Over the last month or so, I’ve talked to a couple of people about the possibility of setting up a web site like Freethought Blogs for people who blog about dealing with mental illness. I think it would be wonderful to have a community of bloggers with that common theme. With the common goal of making invisible diseases visible.
Today I realized that I know a friend who might be capable of putting together the back end that would be needed to start something like this. We got together and talked over what setting up a web site like Freethought Blogs for blogging about mental illness would entail. How much it would cost, how much work it would take to maintain, etc, etc.
The more I think about it, though, the more I think it’s not something I should attempt right now. I just don’t have the mental stamina to go all the way through with a project like that, or to administrate it consistently. Not right now. It’s too big, too much to handle, and the risk that it would be enough additional stress that it would impact my own ability to focus on resolving my own issues is too big to ignore.
I hit a really bad, close-to-suicidal spot just before starting this blog, and realized that I needed to jettison some of the things in my life to make room for working on recovery. I’m no longer in the relationship I was in then. I’m no longer the leader of a local social group that I helped start–probably the achievement I’m most proud of over the past few years. It was just too much stress to deal with.
I want, desperately, to be contributing something to the world. There are so many things I’d like to do. I’d like to be a group leader again, I’d like to do this blogging project, because I think it could really be a good thing to have, both for me and for others. I just can’t, though. It kills me. It kills me to know that there are these things that I can do, that I want to do, that I would be able to do if I were just a normal person, but I’m not right now. I can’t do those things. There are a lot of baby steps to be taken between where I am now and where I’ll be able to reliably manage a substantial project of any sort. That point feels impossibly far away right now, and it sucks.
Mental illness gives me a window into the lives of other people who are suffering from it. It gives me knowledge and tools that would help me make a project like a collective of mental illness blogs work. I can’t make it work, though, because of how mental illness is affecting me. It feels like, even in the ways that being this way could help me help other people, I can’t actually help.
You want to believe that there’s some value, some way that dealing with a problem this bad will enrich your life, empower you in some way. But the reality is generally crueler than that. Even in the ways this might enable me to help people, I can’t help, because of the ways it disables me.