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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.

83 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

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