I must admit that ever since I started blogging about being bipolar, I feel better--for a number of reasons. First, it has allowed me to find a community of like-minded people.
It has also allowed me to share feelings that I've kept inside for so many years. There's a great book, Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions, by James Pennebaker, Ph.D. Many years ago I interviewed Dr. Pennebaker for a chapter called "Kvetching" (it's a Yiddish word that means whining) in The Mommy Guide because I felt that new moms needed the release of whining in order to be able to make the transition to motherhood.
I'm now feeling that those of us who have a chronic illness occasionally need to kvetch as well. Now I must admit that I have begun reading a lot of other blogs by people with illnesses --bipolar and non-bipolar ones alike--and a lot of people kvetch. So perhaps it truly is therapeutic. But I think it's more than just kvetching that helps. The following are some of the reviews on Opening Up from Amazon.com.
"Dr. Pennebaker has demonstrated that expressing emotions appears to protect the body against damaging internal stresses and seems to have long-term health benefits."
--Daniel Goleman, in The New York Times
"This book is the very best that scientific psychology has to offer. Pennebaker has made remarkable discoveries that show how disclosing our deepest secrets can make us well...throws open new doors of understanding and offers new hope for gaining control of our lives."
--Daniel M. Wegner, author of White Bears and Other Unwanted Thoughts
You get the drift. The fact is that I think that blogging may be the ideal way of opening up. I'd like to know how you feel about blogging. Why did you start? What has the experience been like for you? What do you like best about blogging? Has it helped you heal?