When I started this blog, back in December of 2008, one of the first things I pondered inside me and on paper was what my online identity would be. Not being infertile or an ex-Mormon, but instead being in the throes of BPD and the early diagnostic stages, it was fairly obvious what my niche would be.
But four and a half years later, I’m not that same Karen and I’m not feeling my niche. Not fully anyway. I’m not in the throes of a break down. I haven’t recently had and moved on from an affair. I’m not in danger of taking a vacation at a mental ward. I’m not a danger to myself or anyone else. I haven’t cut in years. I not scheduling my life around my therapies and my psychiatrist. In fact, I’m not in any therapy and I only see the psychiatrist 4 times a year on a better safe than sorry policy I’ve implemented. We’re getting ready to cut me loose there. But since the Fibromyalgia treatment involves mental health meds, I’m not in a hurry to cut her loose because if those meds kick me too far unstable, I need her in my corner telling my meds doctor he’s a moron and to listen to me already. He isn’t a moron. He’s just in territory he hasn’t charted himself.
I’m not the same me. I’ve recovered. I’m stable. I’m tired and cranky, but I’m raising 3 kids, working full-time and getting ready to introduce school to the mix. You show me one woman in my shoes who isn’t tired and cranky and I want whatever she’s taking. I assure you it isn’t legal.
In all honesty, I think that’ why I’ve slowed down on blogging. It isn’t for a lack of words. My husband can assure you that in the nearly 10 years we’ve been married, happily or otherwise, I’ve never once shut up.
But if I’m not writing my niche, what do I write? What is my persona? What place do I carve out for myself in this world to claim as mine?
I was, for a time, one of the more popular BPD bloggers out there. Now by popular, you can’t compare me to your average blogger. I couldn’t judge my impact by how many thousands visited me. I couldn’t base my value on how many people pissed themselves laughing from my stories. Instead I judged by how many emails I received crying out for help, or thanking me for help via my words. I wasn’t marketable. I couldn’t make ads work because millions saw them. But I changed lives. I saved lives. That was success. Honestly, that’s true success.
But I’m not that writer anymore. Unless I drudge up old stories I can’t give those in the throes of despair something to compare to. I can’t give you the “I’m no longer alone” effect and community.
I hit rock bottom. I wrote it with a brutal truth. A brutal honesty. I broke all the rules. I could have been denied jobs with a simply Google search. I added real medical information about BPD. Its diagnostic criteria, or at least how it applied to me. Its statistics. Who out there you see on TV, the big screen or hear all over the radio that might be going through this too.
But now I’m floating, swimming, even soaring. I’ve grown. And while I have no interest in taking this blog down, it is my home and it does still give important information, I don’t know how to grow it from here.
What is my angle? My persona. Even when blogging with 100% truth, there is still a persona in place. Every blogger has one. They are lying if they say otherwise.
My persona focused on the downward spiral. It didn’t mean I lied or covered up the good times in life. It just meant my focus was on allowing you to relate to me at my worse. That way, I wasn’t alone and neither were you. It kept me writing and it kept people reading, because in writing and keeping people reading, I could slip in the information about how atypical anti-psychotics, while off label, can be magnificent for treating BPD. That information, which I came upon myself, saved my life. Yours? Damn skippy I’m going to work to keep people coming back if I can save a life or two because of it. Or help people in Israel find DBT.
But what do I have now to keep people coming? Not just the hits I get via people Googling information about BPD and my blog being front page. What do I have to offer that will keep people actively engaged now, in 2013, and beyond?
What the hell is my identity?
I don’t want to be the girl with chronic pain. That’s being done, and well, by many others. I’m not a mommy blogger. Lordissa no! I can’t spin my day-to-day into hilarity that has you literally laughing out loud and nearly your damn ass off, not simply “typing lol” without making a sound.
And that is all OK. I’m not regretting that. Well, maybe I wouldn’t mind being Bloggess funny. However, there can only be one Beyonce the Metal chicken, and sadly, I’m Victor not learning to pick my battles. I must fight them all. Fight ALL! THE! BATTLES! Really, I don’t understand how I’ve been married for nearly 10 years. That’s half my adult life! A third my total life! I can’t even commit to a favorite color.
And that’s not my niche. I have no advice to offer on how to make a marriage work. Unless you want tips on sheer bullheadedness in refusing to give up. In which case, here is what you do: Your spouse asks for a divorce. You tell them no. There, niche covered. Also, that advice doesn’t actually work for most. Also, wouldn’t recommend the potential affair in that mess. While it oddly fixed us, that also is very usually NOT the case. So m’kay. Affairs bad. Bullheadedness not usually effective. I double covered that niche.
Guys, who the fuck am I?