Why blog?

One month yesterday.

Several friends have asked me why I decided to write this blog. They’re not meaning to suggest that I’m crazy for doing so – at least I hope not – but they do seem genuinely surprised that I’ve chosen to share such personal details of my life.

I haven’t had answers for them except to say that I knew within hours of Brody’s death that I needed to start blogging. I just knew.

As I read brilliant, honest books; speak with friends and reflect, I begin to see that creating this blog was a generous and healing gift to give myself.

In Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, she writes that “the act of not discussing a traumatic event … could be more damaging than the actual event. Conversely, when people shared their stories and experiences, their physical health improved.”

Really? Are you sure Dr. Brown? Choosing not to share our painful stories does us more harm than the painful event itself? I struggled with this idea when I first read it. Surely having Brody die has done more harm than not talking about it could.

But, I think she might have uncovered something true and very powerful actually. Because  “the act of not discussing” creates secrets, and secrets bring shame. Shame, or the fear of  disconnection, can isolate us and draw us into ourselves. If shame endures, I think it can do more damage than trauma.

Instead of hiding feelings of guilt, or being ashamed of my questions and doubts, blogging encourages me to shine light on fear and shame. It helps me cull and tame wild thoughts and cultivate clearer, healthier ones. It leads to self-discovery and self-awareness.

Of course, not everyone who experiences great loss needs to blog, but I think we do all need to share our stories. We all need to expose and question the lies in our head before they take root in our heart. We don’t need to tell everyone everything – that’s what best friends, partners, therapists and God are for – but vulnerability invites closer connection with community.

“Shame derives its power from being unspeakable,” Brown writes. “Language and story bring light to shame and destroy it.”

And I want to live in the light.

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