I suddenly realize that I started blogging about 10 years ago. I’ve been a blogger for almost one-fourth of my life. (I’m still trying to write my first good post, but that’s a different problem.) I never thought that I would write so much of my life in this space. When I started, I was just looking for an outlet to get things out of my head in the hopes that things would make more sense in the open. Over the years it became a type of self-therapy, and every time I think I should quit, I find I still have more to say.
I have left some things out intentionally, but I think the blog is a pretty honest look at my life since 2004. I’ve been sometimes up and mostly down, got myself hospitalized, came close to destroying my marriage, came close to suicide, watched kids grow up, forgotten much more than I remember, quit and restarted blogging three times, bought and sold vehicles and houses, moved across the country, had several jobs come and go, and have mostly come to terms with my past life. When I look back at some of the old posts, it scares me where my mind has been at times.
I guess this is the life of bipolar disorder, the ebb and flow of constantly changing moods and feelings. It would be interesting to do a timeline where I chart positive, negative, and neutral entries over time. The resulting curve would be a representation of my moods over the past 10 years. It might be painful to do that exercise however, since it would require re-reading all the old posts.
About all those old entries … I haven’t decided whether to keep them or not. Part of me wants to close the curtain and purge that from my memory, but I don’t think I will do that. Those posts, whether written in desperation or rage or mirth, represent the most concrete part of my life during this span. I would never delete old photos I have taken because they hold (mostly) good memories. These posts are not all good memories, but they give me a road map to see where I have been. The blog helps me make sense of my recent life, and helps me remember things that otherwise would be lost.
The last question is if I sanitize the old entries and let my family read through them in the future. I don’t think this is a good idea. When Mrs. Fish discovered the blog in 2006, I was in an extremely bad place and it greatly damaged our relationship. I have written so much about my family, not all of it good, and letting those entries become public would probably cause more damage than good.
In the past, I felt like a blog had run its course and came to a natural conclusion, and it was time to reset things and start over. I don’t have that feeling now. I’m comfortable with the online persona I have, and I see no reason to run away from it. However if I get discovered by Mrs. Fish again, everything will come crashing down again.