Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Why I (over-)share so much

For those that read my facebook posts, follow my blog or just know me well, you know I share - A LOT.  To some it might seem like oversharing or that I'm looking for attention, and my reasons for sharing so much are many - but seeking attention is truly the furthest thing from my mind.

At first I blogged about my now-ex MIL, because she is C.R.A.Z.Y.  Like certifiably insane!*  I would share some of the antics with friends and it was the Needleman soap opera - people just couldn't get enough and kept on asking for more of the crazy stories, so I decided instead of having to say the same thing over and over and over and over again, I would just blog about it and everyone could read it themselves.

Then I realized I really enjoyed writing (even if I wasn't good) and it felt great to be able to get everything off of my chest - and it felt even better to get it off my chest and be done with it, not having to repeat the story to every family member and friend that wanted the next episode of the soap opera.

In between I would share random things on my mind or recipes, and I enjoyed that, but I found I got the most enjoyment, relief and satisfaction when I would share more personal things - using the blog as my journal of sorts.

No matter the sense of relief writing/sharing got me, there was still a lot I didn't share.  Until I did.

It started with the dreaded vague-booking. Things were getting rocky in the marriage, but I kept it hidden from 97% of my friends and family, but on many occasions, I would get so frustrated that I needed to say something, so I would vague-book.

Even when people had no clue what was going on, but they knew I was hurting inside, they would share words of encouragement - whether it be through a comment as simple as "hugs" or some thoughtful words of wisdom via email or text message.  Those messages made a huge difference to know I have such a strong support network.

Then I started to open up a bit more and shared some very personal blog posts through facebook and the words and encouragement and support were amazing. Even just to see the "likes" was a big boost for me.  And its not that I needed or wanted attention - lots of people have drama in their lives, so I'm clearly not special - its just that it felt nice to know that so many people cared for me without having to deal with all the emotions and awkwardness of sharing that in person or over the phone.

With that, it seems I'm taking the easy way out, except I do still talk a lot about it in person and over the phone, but the conversation I hate the most is this:

"...Im in the middle of a divorce..."
"I'm so sorry to hear that"
"Please, don't be sorry, it is seriously the best thing to happen to me and Im a much happier person"

I can't imagine the awkwardness the other person feels because they aren't sure how to respond, so they give the standard "I'm so sorry to hear".  And for some, that might be perfect, but for me, its not. I don't want anyone to be sorry, because first off - I got myself into the situation, and secondly (and most importantly), Im not sorry. And I feel really awkward for telling someone my marriage of 3 years failed miserably and Im the happiest and healthiest I've ever been in my life.

But I digress.  There is still one very important reason why I share. When I "came out" with my story, someone was able to put me in touch with someone who had been through a similar path, and I was able to talk to her about whats going on. Even when the conversations were just to share stories and commiserate, its nice to know someone who has truly been in your shoes - or worse - and can help guide you through the processes and what to expect each step of the way.

And before I knew it, I was able to do that for others. When I announced that I was getting divorced, no one in my friend network had discussed divorce - everyone was "happily" married.  Since announced, I have been able to be that friend for others.  My openness has allowed no less than half a dozen people to reach out to me to start the conversation for them.  Most of them are still trying to work through it and I hope for the best that they truly can work through it, but no matter what, Ill be here for whoever needs it.

So for some, the amount and details that I share is oversharing, but knowing that being so open via social media is able to help out even just one more person - even if I annoy a dozen in the process - I'm okay with it, because you can just scroll right past my posts if it annoys you, or you can read them if it resonates with you or you want to be a solid friend and support me.

*Apple doesn't fall far from the tree

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