I just don’t know anymore

When I started writing online I never expected it to continue as long as it has nor did I ever have any aspirations to lift the anonymity from it. I called the Blog ‘Happy Daddy’ because it felt like a tongue in cheek title considering I was anything but a happy dad at the time. My youngest daughter also used to say “Happy Daddy” instead of “Happy Birthday” to me when she first started talking so maybe we can use that reason for the Blog name!

I have often said I don’t have regrets, or try not to live with regrets because it’s an unhealthy way to exist but I’ve been reflecting a lot (as I often do) about writing about my personal journey on a public platform. When I shared my early posts I was alone in hospital and had little contact with my friends and family. I was vulnerable, confused and to a degree I’d given up. Or maybe I hadn’t.

Writing was the start of my recovery and it has continued to be a big part of my life since I left hospital through both my Blog, Social Media and other pieces of writing I’ve shared. Further down the line I’m starting to wonder if sharing such personal experiences and information was / is a good thing?! As the Blog got more interest I started to share it with people close to me whilst never giving it a huge reveal as such. I never went around banging the drum about my illness and recovery every day but I did feel like I should share an update on things like Instagram and LinkedIn where I was more active prior to my breakdown. A lot of work colleagues and friends reached out, many commending me sharing and also telling me about their own or family struggles. I like to be honest and transparent with people and I don’t like the idea of people gossiping behind my back. I wanted to tell people the facts about what happened with me – the mental health deterioration, the alcohol dependency, the anti-anxiety medication misuse and the dissociation episodes which landed me in a hospital bed. It was hard to share with people at work but I’ve always been a Mental Health Awareness advocate so I couldn’t just hide my own journey.

But should I have discussed it with my wife first? I’ve pretty much ‘bared all’ on my Blog and never ran it by her. Not once. She reads each post for the first time like everyone else… once it’s published. I try my upmost to keep my wife and children’s mentions and details to a minimum on the Blog but it’s difficult to share a transparent and honest account of my journey without including them. That is starting to unsettle me a little. Do I want my little girls reading this Blog when they’re older? Do I want my parents to read it? I don’t even know if they know this exists!

It’s not that I’m ashamed of the journey I’ve been on. I’m not proud of my behaviour prior to entering sobriety but I’m learning more and more about the illness I had and the mental illnesses I still have. I’m just in protective mode maybe, and kind of wish nobody knew it was me who was writing this. Does that make sense?

I’m not super private but I don’t crave attention either. I don’t want my life and my family all over social media. I have a boring Instagram account where I share occasional family photos but I no longer use Facebook and my Twitter isn’t used for family sharing. Twitter handles don’t have my real name on them or a photograph as my avatar.

I dunno, I’m just going through a period of reflecting on where I’m now at with my life. I enjoy writing and the Blog seems to resonate and help others from the feedback I’ve had but I wonder if the writing needs to evolve. I mean, does it not start to get boring for all parties if I’m just writing about not drinking and my occasional mental health ‘dips’?!

I’m not closing the Blog just yet, I’m just having a wobble with my writing. Maybe I just need a little break.

The Queen died today and whilst I obviously didn’t know her personally, I kind of feel like I did at the same time. She’s been an ever present in my 36 years and is one of the most loved and well known people on the planet. I’m pretty sombre about it all, as are many others. I just wanted to acknowledge her passing and say Thank You for being such an inspirational woman. I appreciate not everybody agrees with the Monarchy / Royal Family but she was still a human. A mother, grandmother and great grandmother.

Author: Happy Daddy

A married thirtysomething Dad of two young daughters navigating my way through life a day at a time

3 thoughts on “I just don’t know anymore”

  1. It’s the biggest conundrum any blogger faces: how much is appropriate to share?
    You do have options though. If writing the thoughts down is therapeutic, cathartic, or just makes you feel good, but the potential exposure makes you feel too vulnerable, you can lock the site down to only approved visitors.
    I like to use my blog as a springboard to conversation with loved ones. I’m not very good at articulating myself in person, so writing a post helps get my side out without skewing words or stumbling over my bluntness. It might be worth showing your wife a draft, but you need to ask yourself what do you want from that. Is it validation that your thoughts are ok, is it to start a conversation, or is it just approval to share the information in the first place? Once you can answer that, you can work out what to do next. In the meantime, I’ll continue to read, others will continue to read, but ultimately your well-being is what’s important. If the blog helps, keep doing it; if it doesn’t, you should stop.

    Liked by 1 person

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