I am notorious in my family for the overshare, the unwanted blurting out of information and opinion better kept to myself. On one memorable occasion, Eli chastised me for telling everyone about some dental work he was having done. While he felt it was personal and therefore should be kept private, it didn't occur to me not to talk about it. He chastised me after the "leaking" of the information and asked, rhetorically, how would I feel if he broadcast to the whole family the next time I had a yeast infection? I laughed. It wouldn't bother me a bit because we all know that if I had a yeast infection, I'd already be bitching about it to everyone I came across! By the time he'd have gotten a chance to share the supposedly embarrassing information, it would have been old news.

And then I told everyone about his hurt reaction and his empty threat. Because, you know, I thought it was funny. Probably he didn't.

So it's probably no surprise to anyone that I've been very frank on my blog over the last two years, very open about my feelings regarding even the most private of issues. It's not necessarily because I'm callous and unthinking--though there is that, at times, I will admit. It isn't because I intend to hurt anyone with my words. Partly, it's because writing is how I make sense of the world. And yes, I could write in a journal (I do), or I could write and tear it up (I do), and I could keep my words safe from the ears and potentially hurt feelings of others. But the main reason why I post my private thoughts sometimes seemingly willy-nilly is because when I was in the depths of depression, in 2007, and I was sinking into despair, I came across a blog post where a woman was talking about her battle with depression, where she wrote frankly, honestly, and without shame about her journey to wellness. Reading that post literally saved my life. I was finally able (with the indispensable help of my dear husband) to summon the courage to seek medical help for a condition that had plagued me my entire life, one that I could not have dealt with alone any longer.

So in the back of my mind I think that just maybe I'm writing something that someone, somewhere needs to hear. I realize it's not as though I have the readership of Dooce, nor, I expect, will I ever come anywhere close. But if one person hears my story(ies) and takes courage from them...well then, the overshare is worth it.

With all that said, there ARE opinions and feelings and issues I go through that I don't discuss here. (Believe it or not!) I am learning, slowly, I'll admit, that some things are better kept to myself. I am learning to maintain a privacy in my marriage, and with my family, that allows us to grow together and become stronger. Like anyone else, I'm a work in progress.

So at long last, here's the page I made yesterday.

Some of the journaling is in plain sight for everyone to see; some is hidden in the journaling pocket, reserved for just me and my family, and some is secure inside my own head, where I will retain it quietly, keep it in peace, and let it grow into hope.


Paula W said...

Hi Rachel - Paula from blogging class! Great post and I love that you use your blog as a place of your own. I got a chuckle out of the yeast infection part. I am the same way!

Jane said...

Great blog - and great post - in fact your layout and hidden journaling reminded me of a day that would have been perfect for me to write about for yesterdays prompt....I didn't get the prompt right and I really feel like it was lacking the meaning of the prompt...but your post was a like a lightbulb moment for me - thank you!!!

chksngr said...

Bravo - there is too much worry over what other people might think and not enough open honesty in our world today. If more people were just all out, we would probably have FAR fewer people suffer in silent aloneness...and a much happier population!

Nellie Mae said...

Great pocket!! love your page!

Elecia said...

Being open is who you are. I love you for who you are, I always have and I always will. Yes, at times I want to smack you for it and at times I have done just that, but that is what sisters are for, right?

Rachel said...

Jane--that's awesome! I'm glad it sparked an idea for you.

And Lish, thank you. You mean the world to me, sis.