A little bit of blogging does you good!

Yesterday was a funny day. Funny strange that is. Let’s backtrack; I’ve been writing my blog for a month now and my intentions were to:

1 Have an online record of moving from alcohol dependency to sobriety, reflecting and hopefully learning on the way

2 Get a bit of support from people either going through the same thing or having successfully arrived at sober living

I’m really pleased to say that both of those goals have been realised but the experience I have had after one month has been so much more than that and very surprising.

Surpise number 1: the flow of comments and interest. I had blogged previously about trying to moderate my drinking. That was two years ago and in the course of blogging I had a few people who commented and I did the same. Only a small number but really useful. For me blogging wasn’t about getting lots of followers but an attempt to become part of a close knit small group of supportive bloggers. That’s how it was until yesterday. Then out of seemingly nowhere I had triple the views I normally have, a bunch of new followers and lots of comments. That was kind of nice but why yesterday? Was it that I suddenly appealed to more people due to my elegant writing, the opening up of my tortured soul, familiarity with my posts and a desire to read them all over again? No, of course not. I think it was down to one word: anxiety. That word being in the title of my last post and a tag seems to have been the reason for a lot more traffic. A surprise certainly, but a nice one, it just means you send you’re day responding to comments. A good way to spend some time.

Let me clear something up about that last post. The anxiety I was talking about was a situation specific, time limited anxiety. It was linked to me not allowing myself to drink at a time when I habitually drank. I didn’t like it. It put me on edge. It triggered some other darker feelings. But it passed. Real anxiety, clinical anxiety is a whole different phenomena and in no way did I want to suggest that’s what I was going through. I’ve seen people with chronic anxiety and it is a debilitating condition that can wreck lives. What I experienced was an episode, an acute short lived experience of anxiety that I overcame. The comments I had were amazing and an eye opener about what others have had to endure and suffer from.

Surprise number 2: The amazingly supportive community of bloggers out there. This has been the real revelation for me. In just over a month I have had numerous comments and ALL of them have been supportive, encouraging and positive. When people talk about online worlds and social media you often hear of bullying, trolls and negative responses. I’ve seen none of that. And it’s not just on my blog. When I read other blogs and comments it’s the same and that is a really wonderful thing to witness. It’s a picture of how this world could be if we truly valued and respected each other. Bloggers do it so why not politicians, religious leaders and others in positions of influence?

For me I would go so far as to say that the support and genuine interest of a few bloggers has helped me successfully manage my first 10 days of sobriety. It’s the quality of the support that’s really impressed me. It’s been much more than “10 days, well done Jim” type of response although that is always welcome. It’s been people sharing their own experiences to help shed light on mine or to offer advice and information that could be the thing that gets me through a sticky patch. Sometimes the comments can be very direct but that’s ok, I like direct and I can choose to act upon or not any advice coming my way. The point is in this blogging community people genuinely care for one another and want to see others moving forward and succeeding. No bitchiness or point scoring. They’ll be one or two just looking to pick up likes and followers but that’s ok. They still give. Oh and there are some big egos out there but hey that’s also ok. If a blogger feels a bit better about themselves that’s a good thing and it could be one of the few places they receive such positivity.

Is it all positive, this blogging business?

I would say the only negatives I can see for myself are:

A. It can be addictive. I’ve heard others mention that and I say this half jokingly because an addiction that does no harm physically and where the outcome is to connect with others in a positive way is hardly a bad thing

B. I have to be careful here. Maybe, just maybe we are too nice to each other. What I mean is that in trying to be supportive we sometimes sugar coat things or avoid any constructive criticism. You can be critical and supportive at the same time. I was a teacher for many years and just giving glowing feedback did not help students make progress. Purposeful, relevant feedback did. Having said that I know I’m now going to get some critical feedback of my own. That’s OK I can take it, just be gentle with me ! 😉

Jim X

33 thoughts on “A little bit of blogging does you good!

    1. Jim Simmonds Post author

      Wendy, you are the barometer of niceness. In fact they are thinking of changing the word niceness to Wendyness, and talking of Wendy I only found out last week that Wendy was a made up name created by JM Barrie. The things one finds out.

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  1. ceponatia

    I’ve read a lot of books by people smarter than me who say you can never truly get rid of a habit, you have to replace it. If you replace drinking with blogging I call that a win. 🙂 I noticed a high amount of views yesterday too. Maybe more people were bored yesterday than usual, haha.

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      1. ceponatia

        haha, I wish! No about 200 of those views were all on my front page so it was either a bug or web-bots looking for something.

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    1. Jim Simmonds Post author

      Hi Meena, really it passed after a few hours. It was a mood, a short burst of frustration and dissatisfaction. I’m sure it’s common and thanks for your concern. Hope alls good with you and your children?

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  2. sobrietytree

    I love how you say all that needs to be said. Talk about authenticity! You are one cool dood. Now this is going to sound like back scratching. Which it is. 😆No just kidding I genuinely love this post. And of course am wondering about the big egos. 😉😄

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  3. Jim Simmonds Post author

    Big egos what a pain eh! Now what was that about authenticity and being cool, could you repeat please😉Just so glad to have found you and some of the other regular bloggers. If we were all closer I’d invite you all round for a big sober BBQ!

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      1. sobrietytree

        Ab-so-lutely.

        As for the band, let’s go for The Sloofs, maybe catchier? 🤡😄Hmm, play any instruments? I can sing a bit, and/or play very bad guitar, unfortunately only classical piano… 🎸

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      2. Jim Simmonds Post author

        I play guitar and sing but I play in a duo and we don’t have a name. Funny thing is the other guy used to own a brewery and he’s stopped drinking! Classical piano sounds great. Shame that on the blog without paying for upgrades you can’t post audio. I’m a great Bruce fan BTW.You?

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      3. sobrietytree

        Omg! Already jamming! Jeeeeealllllouusssss 👏🙌😎🤩😎 um but Bruce, so sorry but no, not even Bryan Adams! 😩😁that said I’ll sing and stamp my feet to whatever’s playing. And I’m tending towards more positive and less melancholic music over the years. 😉

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      4. Jim Simmonds Post author

        Now Nadine, I like you but you have put Bryan Adams in same bracket as Brucy, that’s not allowed. If you like melancholic try Nick Cave- probably my favourite

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  4. Dana L Pescrillo

    Finally caught up! Well, well, I have to say it, I’m jealous. All you’ve expressed, shared, stylized, and played with your blog is impressive! Plus the hard fact you are moving forward, making it happen! More than well done, just plain fantastic! But really, I’m happy for you!

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  5. Addy

    Funnily enough i was only thinking earlier this week how i have never had any negative bullying or trolls on my blog. (I’ve probably jinxed things now!) But the process of writing things down helped me too and the power of people supporting me, so i can appreciate how it makes you feel too. Well done on making it thus far.

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  6. Jim Simmonds Post author

    Thanks Addy, I definitely had you in mind when I was thinking constructive criticism. You are not afraid to tell it like it is and that’s really important. A bit of constructive challenge is a good thing.
    Jim x

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