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Blog Suicide

Don’t stop me if I’ve told you this because I’m going somewhere different with it today. A thoughtful and somewhat sad place but I can’t stop thinking about it.

I started blogging with truly no clue about blogging. I did it because someone I knew said I should. I’d never really even read a blog. And I just began. What’s followed is a lot of blood, sweat , and tantrums.

I have stayed the course though and am glad I did because of the growth I have experienced both as a writer and as a human being who needed to prove my worth and the value of human connection. But you don’t get to enjoy the lessons unless you go the distance.

This can be a very solitary practice. So many sources of input vying for your attention that I feel lucky if anyone reads my blog. Please don’t feel bad that you don’t comment either. Those that can do. Purposes of entertainment are personal to everyone. And I can remember being reluctant to comment once too.

I have been online now long enough to see some of my fellow bloggers discontinue their blogging. One gal got a full-time job. Two just sort of stopped publishing posts and show up to “like” something every once in a while. But the one that upset me the most was a gal who I almost met this past Summer at the Blog U conference. She committed blog suicide.

I was just about to write a piece on how upset I was about her abrupt disappearance when Robin Williams took his life. And the death of this wonderful and beloved man seemed too tragic to even use the word suicide in any other context. But I do feel a kind of concern for this gal’s welfare and here’s why.

There’s a community here online and when you connect with people, they’re just like the people you know from your everyday life. Like your mail carrier or your bus driver. They make you happy when they chat with you. But then what if you heard them start to say that you were so pretty and that they could never consider themselves pretty. Or that you were smart and they just knew they were dumb. And then one day they were missing from their job permanently.

This gal praised me and I was so flattered but I felt that shift into implosion. Suggestions of unhappiness and unworthiness and anxiety. And then wham, she was missing. She had deleted her blog address and all of her social media outlets. I wanted to scream out, why? One of ours was gone. Many of us new bloggers have felt that wavering doubt of that first year of blogging. I understand low self-esteem so well. I comprehend comparing myself to other bloggers and writers (and designers) and feeling crappy about me. And I guess I am reminded again of how I love doing this and how tenuous our bonds with others really are.

So Jean, if you are still reading my blog, know that I heard your distress and felt absolutely powerless to help you. I did notice you go missing. I am not a more talented a blogger or writer or mother than you are. I hope that you and your children are well and looking forward to a happy holiday season. And that if you ever needed an ear or anything I have to give you, I am still here. Imprisoned in this box but also out in the world contributing my soul and gathering happiness anyway I can.

Sincerely,

Shalagh

12 Responses to “Blog Suicide”

  1. Jennifer says:

    That’s a difficult one. People blog for so many different reasons and sometimes it is to find friends or an outlet from a difficult world. I hope she checks in on you at some point.

    And Jean, if you’re reading? We’re listening…

    xo

    • Shalagh says:

      Yes Jennifer, when I was coming up with the angle I wanted to take on doing my blog meet-up, I decided it would be how the why’s of your blog will dictate the hows. You reason needs to be somewhat clear but the internal paranoid critic has gotten the best of me on many an occasion. When other people seem happier and most talented and fulfilled and clear about their goals while you flounder in your own uncertainty. As I’ve said, I have no business comparing my apples to her oranges. They don’t even come from the same grocery stores. But the little evil voices can win out. And then you press the destruct button.
      I thank you for your acknowledgement. This was personally upsetting in the “there go I” kinda fashion, ya’ know?
      Love to you, your furry babies, and your “boyfriend”,
      Shalagh

  2. Lillian says:

    A warm and sweet and kind post, Shalagh. I hope Jean is well, wherever she is.

  3. adamjasonp says:

    Completely going off the social and offline, off the radar—however you want to phrase it, all of a sudden without warning? That could be considered a red flag.

    I can’t help but feel bad that I don’t comment as often as I could, though I have my reasons—access issues, and not having a good enough response (don’t want to drive the person reading it insane). But vanishing?

    No email or anything for Jean? Sad.

    • Shalagh says:

      I can’t say I ever had her email but yes, red flag and I do so hope she feels more at peace not having the online anxiety to contend with. Because it still gives me angst sometimes too. Thank you for expressing anything anytime Adam.
      Love,
      Shalagh

  4. Hi, Shalagh,
    I, too, was at BlogU and also met Jean online and ended up becoming friends with her and also remember the shock when she decided to delete her blog… I’m still friends with her and think she’s doing well although I have no idea whether she misses blogging or not so obviously, I’m not a good friend to her. I did send her the link to your post here today though and think that committing blog suicide is tempting for all of us at times…

    • Shalagh says:

      Thank you Kristi. I feel better for this. I think yes, I know I questioned my purpose for blogging in the first year. Even if nobody read it, I still needed the practice though. And I’ve ended up with friends I never expected to have. I am glad that Jean is writing still and I stand by this post even though I know she probably was upset to hear people talking about her. I hope that you and I have the same support and care that she seemed to have. I’ll try finding you elsewhere online. Thanks again.
      Love,
      Shalagh

  5. Jean says:

    I’m just fine. I was lucky to be part of a small, strong group of women bloggers during the time I wrote online. I emailed and let them know that I was done blogging. I’m busy but I keep in touch with them when I can because they are part of my life now whether they like it or not 🙂 I also wrote a farewell post explaining why I quit blogging. I think suicide is an extremely strong word that denotes despair and a disconnection from others. Those were none of my reasons for quitting. In my last post, I explained that I wanted to pursue other interests, such as learning another language. Another person wrote a post about how I stopped blogging and I noticed that people speculated that I was in a dark place or that something else must be wrong with me for turning off my blog. Here’s the thing: Blogging -for some- truly is a hobby. It’s ok to drop a hobby and sometimes it means nothing more than a person has lost interest in it. I understand for someone so invested in something it is hard to comprehend why another would give it up, but there it is. I still have my words out there if anyone is interested. I have an essay in one of the HerStories books, on the blog Finding Ninee I have an essay for her Empathy series, and I have an essay published in the Motherhood: May Cause Drowsiness book. I’m sorry I caused concern to anyone, but thank you for thinking of me.

    • Shalagh says:

      Oh so happy to hear from you Jean ! And I know how disconcerting it is to hear talk about you. I always say let them talk about me, I just never want to hear what they’re saying.
      Glad to know that you have had your writing published. A lot more than I have had published.
      Sad I suppose that I wasn’t a blog you wanted to continue to follow. So I made it about me and I apologize.
      And I agree, it may be that those who do something can’t imagine not doing it. I would offer that the blog’s demise was dramatic and I would consider myself extremely lucky to have that many people concerned for me.
      Take care and I hope I have not offended you.
      Love,
      Shalagh

  6. Cheeky Redhead says:

    I have probably been one of those that many felt evaporated from the net without much of an explanation. I have 4 blogs with dust on them along with unanswered messages. When I found my content all over the net, stolen, it hurt. Worse, there is little recourse. I didn’t delete what had already hit the net but became more diligent with anything new. My short foray in the public eye, a stalker and odd fans… it became obvious I would not do so well in the celebrity realm. It terrified me. The comfortable anonymity of the net is not reality either. One writes to express perhaps the most personal ideals and they are released like children on the first day of school…hoping to be embraced and welcomed. We all want and need interaction to hone our craft. You were probably one if the many that missed Jean. We all fall off the net at some point. I hope to evolve. I must say I am particularly fond of you shalevee….one of those silent fans applauding you on. You have grown so much.

    • Shalagh says:

      WOW, you have no idea what a big fan, in a non-stalker way, I was/am of you dear Cheeky. To have you show up means more than you know. I am so sad to hear of what happened to you. I’ve been trolled but not stolen from. My existence here is only to continue to serve my need to write as I use my blog/audience/you to be my accountability team members. There’s a story behind everything and there’s yours. I suspect some don’t want to admit theirs. And I am of the group that is still figuring mine out. So if and when you need my interaction to hone your craft, I’m so in. You are an angel watching over me. I hope you are living happily in Western climates under lavender ceilings with huge Thanksgiving Day feasts planned for your 45 closest relatives, as you do, and that this is not the last time we connect darlin’.
      Love Ya’,
      Shalagh

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