At the moment, I am more of a blog reader than a blog writer (hence the sparse and widely-spaced posts.) I recently found a new blog, following from one of my favorites:
through a link to a new blog:
The old blog I followed because her quirky sense of humor delighted me, following threads into zany depths beyond any train-of-thought derailments I had ever dreamed. And sometimes she posts utterly serious things that resonate deeply, and make me want to applaud.
The new blog was linked in a post about mental illness, and described fleetingly the story of a mother with two young children whose husband recently had a psychotic break and killed himself.
I followed the link, and read the first few posts... I guess in an effort to try to understand the meaning of psychotic break, and find out what, why, how this had happened. I got some of that information, along with a lot of the authors raw, uncensored grief and pain.
And I followed deeper, and stayed, and linked, and now I follow the new blog.
But I keep asking myself .... Why do I follow? Is my interest, my fascination, a normal and healthy thing? Or is it sick and twisted to keep coming back, immersing myself in the horrible truths of her pain and suffering? Is this the same as the contemptible urge to gawk at a traffic accident? Am I accomplishing any good by continuing to follow this story? Is it possible I am causing any harm, to my own mental health or that of anyone else by exposing myself repeatedly to this kind of sadness, this deeply resonant mental anguish?
I want to reach out to her, to tell her how I admire her courage, and wish that there was anything I could do to help, to make things better. But there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of other followers, most of whom probably followed before and perhaps have a better right to be there, to know her and offer comfort. And I am thwarted by the fear that I do not know what to say, or how to offer anything to this virtual stranger.
But I cannot tell if it is good or bad, only that I want to keep following. So I will follow, and see where it leads, and pay attention to how it affects me. And hopefully if it turns out that it is for the wrong reasons I will see for certain and stop before it is too late.