A letter from the blogger.
My dear readers,
I was prepared to send you an email about how I decided to turn out the lights for Speaking Bipolar. It was a fun ride, but I thought it was time to put an end to it. I wrote four different newsletters to tell you how I was going to shut down the site.
I never sent them.
Last year was especially hard for all of us. While I have not lost friends or family to COVID-19, the constant stress of dealing with it along with the other upsetting items on the news made it feel impossible to put out positive content.
As 2020 dragged on, it became harder and harder for me to stay positive. I’m sure many of you, if not all of you, will relate to that. When I couldn’t find positive words to say, I felt it was best to say none.
I can see now that was a mistake.
The more time spent without writing, the more it felt best to shut the blog down for good.
You had other plans.
Every time I was ready to hit publish on one of those newsletters, I received an email or comment from one of you. Your words reminded me that real people were reading my words. Those words have made me reconsider my plans.
In addition, the number of subscribers has increased nearly 20 percent in the last three months. I hear your voices.
Not About Money
The Speaking Bipolar blog has always been a labor of love. While I allow ads on the site, they generate little income and never enough to pay all the hosting and other fees associated with maintaining the site.
Writing, formatting, and publishing content takes a lot of time. In 2020, I spent over 550 hours creating content, downloads, and social media graphics. That number is mind-boggling to me, especially since the blog received little attention the last three months of the year.
I was happy to spend the money and time to keep the site available to the world. Starting this blog was never about money, but the result of seeing too many suffer in silence.
Recently, I reminisced about that day two years ago when I hit “publish” for the first time.
“If I can reach one person,” I told myself, “then it will all be worth it.”
Your recent emails and comments remind me I reached many of you.
Speaking Bipolar is Here to Stay
With all of your encouragement, I decided to continue the Speaking Bipolar blog. This weekend, I paid the hosting and domain fees for the next 24 months.
Speaking Bipolar is here to stay.
Maybe one day I will find a wealthy benefactor willing to pay me to stay home and produce content every day. Until then, as much as I love the blog, it will hold a third place behind caring for my family and working my day job.
I cannot promise you three to five new posts every week. I also won’t promise to get a newsletter out every week. I will do my best, but as I’ll share soon, I can’t let the blog become an overwhelming source of stress.
What I will promise you is to continue to share my story. I’ll tell you what things have helped me to cope with mental illness and what has made things worse.
I’m going to break the blogging rules this year. The “experts” will tell you not to write about yourself.
“Nobody wants to read about you,” they tell you.
I believe these “experts” are full of garbage.
Why do I say this?
Your comments, emails, and page visits tell me every day which stories mean the most to you.
My two most popular posts, 12 Signals That Point to Bipolar Disorder (With Patient Notes) and Speaking Bipolar – A Mental Illness Translator generate over half of the new traffic on my site, yet both articles are full of my history.
Many of you care about what I have to say about me.
From now on, I’m going to share the bad days. I’ll give you a real and ugly look at the worst bipolar days. I’ll share how sometimes I don’t want to go on and how the noise is my head can be so loud I would do anything to stop it.
It will be hard to write them, maybe hard to read them, but I will do my best.
Help for You
All this talk about me might make you think I’m not interested in you. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Let me illustrate.
A few weeks ago, I lost one of my dearest friends. As we gathered as friends and family by her bedside, it gave many of us time to catch up for the first time in months.
One friend and I dove into an intense conversation about anxiety disorders.
After talking about how it feels and the physical symptoms included with an anxiety attack, one of our friends turned to me and said, “I had no idea it was like that. Thank you for telling me.”
My friend now has more empathy because I was willing to talk about me.
So, while you may read more about me in the future, I will always try to show the value for you.
Poetry Will Stay
One thing I never expected when starting a blog was to rekindle my love for poetry. Even if it’s not good, it’s something I love, and it brings me joy to write and share it with you.
Poetry is here to stay, and new poem videos will be available soon on my YouTube channel.
Here is the newest poem and two that are generating the most views to date.
We’re in this Together
One of my most important goals with this blog was to keep it positive and encouraging. I wanted a place where people could find validation and support. I hoped each reader would feel like they belonged and weren’t alone in the world. I hope I achieved that to some extent. I’ll move forward with those goals in mind.
I hope you’ll stay with me on this journey.
Every one of you makes me grateful. I’m so thankful that you are here and reading my words. I hope they provide some comfort in this chaotic world.
Until next time… Keep fighting.