Like many other bloggers, I’m good at picking up the nuances of any particular thing, an ability to see the wider picture; that’s why I spoke about the tax credits ‘triple whammy’ effect, or the consequences of changing the TV License into a ‘Household Levy’ for example.
One thing I think that we don’t often consider when blogging however, is the combined contribution within this media to all that is bleak. I do feel an obligation to point things out to people though, and during the past in my local community I’ve been able to help people in that way; nowadays it amounts to a couple of friends and whoever may read my blog, both very few!
What about feeling an obligation to also encourage and support? I must say that it was never my primary intention for writing the blog, rather it seemed logical to write a blog instead of endless comments either in newspaper comments sections online, or on other popular blogs, both of where our voices may become buried under many others. As a consequence, I’ve been mulling with the idea of penning and reblogging more positive articles, to balance out the ‘informative’ or down right depressing ones.
As and aside, 10 years ago, when everything seemed to be going my way: a remission from my illness; doing a degree; working with young people in the local community; writing and playing in a band; filming etc etc, I really was on top of the world – it was like a dream come true. I just didn’t get depressed; I laughed a lot and nothing seemed to phase me. When you’ve been so sick that you can hardly walk, then you can not only walk but work and enjoy life, you appreciate it so much.
Later, I found out from my partner what a negative effect this had on people. Apparently, my being happy all of the time made other people feel really inadequate, and if they also had problems of their own, it was devastating to them. In my own happiness, and wanting to share that, I had become insensitive to other people, the joy had blinded me to their despair. I was told that I expected too much from people, that when I continued being happy in the face of that, it had made people unhappy.
I was so shocked at this; I’d always considered myself as sensitive to other peoples’ pain, and the thought that I’d trampled roughshod over people due to my happiness was mortifying for me. It taught me a life-long lesson that I should temper my dealings with other people, dependent on their state of mind at the time. It’s insensitive always to insist on a particular mood when others can’t handle that.
In balance, due to the times we live in it would be totally inappropriate then to be all ‘happy clappy’ about life in general or my own life (not that I have much to be happy clappy about), but with hindsight, it would also be wrong to wholly use this blog as some kind of misery porn. I was reading quite a few other blogs and reblogging too, but I’ve also found that it was quite frankly depressing me, and It had become like an addiction.
Though it is important to keep raising austerity issues if we feel we can add a different angle to the debate, there is no point in continually posting fear-inducing stories for our readers (that if anything plays into the hands of governments), repeating the same each week or every day in some cases: we’re already keenly aware of how austerity has affected us personally, and there are plenty of blogs out there to inform people of such things.
Therefore I’m going to try my utmost to balance the blogs that I post from now on to include some of the positive things about life too, because it’s these things that have saved me from continuing despair in the past: you know, misery doesn’t always want company.