This is something I wrote in July 2007 but reading it back it seems quite as valid now as the day I wrote it and will explain my philosophy of blogging to anybody who is starting here….
Another diary blog, covering in haphazard form the past few months. I have in fact at various times during these months felt capable of blogging, if only at a rudimentary level, but have desisted because I have felt that any blog should reach a certain standard, and also because I felt I should not blog unless I was living a ‘full’ intellectual life, in cyberspace at least. This is quite clearly an absurdity and a result of the false imposition of external judgements. If blogging helps me to cope with depression then it is, of itself, a good and useful thing to do irrespective of the intrinsic quality or otherwise of the blog. This is both a general and particular rule. General in as far as it applies to all blogs and answers those who from positions of privilege and self-satisfaction condemn the practise; if blogging helps people to cope with life, to extract even an ounce more satisfaction or enjoyment from their existence, then it is worthwhile. As it clearly does so it is therefore worthwhile. Which does not mean that the content of all or any blogs, including this one, is worthwhile or good. The good for the blogger, and for those who may or may not read the blogs (blogee?), are quite different and separate. In fact it is clear to me that a blog like Ellen’s is worthwhile, to say the least, in terms of its content; that it enhances the minds, and therefore lives, of those who read and appreciate it. So there are distinctive goods for both blogger and blogee. But the possibility of good for the blogger is one which should not be underestimated. It might be argued that this could be achieved through a private diary, but the public nature of blogging is qualitatively different in this respect. Regardless of whether a blog is read the blogger is always aware of this public nature and is therefore shaping their self-revelation. It is a test of honesty. No doubt everyone fails the test, and it is better that they should do so. However the very act of attempting the test may well have psychological value. Which is quite enough about blogging for now.
I have completely failed to live up to the precepts outlined above; that is I have not used blogging as any form of psychological treatment. The truth, which has been vividly brought home to me by the onslaught of two lengthy episodes within the last eight months, is that my particular form of depression takes the form of silence. A silence both external (I cease to communicate) and internal (as thought shuts down).
Despite this I remain wholly committed to the principles outlined above whatever my own adherence to the practice.
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