Newbie Tuesday: Blogging for Therapy

It seems I neglected to start a discussion this week over in the forum, so I have no fodder in the form of your wonderful input from which to construct a well-balanced, interesting, topical, thought-provoking post πŸ˜‰ I wondered where all my BritMums emails had gone! So instead I will begin a new topic here, which you can join in with in the comments section if you feel so inclined.

Thinking about the direction of my blog recently (it is almost a year old now!), my interest has been piqued by the incredible bloggers who really put their heart and soul, and emotions, and histories (sometimes difficult) into writing, for the world to consume and comment on. It astonishes me how frank people can be about their problems, and I know there is some debate as to whether or not that is appropriate. I have to say that for me, whatever your stance on this issue, it has brought some superb writing to my attention. For it seems that when people really write from the heart, they write their absolute best content.

An extremely new blogger wrote this week about terrifying nightmares – her own – and I was moved to tears not only by the horrible situation she has rescued herself from, but by the beauty of her writing, which she has managed to sustain despite such a grim topic. Sometimes the night is overhwelming for a parent, containing, as it does, the possibility of abrupt awakenings, or unseen misdemeanors. It is also the time when our irrational fears get to take over: getting it all out onto a printed page is the oldest, and one of the best forms of therapy.

An emotionally truthful blog post also has the ability to put us into another person’s shoes, to see an issue from a completely different perspective. I have to confess to fears over my future ablilities to raise a teenaged girl,Β  and this post about teenage pregnancy (and miscarriage) made me see the issue from a completely different angle. I hope I will remember my little girl and her feelings as she navigates the twisty path of growing up.

Then there is the advantage of receiving support and advice from your community. When you are tearing your hair out over your baby’sΒ  failure to thrive, support comes in the form of tips, physical support, and comforting words to help you haul yourself out of bed and carry on feeding. In this respect opening up can only help us. If you are honest with yourself, you have almost certainly experienced phases of liking one child more than another, and the guilt that this induces. But just a few comments of ‘Me too!’ or ‘It’ll pass’, are sufficient to quell the self-loathing and put you back on the road to sanity πŸ˜‰

Finally, the best type of therapy: laughter. When all else fails, and blogging feels like an outpouring of grief or stress, just occasionally a really good laugh puts it all into perspective!

What do you think? Are you a fan of raw emotion in public blogging? Or should we all keep a stiffer upper lip πŸ˜‰ Debate, people!

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About Helen Wills

Helen Wills is a mum of 2 children in primary school and blogs at Actually Mummy on parenting issues, school, travel, and life according to the kids. Since starting her blog in 2011, Helen has won 2 national awards, and puts a lot of her success down to the amazing online community of bloggers at BritMums. As her children grow older, her writing is increasingly influenced by their opinions, and her blog reflects this drive to get the most out of family life.

Helen works from home in copywriting and social media. She is on Twitter @actuallymummy.


  1. 31 January 2012 / 08:57

    I am brand new to blogging – a fortnight ago I couldn’t even work out how to FIND other Blogs, but I have tried to make an effort to engage. I have looked on in wonderment at the open, frank sharing I have found, laughed at some incredibly funny writing, and found handy hints and tips as I’ve gone along.

    I really admire the readers who can be open & frank. I think there’s a great deal of bravery in their writing. Bravery I wish I had but I stop short of because I fear that the consequences of my writing would touch more than me. To those that do choose to share, I hope they don’t stop for worries about how readers will feel – if someone doesn’t like it, they don’t have to read it.

    I’m looking forward to getting more involved in blogging and slowly carve put my own wee space in cyber space – and maybe one day I’ll learn to be brave too.

    • Helen
      31 January 2012 / 09:56

      Ah, bloggers will drag it out of you, don’t worry πŸ˜‰ You’ve taken the right step by joining BritMums – have a scout round some of the groups on here and join those that interest you. Also check out the forum discussions for some inspiration and knowledge. And if you haven’t already you might want to join @LoveAllBlogs where you can showcase your posts each week to other bloggers and gain readership and advice. Next week I will be talking about linky posts you can get involved in, which will all bring new readers to your blog πŸ™‚

      • 04 February 2012 / 00:26

        Thanks. That’s all good advice. I found Love All Blogs quite quickly so I’ve done that. Now I need to get properly into BritMums. I say now, but it’s 12.30am so maybe now is really tomorrow.

  2. 31 January 2012 / 10:31

    Thanks for including me, Helen πŸ™‚ The response I got on that post was incredible. The sheer effort people went to to type out and share their best advice and offer sympathy and support really amazed me. I’m very proud to be part of such a wonderful community.

  3. 31 January 2012 / 13:31

    Thank you so much for including me on this. I so appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and respond to my posts especially when I pour my heart and soul in to them, like I did with my miscarriage and teen pregnancy post. I must say that for me (obviously) I think sharing raw emotions through blogging is not only a way of therapy for the author but also a way of reaching out to others. Not just people who have been through the same thing, but also for people who have been through other difficult times. If we don’t support each other, know we are not alone in our troubles or generally share some love then what are we here for? There is too much ‘stiff upper lip’ in everyday life, in the blogging world there is the element of freedom that we don’t have (after all I can’t go up to another mum in the supermarket and have a rant at her about miscarriage can i?! I would get commited!
    So as long as I’m blogging and the time calls for it my posts will continue to be heartfelt and raw and occaionally full of crazy ramblings from an occassionally, slightly on the edge mummy!

    • Helen
      31 January 2012 / 14:10

      You’re welcome. It really made me stop and think.

  4. 02 February 2012 / 21:23


    Thank you so much for the recommendation. I got really excited so much so I fell off my chair and fractured my skull, I’ve managed to get in at the doctors on Nov 12th, so thats nice…….

    • Helen
      02 February 2012 / 22:58

      LMAO!!! You are a very funny lady!