One of the things I have found most helpful in my bipolar recovery journey is writing, in particular blogging. For me this journey began out of frustration around dealing with symptoms of my bipolar disorder and anxiety. I felt like others did not understand what I was going through, and I thought perhaps if I could put my feelings and experiences to words it would help others empathize with me better.
The first blog that I ever wrote was published on Not Alone by NAMI in June of 2015. Friends and family had been encouraging me to write it, and I finally listened to them. It felt good to write about my experiences with mental health and bipolar. So a few weeks later I started my own blog dedicated to writing about mental health topics and my own recovery journey. This was one of the best things I have ever done. It has helped me maintain a life of bipolar recovery as well as connect me to others all around the world who struggle with similar mental health conditions. Through blogging, I found a community of people, peers, who wanted to share their stories and experiences as well as help others on their journeys. So I wanted to give five helpful tips for blogging about your bipolar experiences and mental health:
- Starting a blog website: Starting a blog is simpler than you might think. Websites such as Tumblr or WordPress offer free blogging templates and sites. You don’t need to know any special coding or computer languages to start. Just simply fill in the blanks in a free template by adding your own content, photos, and links. You can connect with other bloggers on these platforms as well, and follow them, or share their blogs.
- Writing: Writing about your mental health conditions or experiences can be very personal and make you very vulnerable. I would encourage you to write out a rough draft, and go back later and read it again to see what you think about it. You can use programs such as Google Drive and Google Docs to store and create your writing. I create my blog in a Google Document and then cut and paste it into the template on my Tumblr account. I then add any photos that I want to correspond with the blog. You can always save a blog as a draft on your blogging site, post it publicly or privately, and delete it at a later date.
- Sharing and Social Media: Blogging websites make it easy to share your blogs on social media and with others. Often times you can click a button to post your blog to Facebook or Twitter or copy and paste the blog link into an email. I use hashtags to help others find my blog more easily on social media. Using hashtags like #bipolardisorder or #destroythestigma can help others better search for your blogs on social media websites. This is also a great way to discover other people’s blogs on similar topics such as bipolar disorder, mental health, anxiety, and recovery.
- Honesty and Integrity: I always suggest writing honestly from your own experiences. Write with integrity and cite sources for research or link to other websites or blogs where you found your information if it is not your own original source. I have found people respect my writing more and relate to it more when I simply share my own story in my own words.
- Don’t get discouraged by trolls: Inevitably there will be some people who don’t like your blog, or simply want to say mean things to you about your blog or you personally on the internet. This is especially true with social media. Don’t get discouraged, and don’t engage with internet trolls who attack you. They thrive on attention. Stand up for your own experiences and beliefs, but remember not everyone will get it or be supportive. That’s ok. Blogging is for you first, and if it helps you keep doing it.
You don’t have to have a degree in writing or have experience to start blogging about your life with bipolar. You really just need internet, a computer, tablet or smart phone, and some time. If you’re not ready to start a blog, try journaling with good old fashioned pencil and paper. It really is therapeutic. But if you’re ready to share your story with others, and give meaning to your experiences through words, I would encourage you to try blogging about bipolar disorder. It’s very empowering. It’s creative. It’s even fun.
via bpHope – bp Magazine Community