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What Makes a Post Freshly Press-able: I’ve made my decision

Every day, a handful of WordPress.com bloggers are featured in Freshly Pressed. Each week, we take a close look at…

Every day, a handful of WordPress.com bloggers are featured in Freshly Pressed. Each week, we take a close look at one post and why we thought it was Press-worthy.
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This past week, the author of I’ve made my decision humbled us with the sheer courage it took to share the most personal of confessions: the choice to end their life.

The post made us think differently

The author of bipolarblogging.wordpress.com is a 50-something person who writes candidly about their struggles living with Bipolar Disorder. The language is plain, direct, unadorned, and above all, human:

I decided I didn’t want to live.

The blogger relates the depth of their despair in careful, reflective detail: the cyclical inability to engage at work, to find satisfaction in leisure time, and their diminished appetite, energy, and motivation to live. What struck us most is the silence with which the blogger endures the pain of depression. It made us stop and reflect: how many people have we encountered in our lives who have seemed distant or distracted, who weren’t quite themselves? What was really going on? How can we and how must we react differently when we sense something wrong?

English author Graham Greene once said:

Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.

Through the process of writing, bipolarblogging.wordpress.com’s author realizes their death would devastate the ones that they love. The simple act of writing brought clarity and planted the seeds of hope. The blogger’s strength and courage are inspiring:

My life is hard, and is about to get harder, but it is life after all. As hard as it may be, it’s still better than the alternative. If I can only hold on I have to believe it will get better. I’ve survived worse, and I can survive this. I have to, for myself and for those I love.

I have decided I want to live.

Did this post resonate with you? Will you follow bipolarblogging.wordpress.com? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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  1. I started following his blog right after I read that post. We need an open dialogue about mental illness. Too many people have suffered silently, and I’m grateful for bloggers like this who are brave enough to share their stories about handling their painful experiences, ultimately weaving us all together.

    1. You had me at “too many people have suffered silently.” So true. I too am grateful for those who demonstrate such courage — through their bravery, we can all become stronger.

      1. Blogging is becoming a great tool for people to express the silent suffering. There are so many people writing from their dark spaces and acknowledging one gives validation to all. Thank you both to the author of bipolarblogging for adding this depth to the conversation and to the daily post for inviting more peole into it.

  2. years ago I struggled with depression (post partum depression). I am a Christian and I struggled for years with this. At one point I clearly heard in my mind the phrase, “You can choose life or choose death.” Simple. Actually, when I heard this, I was sitting on the roof of my house, I looked at the view and the sky and realized I wanted to choose life. To choose life is hard, difficult at times, but it is a choice. When things get rough now, some 30 odd years later, I remind myself, I chose life. This is a hard and wonderful decision, thank you for sharing this. DAF

  3. Thank you so much for choosing this post to be Freshly Pressed and for sharing your reasoning behind the selection. I found the blog to be most moving and have begun following it. In this day and age, I found it heartening that an “institution” as large as WordPress would recognize and appreciate the personal pain and situation of someone like the bipolarblogger.

    I have been in a writing funk of my own lately, and after reading this post and the bipolarblogger, I am sensing a resurgence that will hopefully get me going again.

    Thanks, again.

    Bruce

  4. Then there are those that just love life, enjoy writing because the relish the twist of a word or the ability to paint a picture with a sentence, or believe that long after we’re gone someone may read what we’ve written and give us new life.

  5. The operative word is “choose.” In the blogosphere, we are fortunate that we have support and respect for our freedom to choose, whatever that choice may be. Thank you.

  6. The pain and weariness of the person on the other end of our lines struck a particularly deep resonance with me. I lost a brother-in-law, a son and my mother to the same. And strangely enough, I asked the first and last that very same question “Don’t you realize that if you do take yourself out of the picture like that, how devastated we would all be?” I couldn’t ask my youngest son since he covered well and left no clues as to why.

    My brother-in-law, after hearing my plea said calmly “You will all get over it.” and my mother said the same thing almost word for word. I often wonder why she told me. I have a brother and two sisters that she could have told. (I did tell them after this session with her and they all felt that she was just “down” and wouldn’t do that. Well, she did and then no one wanted an autopsy which would possibly point out the fact that she took too many of her prescription medications. Life is difficult at times for us all. But in trying to understand in my mind why… I came to the knowledge that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary situation. Life’s problems and finding something to hang on to while in crisis can be as simple as a warm plate of fried potatoes with that good crunchy around the edges. There is joy all around us if we can see through the fog. I know I cannot stop someone from committing suicide if they are bound and determined that is their only way out, but I hope my thought can make someone slow down, take stock and find that plate of fried potatoes.

    1. My heart goes out to you! What a tragedy your family has endured. I know many who feel helpless as to how to help the suffering. Sometimes they don’t need us to try to give them answers. Sometimes they just need us to be there, to sit with them, to just love them where they are. Maybe make them a plate of fried potatoes. We must never dismiss anyone who is at this crossroad but at the very least we can just be there.
      May God grant you peace in the midst of the loss of so many loved ones to this devastating act.
      Alexandria Sage

    2. Sometimes it is hard to see that a situation is temporary, especially if you have been living in the grip of depression for decades. I know when I am at the bottom of my cycle and that it will cycle back up again, but I still have to go through every day knowing that I will once more have to visit the bottom.. the blackest pit of the deepest despair which no one else knows because no one else is me. For some, suicide is a permanent solution to a permanent problem.. I hope I never get too tired to face this again, but I certainly can understand the thinking of those who do.

      1. I am so sorry to hear your pain also Simplysage. You’re right of course, there are situations that seemingly at most, won’t change. It would be especially hard for them to wait for that plate or wait to see that light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a big problem that seems too often to have no answers nor help. All we can do is try.

    3. Thank you for sharing this….what a terrible thing to have to go through. I too suffered a very severe depression, and came close to making the decision that to die would be the easier option. Similar to bipolar, it was the thought of my (then) fourteen year old daughter, and the devastation I would leave behind that made me hang on.
      Life does get better, and as an artist I do at least have a powerful outlet for my feelings. These paintings, done just for me, have been central to my recovery.
      I hope you too are finding some peace and strength. Judy xxx

    4. TwoHi kathlb:
      Your Comment to this WordPress post compelled me to reply. The subject of suicide is so controversial ( why is it a crime to “assist” but not to attempt??) and emotion-laden, its beyond common comprehension.
      I know…I attempted suicide years ago.
      See my site at: nothingyoucansee@wordpress.com
      What I have to say is that sometimes the headspace of the victim is literally impenetrable by anyone – even a mental health professional!
      I myself didn’t understand why I did it for many years.
      Ultimately I came to understand the two themes developed here on this post and in the many insightful comments:
      1) suicide is morally wrong,as it damages those left behind.

      2) Nevertheless, I continue to wish for my own demise every single day, and I feel the moral proscption unfair.I remain alive for everyone else, not for ME! Is that fair? Apparently it’s not My Life!

      As in comprehensible as it may be to observers, Life can be intolerable,and legitimately so. I titled my site “NOTHINGYOUCANSEE” purposefully. My pain is invisible and un-reachable. My continuing life is that of the Living Dead. I suspect your lost loved ones would feel the same sentiment had they survived.
      I hope you’ve forgiven them.

    5. I am sorry for your losses to a mental illness that is inherent and unrelenting. My son died at 29 from the disease of mental illness….he died from suicide. I have found many answers that support my now understanding of how the brain can malfunction or be hard wired. People who die by this seemingly “choice” really had no choice. Their brains were lacking seratonin or they had too many neurons that misfired signals to their brains or perhaps even an injury that jolted the brain to malfunction….so many physical reasons for this to happen…not just a person who wished for the hard times to be over. My son had a great support system and the love of many. He was popular and witty. He had a degree in nursing….he had parents who cared and doted on him….and then…..the depression that had stalked him since puberty raised its firearm and it was all over……his bad marriage was the catalyst that made it possible to go through with it. I say all this because I hope you can see that your loved ones’ irrational wish to die was not a choice but an illness. We are left with so much guilt when someone we love dies this way…we seek answers or even accept “Pat” cliches i..e “it was a permanent solution to a temporary problem”….but I do not accept that cliche….it oversimplifies the seriousness of this disease. May God comfort you during your grief.

    1. I disagree: in some situations the only hope is _false_ hope.
      Our society is addicted to “hope” and “cheer.”
      To the objects of our good intentions it sometimes feels like just so much chauvinism.

      1. Well, Scarlett: I survived a ruptured brain aneurysm 21 years ago. That makes me a rare indidvidual – most victims don’t make it.
        BUT…I have certain after-effects from the clipping surgery – which is itself very invasive – including chronic, non-responsive depression, have just developed a very disturbing after-effect called adhesive arachnoiditis, which is making me crippled in my left leg, and a constant battle with anxiety. My shrink informed me several years ago “This is as good as it gets for you. In fact, with aging, you’ll get worse. The End.”
        Now, I know I’ll get grief from you and others for saying the following, but it’s just my own, personal reality: I wish I had died. I had a fantastic career as a news reporter. I would have made the big time, no dobut about it. Now I’m a gimpy shut-in who never feels real pleasure in anything I do. And please don’t chime in here with “Try harder,” because i’ve been around the “recovery” block 18 dozen times with every kind of therapy, volunteering and outreach you can name. None of it changed anything. I still would rather be dead. I remain alive only for the sake of others. My life doesn’t actually belong to ME!
        So if you or anyone else presume to offer me any kind of “hope”, it could only be false hope.
        See what I mean?

        Will T.

  7. Bi-polar’s post really moved me and changed my perspective on this disease. Their strength amazed me. And I wish for them so much more. I hope they know how many people (even strangers) care about them.

  8. Both my partner and I are diagnosed Manic Depressives aka Bipolar in todays medical terms. Often we struggle with the day to day but we know we have each other to lean on for support which means a lot since we manage our depression without drugs. Which I am still trying to work out is brave? Stupid? or fool hardy?

  9. About bloody time “Freshly Pressed” had a n editorial policy makeover. Enough LITE & BRITE travelogues, cooking, cute puppy/happy family,My Diary ,My ,Hobby,navel_gazing empty-headed blogs!
    Our world is in serious trouble WordPress does nobody any favours featuring Little Mary Sunshine content!
    I’ve tried to sneak my feelings about this into blogs via Comments. Naturally my comments get deleted almost always! Nobody likes their party spoiled by Something Real. So much easier to just drink in Happy Times Soma!
    I truly hope WordPress will keep your promise to GET REAL with Freshly Pressed. It’s a R

    1. Thanks for your feedback, Will. In our previous What Makes a Freshly Press-able post, we featured There is a light that never goes out, another very serious topic. Overall we’re striving for a balance in what we choose to highlight and we’ll keep working on making that balance right. Thanks again for weighing in.

      1. Although writing may be a serious topic, the whole idea of a blog is that it is personal. As such WordPress may help guide the context, but the content is that of the writer. Beauty and celebration are as well deserving of a place in this sphere as the serious topics,. The joy of the bog is that you do not have to read it – it is the reader’s choice to participate or click on by. There are many serious subjects to discuss. As evidenced by the topic raised by the bipolar contributor, we are fortunate that there are those who are willing to take up the gauntlet. More power to them. The key is that anyone has the opportunity, to the best of their ability, to start the conversation.

    2. Hi Will, Light and Bright or serious, I haven’t been at it as long as some, but what I’ve discovered is that people are generous with help and they are kind. Whether their blogs are journals for themselves, or to share with others everyone writes what they know. As you probably do, so I’m going to pay you a neighbourly visit. Which is another thing I like about the blogging community. As the song goes, ‘we are family.’ :)

    3. Completely agree! My blog right now is quite cheery, but I too have been through a severe depression, and here is spain the recession is causing major problems……..there are many important issues to be discussed: I will still be cheery on my blog when I feel like it, but I will not be shying away from serious issues as and when I feel moved to do so. xx

    4. I’m undecided as to whether or not to post this reply. First, I disagree with you about happy blogs doing nobody any favours. I enjoy reading these blogs. At the risk of exposing myself, I have been through severe and debilitating depression lasting almost ten years. I have sought medication and professional help, and felt worse and more alone for it. The medication brought on panic attacks and I felt that none of the psychologists or psychiatrists ‘got me’ – brushed off my extreme insomnia and drug abuse, my OCD and depression. My blog is one of those ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ blogs but just because someone takes a light approach to life, doesn’t mean there isn’t something more serious beneath. I could lament the fact that, by nearly forty, my life is a mess. That I am unable to find lasting success in any of my endeavors, that I am so far from what I and other people expected from me, despite how hard I try/ have tried. I approach each day with a new hope and often feel worse for it because another door/ possible way out has closed by the end of it, and then I stay up almost all night trying to figure out how to make tomorrow better. These blogs, whether happy or sad, deep or shallow, fulfil a need, even if it is just the blogger’s own. A quote from an unknown source: “We are all fragile human beings, just trying to make our way in the world” – even the happy ones.

  10. deeply brave and hopefully – in the old cliche – will help others in the same situation (that’s probably all you could ever hope to achieve as a writer).

    I’ve had three suicide attempts myself and recognise so much of what is written in this post. I have decided not to follow the blog for personal reasons – too painful, I don’t want to be a spectator of someone else’s pain.

    Thanks for spreading the word though.

    1. When my marriage was heading toward an inevitable collapse, the last thing I needed was to be hanging around friends who were all pissed off at their husbands.
      I chose instead to find and cultivate friendships with women in solid – and some very long – marriages.
      This, I believe, was the key factor in saving my relationship with my husband. Focus on the goal. Not the problem.

      Do what you need to do.

      Stay strong.

  11. Krista,
    This post needed to be Freshly Pressed. I applaud the WordPress staff for making it so. I think this is another significant value of WordPress. It is a community of safe, sane people and if someone has no one tangible nearby this is a place where someone is always awake.
    I am following this blogger, to be sure. I’m a medical professional and have encountered many forms of bipolar illness, as well as a personal friend who died of complications of a suicide attempt. I was part of a community that walked through it with her for 15 long years. I shared this story as part of my comments to bipolarblogging so won’t share it here.
    But my encounters have empowered me to advocate for the “functional” mentally ill. They are in our workplace and communities daily and their struggle is constant and, for the most part, silent. I can’t help all but maybe my experience can help one or two. I walked for years with another friend and she finally became whole and healthy, not just with therapy, but with a small group of people who just listened and let her be honest. Today she is an amazing woman of great courage.
    My friend who died of complications used the remaining remnants of her life to speak out on behalf of the “walking wounded”.
    Both of these women left imprints on my life to never dismiss anyone I sense suffering. I try to do what I can. And sometimes it’s the smallest act that speaks the loudest. A small investment of time can have a huge impact.
    Thank you again,
    Alexandria Sage

    1. You’re welcome, Alexandria. Thank you for sharing your stories. What struck me deeply about bipolarblogging’s post is their humanity. Their frank reflections and recollections gave me pause, and got me thinking about the humans around me and how I can be a better, more caring human.

      1. For lack of a better term, “Ditto”. I keep in mind Plato’s quote “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Kindness is a choice we can all make. And it might just be exactly what makes the difference to both strangers and friends.

  12. No. The other blog did not resonate with me. What I read was what resonated with you.

    So, how could the other author resonate with me? Ah the dilemma of reviews. The person in the middle.

    Other than that, your post was pretty good. We should engage with our less fortunate colleagues and we MUST find a way to return American Culture back to a healthier lifestyle where fewer people suffer from mental illness just because of our society ….
    ;)

    ghost.

  13. Good Stuff. I especialy agree with “English author Graham Greene once said:

    Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.” Thinking positively is harder for some who perhaps need a visual reminder to be positive. Like a picture a ring or something to remind them to be positive.

  14. There are reasons why people who suffer from depression suffer in silence. I say “are” because it isn’t just one reason. There are many. As someone who has been dealing with deep feelings of depression for several months now, I can only really speak for myself, but I suspect that my reasons won’t be that much different from those of others.

    I don’t talk about it with my friends because there isn’t anything they can do about it. They can’t change the thing that is making me feel this way. They can’t suddenly make everything rose-colored. The thing that is causing my depression is something that I have no control over. The only thing I can control is how I handle it, and I’m having a bad time of it.

    I don’t talk about it with my friends because they don’t really know what to say. The only thing they can seem to say is “You just need time,” or “You’ll get over it,” or (and this is the worst thing to say, really) “Why are you so upset over this?”

    First off, to ask why we’re so upset trivializes what we’re feeling. It makes us feel like we’re being silly for feeling so sad. We don’t want to feel this way. Believe me, I certainly don’t, but I can’t seem to control that I do. Don’t make me feel bad for feeling bad.

    To say that time will make things better doesn’t really help either. When a person feels as low as one can get, time becomes endless. There is no difference between one day and the next. Everything blends into everything else. So to tell us that we just need to give it time makes us (at least this is the way I feel) feel like we’re staring into a black hole and the “light at the end of the tunnel” is miles and miles away, maybe not even there at all.

    To say we’ll get over it also trivializes what we’re feeling. It’s like you’re comparing what we’re feeling to having a cold or the flu. You’ll get over a cold eventually, this we know, but we don’t know when this sadness will go away. If there were a pill we could take, like there are pills for colds and the flu, we’d all be running to the drugstore, but it doesn’t work that way.

    I don’t like feeling this way everyday. I have my “good days”, but I mostly have awful days and some of those days are really, really bad. Those are the days when contemplating whether or not you want to continue with it becomes part of your inner dialogue.

    No one wants to have that conversation with his or her self. It’s not a fun conversation to have. But you have to figure that in order to have it, a person has to be in a really, really bad place emotionally.

    I don’t know what’s kept me here. I’ve had far too many really bad days. Sometimes I think it’s guilt that does. Guilt over what it would do to my family. But is that really a good reason? I mean, it’s not changing how I feel. If anything, it’s adding to all the other bad feelings I have already. Who knows? Some people do it, others (like the blogger we’re discussing) find reasons not to. In the end, we’re going to do what we feel is best for us.

    1. Simple Heart Girl, thank you so much for sharing your perspective. Reading your thoughts has made me consider precisely how I would reach out to someone when I sense something is wrong. Thank you for adding your voice and your point of view to this conversation.

    2. Simpleheartgirl:

      Your’re so right. Our troubles are “NOTHINGYOUCANSEE”.wordpress.com.
      Geez! Talk about yer crass self-promotion! I cant believe I just plugged my own site like that.
      Must be all the drugs! (And I don’t mean the desirable kind. So hard to get grass these days! :-) ).
      Well anyway, please do drop by my little nightmare.

  15. This hit me hard. My wife and I have recently lost our 33 year old Son. Some warnings and try as his wife did and as we did, just when we thought we were making headway; he took his life.
    We all need to learn more about depression and what causes it and how do we treat people suffering from it.

    1. ARPOASD71, agreed, we owe it to ourselves and the ones we love to learn more about depression and bipolar disorder. Thank you for sharing your deeply personal story.

    2. I am so sorry for your loss. Having lost a son as well, there is nothing in this world that can make it right for a child (even grown) to go before their parents. Know that I am here if you need to talk or your wife does.

  16. Hi Will,
    You are so right on the trouble we face today on many fronts. I feel however, we almost have to balance it with humor and smiles or we will all sink together. In my blog listed with this post, readers will see that I suffer from more than one health related and other wise serious maladies. Everyone knows I am not running around as little Susie Sunshine however a smile of silly comparison or a anecdote sometimes relieves the stress and gives us a little more strength to keep putting that one foot in front of the other. It all has its place here I feel, the laughter amid the tears, the cookie recipes and the fears. It’s life and most of us will avoid the alternative for as long as we’re able.

    1. Hi again katlb

      Agreed! Some of us are talented in spreading cheer. Others amongst us perform guard duty and man the watchtowers. I do the latter. I feel its critical that people have the TRUTH, no matter how un-pretty it may be!

      In my career I worker as a newspaper reporter, hence my predilection for digging up the dirt. Somebodys gotta do it!

  17. I immediately hit follow after reading. The first part of his post, hit me hard because it is exactly the same thing my sister was describing to me yesterday, only she does not know why she’s feeling so depressed lately. I will admit his story made me tear up because I saw where this could lead if my sister does not get the help and support and love she needs.

    Thank you for choosing blogs that really make us stop and think and examine ourselves. This guy chose to share such a personal part of himself and that takes so much courage. What has resonated most with me when I entered the blogging world is how much of a community this really is. This for me is priceless.

    1. I’m so glad you were able to find a post that helped you see what your sister is going through. I am your sister in this situation and so often I wish there was a way for someone else to help her understand what I”m going through. Glad you’re there to love and support her; I could not fight this disease without my sister.

  18. Such hope that it would be better is really worth sharing.
    To believe that one has survived worse that the present challenges and that the future holds better things, especially when we are there for the ones we love, is what makes life worth living beyond trying times.
    The extractions and narrations that make up this post resonated well with me.
    Keep up the good work Krista!

  19. Although a sad subject, I think it’s great that it has made it to freshly pressed to get the word out there. A lot of people don’t believe that depression is a real disorder. They never really will know what it is until they or someone close to them has suffered from it. Good work on getting the word out there

  20. Krista, since no one else has said it yet, I will: “Their” is plural but you repeatedly used it in place of the singular “his” or “her.” For example, you wrote, “The blogger relates the depth of their despair . . . .” This error is so distracting to the reader! We write for the purpose of communicating ideas and it is therefore helpful to be more specific. Giving the gender reference is helpful and communicates more information about the blogger. You’ll notice how you have confused your readers, as some refer to the blogger as “she” and others as “he.” Yes, I readily will acknowledge that what is vastly more important (than proper pronoun references) is the subject matter of the blog. I am glad that blogging is an available outlet for expression for the depressed, and it cheers me to read the comments of the individuals who have tried to reach out to encourage this particular blogger. As for me, I cannot follow this blogger because I am struggling with my sorrow over my son’s similar situation. It is just too painful right now. Sometimes distraction is therapeutic.

    1. Hi Linda, thanks so much for weighing in with your thoughts.

      Leaving out the gender reference was a conscious decision. Typically we do prefer to refer to bloggers by first name or by gender-specific pronouns. In this case, there are clues to the author’s gender in the blog, though none are definitive. You’re correct: “their,” in strict use is plural, though in the conversational tone and approach we use at Daily Post we feel it’s acceptable as singular.

      I’m glad that you have found some comfort in the ongoing conversation. Thanks again for reaching out.

      1. Tsk! Tsk! WordPress editor, for allowing such slippage of the King’s English on the site.
        A plural pronominal reference for a singular subject! GAD ZOOKS!
        This just won’t do!
        But then, I suppose I must keep in mind that inconvenient little war you Americans waged against King George.
        Really! Where will it all end?
        =-O

  21. There is such a lot of depression about. I know several people who suffer. It is very brave I think to blog about this condition. It is very misunderstood as are a lot of conditions of the mind.
    @Linda- ‘Their’ is perfectly acceptable English in the singular when you don’t want to have to repeat ‘his or her’ all the tile. I could go into this but a little off topic.

  22. I can’t express how glad I am to see a post about this topic gain traction. So often in the midst of depression you feel alone and that no one understands you. This blog can provide so much hope to those struggling, but also provide insight to those with loved ones struggling. Thanks for dealing with the topic in a professional and respectful manner.

  23. Yes, that’s the kind of blog I want to follow, and I will. So, so many people suffer mental health issues, emotional issues, personality issues, and the loneliness that often accompanies these conditions. Every human being suffers, as the psychologist Scott Peck wrote in “The Road Less Traveled.”

    I personally have suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression since third grade, or earlier. I have Asperger syndrome. I’ve had some pretty bad years, some bad decades. It gets better and it gets worse.

    The good news is you can learn coping skills with the help of a qualified therapist (and I must emphasize “qualified”). Medications can work miracles for many people, but not for everyone. Seek help. Don’t give up. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

    With help and the passing years, you may attain acceptance and peace, even if the illness never goes away. At the age of 64, most of my symptoms have been under control in recent years. I am realistic enough to think that depression may get worse as I become elderly. But I go forward with a fair amount of confidence, hope and faith. Writing definitely helps me.

  24. I’ve dealt with chronic depression and yes, while you are at the bottom, it seems like an endless dark tunnel, and you do not know how you would come out of it. Its true what some of the bloggers here have said, there is something in life to hang onto, whether it be your kids, your art, your writing, creative self-expression, family and friends. You just gotta hang in there and have faith, because you never know if the light at the end of the tunnel is just around the corner. It’s a wise and blessed choice to choose life. Even with the issue of suicide, I grew up with the faith that life is a gift from God, and only God should take it back.

  25. This post really resonated with me. My mother suffers from chronic depression. My family went through a lot of difficult times, and I think this is why I used to be a “glass half empty” kind of person. But one day I decided to focus on the positive side of life. Each night I thought about at least 3 things I could be grateful for. It didn’t have to be big things. Just the fact that it didn’t rain during the day was good enough to count as a blessing. Doing this every night before going to sleep trained my mind to think positively and I’ve now become a “glass half full” kind of person. I’m full of energy and I’m doing things I never thought I’d do before (like acting, writing a blog, trekking…). If you asked me if there was an antidote for depression, I would have to answer: gratitude. It changes everything.

  26. I feel as though writing is therapeutic and is a great way to get stuff off your chest and out of your mind. I think the mind at times can be a jail cell keeping us worrying, doubting, or feeling bad. Writing allows a release that is healthy and fun.

  27. I started a blog a few days ago upon discovering WordPress because of my deep sorrow over the loss of my precious son to suicide. Suicide is the fatal result of an all too misunderstood illness. A mother will go all the way back to the womb to try and understand what happened to her child….why this?

  28. It is so important that people get a chance to get the word out about depression. So many people suffer from it silently and if writing blogs can get the word out it is wonderful. Thank you!

  29. I’m currently completing my senior year at Harvard University. But I’ve suffered with anxiety, depression, and ADHD since 5th grade. I’ve had many suicide attempts to escape the pain of mental illness since it’s created indefinite roadblocks. I never talk about my struggles– to enjoy the gratification of being professional and productive!

    Although my blog is about well-curated style and not my personal heartache; writing, retaining loyal followers and receiving positive responses– give me an impetus to conquer and cope with my emotions, especially in Harvard’s hyper-competitive environment!

  30. i don’t understand what freshly pressed blogs are, and how you get on there. new to wordpress. can someone clear this up for me?

    1. Hi Prince,

      Welcome to WordPress!

      Each day, the WordPress.com Story Wranglers scour WordPress.com sites looking for great content on a variety of subjects. When we find a post we like, we “bump” it to Freshly Pressed. When you’re logged in to WordPress.com, and visit http://wordpress.com/#!/fresh/ you’ll be able to read the posts we’ve chosen to highlight for other readers.

      You can follow @freshly_pressed on Twitter to keep up on what we’re sharing.

      We look for strong, thoughtful writing and great photography in the posts that we highlight for Freshly Pressed. The Daily Post blog offers some tips on how to make the most of your WordPress site, writing prompts to help you get started, and we also share our thoughts on why we chose to feature a post on Freshly Pressed ever so often in the What makes a post Freshly Press-able series.

      1. Krista, please! You can give a better answer than: “When we find a post we like, we “bump” it to Freshly Pressed.” That’s one of the criticisms people often make of Freshly Pressed — that the decisions seem to be made casually, with no rhyme or reason. Some pretty weak posts have been on Freshly Pressed, consistently over the years.

        I’m trying to criticize positively. I’m one of WordPress’s biggest fans. I’ve been on WordPress since 2007 and I look at Freshly Pressed and many blogs, sometimes almost obsessively. (And I’ve been Freshly Pressed.)

        Matt has created something amazing out of nothing. I understand that WordPress continues to improve constantly, but with a relatively limited staff.

        I’m in awe of the power and functionality of the WordPress blogging system. Anyone can use it for free and potentially reach the world. I love the wide selection of themes.

        Freshly Pressed continues to confound many loyal WordPress readers. The posts displayed on Freshly Pressed are a handful out of several hundred thousand posts every day, several million every week. Please tell me that random WordPress staffers don’t simply “bump” posts they like to Freshly Pressed.

        Human beings can’t possibly make a fair or even a representative selection from so much material. Please tell me that WordPress has a system (probably computer software) which selects a number of posts from each of a wide variety of categories. Maybe 20 each from 50 different categories, based on some basic computerized criteria to select for quality of writing and content. Quality of writing should be one, but not the ONLY criteria, because that would exclude too many novice writers and too much valuable subject matter.

        20 posts X 50 categories = 1,000 posts. That’s still a lot. But one or several
        well-rounded and experienced editors could sift through that many and make a selection of truly exceptional posts based on something more than personal whim.

        Sorry to be so windy, and please don’t take this as anything but friendly feedback.

    2. Hi John,

      I did mention this in my reply:

      We look for strong, thoughtful writing and great photography in the posts that we highlight for Freshly Pressed.

      I did say that we bump posts that we like — and I could have been more specific about making the connection that when we like something, it’s because of the strong, thoughtful, writing and great photography we see. Thank you very much for taking the time to share your thoughts. I appreciate them. It’s passionate, loyal readers / readers like you who make the WordPress community so worthwhile.