days when I thought I would not be able to put one foot in front of another or survive this naked, crushing, brutal momma grief one more day. You kept me going, encouraged me, told me to write a book which I did and you shared these posts which have saved lives–many of which we may never know about.
You reached people who were hurting who joined us here to find some freedom from the isolation.
A post from this blog has published every day for three years. I have missed maybe six due to electricity being out but the total number of posts exceeds the number of days in three years because at first I hurt so much I published two a day. I wrote my way through the pain and the agony.
The pages didn’t scold me, laugh at me, mock me or otherwise look at me funny.
Thank you for helping this blog, our blog, reach a half million. Because by February 4, we will hit that number because it averages 1.1k per day now. And I know you will help me see that it does. 🙂
I need a box of Kleenex to mop up my tears of joy. Pick any post to share. We are going to get it done!