One Year In Blogland.

I’m a bit behind time with this post because, actually, the one year blogiversary or whatever you might call it was 21st August and ummm I think it might, actually, be September tomorrow. Ha! Thank goodness I am a little better at acknowledging real life anniversaries and birthdays.

So, Rubber Bands and Chewing Gum just turned one. She’s growing up. Sort of. But she’s still very obviously in the diaper wearing, food flinging, and tantrum throwing stage of development. There’s still lots of emotional turbulence to chronicle.

When I started writing, this time last year, I wanted an outlet to process (dump!) some of the therapy stuff that was coming up for me that I didn’t feel able to talk about with people in my day-to-day life. I also wanted to keep a record of where I was at, a kind of ‘therapy’ journal I suppose. And I wanted, hopefully, to create a space that people could come to read an experience of what is can sometimes be like in therapy and perhaps make people feel a little less alone in some what they might be experiencing in their own therapeutic relationships.

I’d recently stumbled across a blog that had pretty much changed my life. You know what it’s like, summer therapy break is in full swing, the wheels are falling off, you turn to Google to search ‘I miss my therapist’ or ‘I love my therapist’ or ‘I keep dreaming of my therapist’ or ‘my therapist doesn’t care about me’ and a string of mental health forum threads come up as well as a series of blog suggestions. You click into a blog, start reading, and there you are immersed in someone else’s experience that resonates with your own. You suddenly feel like maybe there are other people just like you out there, struggling with similar issues. For me, that was a massive leap forward.

Before long I found this, what is it?- merry (ha!) band of mental health bloggers and started to follow some people and saw that, indeed, there’s a whole load of us working through very similar issues #motherwound…of course everyone is different but when you boil it down there’s a group of people that really ‘get it’, they know what it’s like to sometimes feel worthless and unlovable. They know what it is to feel up and down and slightly ‘mental’ (!).  They know shame. They battle valiantly with the inner critic, with self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and eating disorders – but they also have good days, good therapy sessions, experience balance and importantly they GROW – and that is so valuable to see.

Anyway, the long and short of it is that after about a month of reading and commenting on other people’s posts I finally got my head round WordPress templates and had a go at writing myself and this is what materialised – 74 posts! When I started I had no idea I’d be sitting here now with so many people choosing to read what I churn out!

I don’t want to be all gushing and OTT here but so much good has come from this blog.

There are times (pretty much all the time!!) when I have been in a pit of attachment pain hell, depression, or caught up in the throes of the eating disorder and I can’t tell you how much a validating and understanding comment can make a difference. So thank you for those.

I didn’t expect this to happen but I have made some wonderful friends here and some that have translated beyond blogland and into Brexit Britain! Ugh!

What else?

Well, I love it when people reach out and get in touch to tell me that what I have written has made them feel less alone. I’m not convinced that this place/experience (get ready for a mixed metaphor) is a boat anyone wants to be in, but if we are in it together then maybe we’ll steer our way to shore eventually bailing the water out with our hands and that has to be better than feeling like a solo sailor on a sinking boat in the middle of the ocean.

Ok, that was way worse on the screen than in my head!

The last few months has seen me having to adjust my expectations for this blog again and again. When I first started writing I had a lot more time on my hands than I do now. At times I was posting three times a week, then it dropped to twice a week, and more recently I’ve just about been getting a post written once a week….but not this last week, it’s gone a bit over. I think once the kids are back to school I’ll be able to find more time to write. I hope so, because I still really enjoy writing.

Next week sees a significant change in my therapy: (like there’s actually going to be some bloody therapy after 5 weeks!) I am going from one session a week to two. I am cautiously optimistic for what that will mean going forward. Clearly my bank balance is going to suffer but I really hope that some more concrete sense of containment starts to bed in and I can get past this horrible feeling of being abandoned the moment I leave my therapist.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. I know there’s still a lot of therapy to be done so here’s to another year in blogland too!

Thanks for coming along for the ride….and don’t worry normal service will resume next post!

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Author: rubberbandsandchewinggum

Mid-thirties. Mum of two. Procrastinator. Therapy and mental health blogger.

20 thoughts on “One Year In Blogland.”

  1. Yay for blog anniversaries! Your blog has absolutely made me feel less alone. You were one of the very first people I interacted with here on WordPress and so I’ve always felt a really great connection to you in our comments between posts. You’ve said so much that has been helpful to me and I’ve seen your growth throughout the year in your care for yourself, through your self-advocating and working for deeper insights. You are a wonderful writer, and even better seem like a pretty awesome person. I hope you’ll be in the blog world for some time to come – and I should think so, since 2 sessions a week means more to write about! 😉 Anyway, congrats on one year! ❤

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    1. Ah thanks lovely! I always love reading your blog too. This is what I mean about finding a group of people that you can identify with and get it. I certainly feel like I have a cheerleader in you when things start falling apart … which is all too regularly! ha. I’m just catching up on WP posts. Been so busy these last few weeks that everything online has fallen by the wayside. xxx

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  2. I received the diagnosis schizophrenia some 37 years ago, then depressive psychosis, finally schizoaffective disorder, and was rescued to bipolar disorder about 7 years ago at age 60/61, and I turn 67 soon. The newer diagnosis has allowed me the joy of reaching a plateau of being called, with “normal” behavior, bipolar disorder, and most of the time, with proper medication, which took years to find and refine in dosage and type. I am truly grateful to the doctors, therapists, social workers, and nurses who educated me, and did not give up on me as I dug in and worked very hard to find a kind of joy. I see your struggle in your words and tell you that there is a point to all this work on your part. I wish you well.

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    1. Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing your experience. It sounds like you have had a hell of a run of it over the years. I’m pleased that you now have the right diagnosis and medication. I know that all this work will be worth it in the end – even when I am feeling like I can’t do it anymore there is a determined voice inside that says ‘you’re going to stick this out because you deserve to feel better’. Take care.

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  3. Happy one year blogiversary! You should be proud of yourself for sticking with it. Blogging is not always easy, but I think it can be a very powerful way to connect with others. Here’s to many more anniversaries to come!

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  4. Happy anniversary ! 🙂 XX I’m so glad this has been a helpful place for you, both as an outlet, and a way of connecting with others. Your starting out sounds just like mine, finding one or two blogs that seemed to capture my experience completely, and then braving it myself 🙂 really excited to hear about your two sessions a week, I think that will definitely be helpful! I found both times when I increased session frequency that it felt overwhelming at first, and it took a couple of weeks to a month, for the new routine to feel stable and the pace to feel cope-able with. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong, it’s just a big change! Although there’s more time to process material, it also feels there’s more material to process as each session generates its own processing. Don’t be surprised if also in due course you end up writing less, not more. Although there’s more to say, I found more of it got processed in session rather than outside it, through writing, and as the work and relationship deepens there is also a tendency to keep more things off the page, I think, and in the room, instead….looking forward to being with you on this next phase of your journey ! 🙂 Xx

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    1. I really hope two sessions a week makes a difference. I have found whenever I have had a Monday and Friday session it’s been really helpful. Unfortunately the Friday is a Skype session until a more suitable time becomes available so it’s not quite what I’d like but certainly better than nothing.

      Yeah, the one thing I’ve noticed more than anything with the blog is that I’m not writing immediately after a session and, instead, giving things a few days to settle.

      Still, I guess we’ll just see how it goes. I’m hoping to be able to get over this hurdle of totally disconnecting between sessions.

      I feel nervous sick about tomorrow 🤦‍♀️

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      1. I think two sessions will definitely help a with the disconnection, although probably fairly gradually, and possibly not completely. I still find it difficult to ‘jump in where we left off’, but having more than once a week definitely meant we didn’t need to ‘take the crust off’ quite so much, as it were, that had built up between sessions! I can understand you feeling sick and nervous, it is difficult going back after a long break, for so many reasons. Sending many hugs and warm thoughts for tomorrow, and will be thinking of you…in terms of encouraging words, just to say, however it goes, is fine. If it’s awful, it will be repaired and will feel better. If it feels flat and you don’t feel connected, you will grow into more connection as more sessions go by. If it feels great, that’s fantastic. However it feels, it just _is_, and is all part of the work. I find it helpful to remember that there’s multiple parts of me in play – that the one who longs to go back may be disappointed if things don’t feel right, that the one who wants to run away may say or do something that will give her reasons to run away, but that the one who wants to feel close and vulnerable and who trusts, can underlie all of those, and hold the fort, as it were. It’s natural to feel sick and worried, but I know you will be ok x

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      2. Thanks Hun. Yeah, I’m fairly pragmatic these days about returning to therapy after a break. It’s always a right car crash over a couple of sessions and then as more parts start to settle and can articulate what’s been going on it gets better. Today was unbelievable – dissociated the moment she asked me something that wasn’t surface level after the touching base fluff. It was bad! But I’m still glad to have seen her. The attachment ache is horrendous now though! Thank goodness Friday is coming rather than sitting with it til Monday! 🙃

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  5. Happy blogiversary! We are indeed a merry band of mental health bloggers! 😄 We have our own little pocket of the internet!
    You have come far in a year really. I hope that the two sessions a week will help the younger parts feel connected and safer. I think that it’s about giving it time even though its frustrating!
    It will be great to see you blogging more often, but you can only do what you can do. 🙂 x

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    1. Thanks Hun. 💜 I’m pinning a lot on two sessions helping things but who knows. Today was eek but at least it’s over and my T doesn’t usually take breaks between Sept and Christmas after the mega summer break so hopefully there’ll be a sense of stability in that.

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  6. It’s so good to read that being part of the mental-health-blogging-group (or whatever we are) has been so helpful to you. I know for me, it’s been a deeply meaningful, absolutely crucial part of getting healthier. I’ve come a very long way since I discovered this community by accident while Googling things like “I don’t deserve to live” and “hopelessly depressed.” Of course E and therapy and quitting my super stressful job have all mattered. But having a group of people (mostly women) who read about my secrets and were kind to me, who told me I wasn’t the only one–that completely changed my vision of myself as an irreparably broken freak. I’ll be grateful my whole life for this.

    For me, moving from one session to two sessions per week is another thing that moved me forward. I was able to go deeper in therapy because I didn’t have to hold the aftermath of a painful session by myself for such a long time. E noticed too, that I didn’t have so many stuck periods and was more willing to take risks. I hope you find two sessions a week similarly helpful. Hugs to you!

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    1. Ah thanks Q! Yes- exactly that- it’s huge moving from thinking there’s something incredibly wrong with me and feeling huge amounts of shame about it to realising that these experiences are not uncommon and others can relate to them and be supportive and kind- and validating rather than shaming. This group of lovely women has certainly made a massive difference – particularly at those times when the wheels start to fall off and things feels really hard. Two sessions is already feeling more containing even though monday was hideous! Thanks for your lovely comment, as always. Hope you’re doing ok x

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