Tonight, I am introducing you to another wonderful human being who I am blessed to call my online blogging friend. April (momof3isnuts) shares her life on the blog Finding Beauty in Spite of Myself. April has the amazing ability to look at her life and laugh some days. On other days she wants to cry. But that is the nature of the beast when you have a mental illness and you are a cancer survivor. On her About page, April describes herself as an empty-nester however her recent post The Vampires in the Basement lets you know that she has at least one of her kids back home right now. April writes honestly about her depression and many of her blog posts reflect this. She allows us inside her mind and shares her struggles. She shares her grief at losing siblings and this is reflected in her post Forever Young. April is a survivor who believes that beauty can be found all around us if we look.
Welcome to the couch my friend. I am so pleased that you accepted my invitation to join me. (Maybe one day we can do it for real). I want to talk about your blogging adventure. What drew you to start your blog?
First of all, I want to thank you for talking with me today.
Survival is what drew me to blogging. To make it short, or maybe not so short, it all started with a move from the western United States to the southern United States. After being a resident of the Pacific Northwest for about 47 years, we uprooted, due to a job promotion for my husband. Starting all over in a foreign state, among an unfamiliar culture, was not easy. After the move, a series of events occurred which created a lot of angst.
Through writing, I have been able to sort through some of the thoughts I have rolling around my head. I never expected anybody to read what I stumble through, except my family.
I’m glad your expectations were exceeded in that respect. There are many of us who love what you write. How long have you been blogging?
Since June 2011
That’s quite a while now. What do you blog about mostly? Does your blog have a theme?
Oh my. Actually, it does have a theme, and that is to record what I find beautiful, funny, or inspiring.
After the loss of my sister this past March, and another severe experience with depression, my posts changed a bit—well, quite a bit.
Just as lung cancer has a stigma attached to it – I smoked, therefore I deserve it type of thinking – depression also has a stigma attached to it.
I believe that more of us need to discuss what it is like inside the mind of a depressed person. A lot of us hold down jobs, become mothers, fathers—live just like everybody else, but we struggle more to keep it together. We are not like the sensational news stories which only discuss the untreated. I believe that we need a world-wide effort to learn more about depression, and how it is treated. Many don’t know where to turn, or are ashamed to seek help. Many find suicide, self-harm, alcohol, or street drugs as an answer to the torture in their minds.
So I change what I blog about depending upon what’s on my mind. Is there a theme? I’m not so sure any more.
That is quite a lot you have been through in the past couple of years. It must have really coloured your view on life. Have you found that you have gained anything by blogging?
Other than the new WordPress friends, I have found my true self. I don’t sugar coat anything I say, or write. While I still take a moment each day to find something beautiful, I found that sometimes life has to be faced head on. No avoiding what I don’t want to feel.
Wow! That is wonderful. I am truly blessed by you. I know you have shared some of the speedbumps in your life already, but have you found that blogging has assisted you in dealing with challenges?
A year and a half after the major move, we lost my mom’s step-dad, my mom’s mom, my dad, and my brother—all within a three month time frame. My older two kids left the nest shortly after that. I grieved, as expected, but I made a point of taking a moment each day to find something beautiful. It helped me through the grief.
In 2011, after some measly health problems, a small nodule was accidentally found on my left lung. Turned out to be cancerous, but the doctors have told me I’m one of the “lucky” ones. Apparently, I was cured by surgery.
I didn’t know it at the time, but that is when my grief turned to depression. I believed that I could think away the depression. Finding something beautiful had worked before; I had to try it again. So, with the encouragement, and tutoring of my daughter, I started blogging to record what I found beautiful. When I felt bad, I could go back and read what I had found to lift me back up.
Blogging kind of distracted me, but I was overwhelmed with anxiety over my health. I find some of my earlier ramblings a bit funny and naïve. While I believe that grief can be managed by thought processes, depression can’t—at least in my experience.
I honestly believe that writing is a wonderful way to deal with many things. I’m pleased it has helped you.
How often do you take the opportunity to blog?
Oh. There are times I blog daily. Then I let my insecurities take over and don’t blog for a while.
And where do you find the inspiration for your blog posts?
Everywhere. More times than not, it is usually the first thought I have when I wake up.
That’s just a strange coincidence right there…. I often wake up with a blog post in mind myself 😉 I am asking everyone this question and now it’s your turn…. do you have any particular quotes or mantras that you feel suit your life?
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have many others, but that is probably my number one
That is true enough. We can’t keep moving forward if we keep on looking back over our shoulders.
I know you are a reader of other blogs. What draws you to these blogs?
More times than not, humor. (I see that my spell-check is trying to tell me my spelling of humor, the Americanized way, is incorrect—same with Americanized) haha! I’m easily amused.
I love to read things that create new ideas, and show me different ways to look at something. I also like finding I’m not alone.
My most favorite, are blogs from other countries, especially when photographs are included. It’s like taking a vacation without the terror of flying through the air in a tin tube—over oceans, and mountains, and deserts.
I know you’ve mentioned your fear of tin tubes with wings to me before 😀 I also love looking at the photos of others however it makes me want to get into one of the tin tubes and go and see it in real life lol
Time is running out again and we must get back to real life. In parting, do you wish to share anything else?
Hrm. There are a lot of writers out there, something I’m not, and I feel a bit intimidated. Blogging has encouraged me to move outside of my comfort zone. Through blogging I believe I have grown up a lot—now I just need to figure out what I want to do.
You don’t ever need to feel intimidated April whilst you write from the heart. 🙂
Thank you for visiting with us tonight and sharing your life.