There always seems to be a lot of tips from bloggers telling other bloggers how to maximise their potential, get more visits and engage people for longer. From what I can tell (sitting in my tiny space in the corner of the universe) unless what you write resonates with people no one will come regardless of the fancy stuff you do to get them there.
I like to read about fluff and depth. The fluff of life, the funny bits and the depth of people, the stuff that makes them tick. One of the questions I asked myself when I started writing was how closely aligned was I as the the me that writes my blog. Was I revealing too much of me? Was I sharing for a useful reason or just for a chance to vent? A blog that I’ve been reading for a while because of that very reason is Madam Bipolar (or Lisa as she’s called in real life) and she very kindly answered some of my questions about her own space in between. The space between her, her illness and what she writes.
So sit back, have a cuppa joe (reality bites was the best movie ever) and have a read…
So Lisa, tell me a bit about you?
As a former health journalist and consumer advocate, I aim to provide bipolar disorder information and insights into mental health in Australia.
Unlike other mental health blogs, I provide a unique insight into obtaining a mental health diagnosis in Australia. Madam Bipolar.com is about information and advocacy for bipolar disorder. It is also about my journey from diagnosis to acceptance.
Some of your posts talk about the irritation of people who are focused more on solutions than acceptance. I guess they seem to me to be offering ideas for ways people can be ‘fixed’. What do people not get about bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a brutal disease and some want to see a quick fix. Medication can take a long time to work so there is a great deal of frustration in the beginning and when you change medications. It is hit and miss, even with the best psychiatrist. Bipolar disorder is pain so it takes a certain amount of fortitude and luck to get through it. You just have to wait it out for your medication to work. Science has not come up with anything better than that at this stage.
As a blogger how to you make sure that you’re Lisa first and Madam Bipolar second (I guess Im asking how do you make sure you’re you first and a person living with a mental illness second)
Some people have confused me with the disease but the blog gives me a good outlet for venting my frustrations. I am not the sum of my illness and I have learned that over time. I am also a wife, a mum, a sister and a friend. That being said, blogging has given me more gifts than I ever imagined. I have met some amazing people, learned some amazing things and been to some amazing places and I have to thank Madam Bipolar for that.
Whenever I get nervous about being Madam Bipolar, my friend St Murphy reminds me to think of the greater good. And that is what I will do….
I think one of the biggest things I learnt as a newbie social worker centuries ago (OK 12 years ago) was that people can never just be defined by what they are experiencing. I learnt that referring to people as a person living with a mental illness rather than talking about someone (for example) as a schizophrenic gave me the space to see the person for who they were. I guess over the years I’ve applied this to lots of situations in my own life and to those around me. There are a lot of people dealing with pretty dark things but by labeling their identity solely by the challenging stuff I think we fail to see the person living just underneath, waiting to come on out.
Thanks for chatting with me Lisa. Its nice sometimes to know people by their name when we usually only know them by their brand x