Happy 1st Blogiversary RootsB4Branches!
On March 21 last year I published my first blog post. I had been toying with the idea of taking my story public for over a year. Truthfully I had been waiting to get to a place where I knew most of my posts were going to be positive and helpful in nature before I started writing.
I had been reading a lot of bloggers that shared mostly their low-points, frustrations and challenges with mental illness through their writing. And although there is a need for those stories because they help us to not feel alone, I knew that wasn’t what I wanted to write about.
I started RootsB4Branches to help break down stereotypes. I wanted people to feel challenged by what they read. I needed them to consider that you can live well with a mental illness, even one that can be as disruptive and draining as Bipolar Disorder. I made it my mission to share ideas and stories that help people have hope and see a way forward through their struggles.
I remember vividly how my heart raced as I took one last deep breath before clicking ‘publish’ on my very first post. As it zoomed off into the vast virtual world I thought “Well that’s it. Everyone knows now.” Up until then only my closest friends and my family knew about my illness.
I titled my first post “I’m Coming Out” and I broadcast it on Facebook and Twitter. In that first day my blog saw 375 views, which is still its highest number of views in one day. It might have had something to do with my title, but nonetheless an awful lot of people learned a little something about Bipolar Disorder that day. And so I was happy.
The response I received from friends, family and perfect strangers was overwhelming! I was so touched by the numerous people who shared their own personal stories with me. One woman even wrote to say she had gone to see her doctor after reading my story. That humbled me.
This past year has been a journey. I have shared parts of myself here, like some of my guilty pleasures, my love affair with my muskoka chair, my gratitude for my A-Team, the fact that sometimes I miss my mania, that I am thankful others went crazy first, and that I am anything but a supermom.
I have a renewed enthusiasm for this work after making good on a dream with my husband and two boys at the end of last year. And I have lots of plans for the year ahead.
Thank you so much for going on this journey with me. It would have just been one rambling chick without you.