How Was Your Life Before Wordpress?

I used to be a closed book. I would bottle emotions up inside me and share nothing with nobody. I prided myself on keeping a stiff upper lip. When I lost my father to prostate cancer I cried just the once, at his bedside during those last eerie moments before he slipped away from us. After that, nothing. I had a funeral to organise. A family to console. And alcohol to drink.

This routine continued for years. I lived in the shadows; secrets and half truths were my constant companions. I hid from the truth for it was a mirror that I did not wish to stare into, a reflection of the man I was becoming, the man I had become. And it was not a pretty sight. I did not like this person and did not want to confront the demons he was battling. So I did what all cowards do when confronted with the truth. I ran away.

A caged beast is an angry beast. Anger is unpredictable, it lashes out where it pleases. It is indiscriminate, there is no rhyme or reason to it. I was very angry. But I hid. I refused the help which was being offered to me and turned my back on those who loved and cared for me. I retreated into a world where I constructed false versions of myself, layers upon layers of deceit and negativity. Nobody knew me for I did not know myself anymore.

I lived online. Twitter, Instagram, whatever. Everything is rosy in those gardens. Roses have thorns though and these thorns drew blood. The wounds I inflicted on myself and others cut deep, leaving scars that remain to this day. Signposts to a past I never intend to return to. I devoured myself, a keyboard cannibal who cared more about likes and retweets than I did about my own flesh and blood. I was a living, breathing, walking crime scene. A detached witness to my own prolonged murder.

I wrote back then. 160 characters of meaningless nonsense at a time. Portraying a life I was not leading. Craving attention in order to fill the aching void within me while neglecting those who needed my love the most. The words meant nothing, there was no substance or passion underpinning them. They were empty words from an empty shell of a man. Distress flares from the sinking ship of my soul which was slipping beneath the black, unforgiving waves with all hands lost.

Then stuff happened. My deluded bubble burst and all around me life crashed in. A necessary pain which purged and cleansed me. I was both branded and scourged clean. The truth revealed itself with a clarity I had never experienced before. I was lucid and thinking straight whereas before I had been deluded and wandering in an impenetrable mental fog. I never thought I would write again online. I had nothing to say. Life had broken me and squeezed me dry of any creative juices I might have once had.

That was before WordPress. An online community when the selfie did not reign; where prose and poetry meant more than pouts and preening. Where damaged souls like myself congregated to heal and lick their wounds; some self inflicted but not all. I write on here most days now. It is my release, my therapy. The words flow where before there was nothing but arid ash. I speak the truth now for myself and for others without a voice.

That’s where I am today. I am a writer. I blog. I’m writing a novel. All thanks to the gentle promptings of a loving wife who believed in me and believed in my talent. Who encouraged me to start this blog some thirteen months ago. Life before WordPress seems a distant memory now. How I managed without writing I’ll never know. But I know this much. It saved me then and it’s saving me now.

How was your life before WordPress?

What difference has blogging made in your life?

71 thoughts on “How Was Your Life Before Wordpress?

Add yours

  1. Before WP – desolate creativity. After WP – desolate creativity with at least a platform! lol… Seriously, before I blogged I had so much creative angst. Now, I have an outlet. Not that my posts have been so spectacular but at least I have a place.

    Kudos on realizing your weaknesses. And strengths!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I cannot wholly express what blogging has done to me, or how it has changed my life. But am grateful I found it when I did.

    Just like you, “… I would bottle emotions up inside me and share nothing with nobody…”

    I still do that but to a less extent.

    At WordPress, I have also found me “…An online community…where damaged souls like myself congregate to heal and lick their wounds… It is my release and my therapy…”

    Thanks for this post Baba…

    Cheers

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is a great post! I absolutely love the community on WordPress. I think that the worldwide connections of people going through similar life struggles bring us all closer together and brings hope to this crazy world we live in right now. I have been blogging for a little over 2 1/2 years and there have been some people that have truly changed my life.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post! For me, I have been able to seek out blogs that share my interests… camping, books, family, diy, gardening, and surfing for my husband. I ADORE WordPress for the intimate and intelligent posts!! 💗

    Liked by 2 people

  5. WordPress has allowed me to get back in touch with my poetry. To be honest I haven’t written much in the last few years in terms of poetry, so it’s been good to reappraise my older works and re-edit them to make them far stronger works. It also allowed me to finish a sequence I began ten years ago that I had abandoned and never thought would have the energy to finish. I regard that as one of my major successes on WordPress. I’ve also written 30,000 words so far on a serialised story that may end up becoming a novel. So far WordPress has been a positive influence on me in terms of my literary output.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a great post. Thanks for sharing. Sadly it is more like my husband than myself. I’m a communicator so I have always ‘over-shared’ on social media and actually used Facebook more like a blog . Now that I am on WP I am using FB less for that, but I miss the real comments that I get on FB. I have some great friends who give intelligent comments. Yesterday I was livid about a topic , public schools, so I had to get on FB after reading a blog about some of the nonsense that is going on. I would not be able to get any back and forth discussion on the comments on WP. Do you miss that at all? I really enjoy your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well , I do know some great people, but I also post somewhat hot button topics sometimes, lol, so I get all kinds of feedback. I’ve only been unfriended by a couple of people for my religious beliefs. I’m sure I’ve been unfollowed by many. haha! I think facebook has actually made me more sensitive to other viewpoints. I tend to be pretty black and white in my thinking, but I am also very willing to see the other side when it is presented. However, every claim must be compared to the truth of God’s word. Anyway, I’m glad you found a way to express yourself and feel better about things. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Hmmm… there’s certainly a “before” and a “after”…. I probably didn’t think things out the way I do now. And I expanded my horizons a lot finding like minded people who are oriented to me same path of self discovery…
    Happy to have found you 🤗🤗🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  8. WP has become a lifeline to sanity, another tool to release inner demons and caress angels. From their writings I have come to know WP friends more intimately than people I physically interact with every day. This forum is a blessing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oops. Slipped and hit the Return key. Anyway, using WordPress has given me the opportunity to make friends who also have mental health issues, with whom I can discuss my frustrations/fears. Also, WP gives me something to do during the day.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. WOW! That was well written and really hit home for me. I too have spent years hiding. For me, my blog is one of my attempts to stop hiding…a little bit at a time, one piece at a time. I can already feel the relief of not having to hold up the mask anymore.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I really relate to your journey of becoming open. I can see, as I took back through old posts, that I’m far more open and vulnerable today than I was when I first started this blog. I no longer am concerned with this legalistic view of God and being “right” but about being real. It’s fun to have a catalog of work that has been with me through so many years and life changes.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Occasionally, I will peruse back through blog posts that I’ve written over the last 15 years {over the course of about 5 different blogs} and thank the Lord above that I am not that silly girl anymore. Blogging has really helped me to put my self down on paper and it’s given me the opportunity to really suss out my thoughts and feelings. I’m don’t think I can say that I am more open and vulnerable now, but I can definitely say that I am more mature and slightly less snarky. I also have a few online friendships that are such a boon to me, and I hope, to the other person as well.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It hasn’t been a constant 15 years, but I’ve always had a blog during that time frame. It’s been such a wonderful outlet and I honestly don’t think I would be as in touch with my thoughts and emotions if I hadn’t been writing.

        Liked by 2 people

  12. Stephen, You certainly know how to paint a picture with words! I keep adding quotes from your writing to my “Words I Like from Stephen” notes. My favorite words today: “I lived online. Twitter, Instagram, whatever. Everything is rosy in those gardens. Roses have thorns though and these thorns drew blood.”

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I’ve found a community of friends, writers, thinkers, and believers. I am slowly becoming more confident than before. I’ve learned how God can use my calling for believers and writing, and blogging is part of that. I was alone when I really started blogging consistently last year, and as I got to know the community, it was such a blessing in a time of fear and darkness. It continues to help me with encouragement. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Well, well, well … that was beautifully expressed and probably the most enlightening post from you that I’ve read (and as you know, I’ve read a few). I am genuinely happy for you because you deserve it. You lost your way, you found the path again and now you’re determined to stay on it. Do give your lovely wife and family a hug from me, because from what you’ve said, if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have lovely Stephen and your beautiful writing, and what a great, great shame that would be. You’ve lightened up my world and no doubt many others too. As for me, what has WordPress done? It’s started me writing. I have, as of a couple of days ago started writing some stuff … silly stuff (nothing too highbrow I’m afraid!) but enough to be getting along with. Had I not come across WordPress, I would never have had the courage to even start. So I see this time that I’ve arrived at, where I have met people like you, and read posts like yours as a wonderful and exciting new chapter in my life, one that gives me the most pleasure that I’ve had in many, many years. And for that, I thank you. Katie

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I kept everything inside. I gave up trying to talk to others cause their shit was more important. I became the great listener! WordPress has allowed me to express myself, be heard, and receive and give love❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I blog because I appreciate the positivity I see in others’ blogs. In trying to keep my own blog a positive space, I flex my “bright side” muscles every day (or every few months, sometimes the days roll by before I can catch ’em). If I can meet some like-minded people, or even some like-minded local people, as a result, that would be my ultimate score. But even if mine are the only eyes that see my posts, there is a benefit in scraping the bottom of the barrel if you have to, but still knowing you can come up with something positive to record and write about every single day!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. For me, I want to be able to give someone hope or let someone know they’re not alone through writing. Also, it’s relieving, something like giving way to thoughts, or some base, and at times makes me notice things I would have otherwise missed out on.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. This post resonated so much with me. You could be me, you just began a few years before and are perhaps light years ahead of me with your recovery. ❤️

        Like

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