Sunday, March 13, 2016

Learning to Share the Scary Things!

It's a fine line we authors dance upon: cultivating a pleasing public persona vs. sharing our real selves. I'd say most of us are doubtful creatures, introverted, and many of us are depressed or have some other challenges with mental illness.

As long as I've been online (a lot longer than I've been Raine O'Tierney, obviously!) I've struggled with this concept. What do I tell? What do I keep at bay?

The friendly, buoyant, exclamation-point loving Raine is a real person. She's a very real part of me, even. On good days at work, you can find me butt-dancing in my rolling chair to music or squealing over new office supplies. Not a blog goes out for my department that doesn't involve an exclamation point or two.

And when I say kindness is my religion, I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Being kind to one another is the best thing we can do. (Note I did not say nice. To me, being nice sometimes involves a sort of social horseshit dishonesty that is soul-sucking. But genuine kindness? I'm alls about that!

It's the other: the more challenging Raine O'Tierney that I contemplate sharing. I've actually been quite open with my depression and my therapy. I haven't mentioned all (yes, more than one...) of my particular disorders with all their particular acronyms. Then my therapist challenged me last week to write a non-fiction book about what it's like to live with one of the vaguely aforementioned disorders.

I was very surprised by that. I never thought about writing about myself before! Especially in the context of the fine line we all tread. To do it properly, I'll have to bare all the ugly garbage that comes with being me. But... No one said I have to share it. No one said I have to publish it. Except, what if I do?

I'm a better person than I was two years ago. I'm a better person than I was a year ago. Hell, I'm better than I was yesterday when I read We are not our failures and was so fundamentally struck it reduced me to tears.

I think I will take up the writing challenge, even as I juggle no less than 20 new ideas. I can't change my mistakes, but maybe I will like what the book says. Maybe I will put it out there, bared soul and all.

So much to think about.

Contemplatively, and with Kindness,
Raine O'Tierney

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