"But you worked hard on this blog post," Sebastian replied.
I let the mouse hover over "Publish Live" as thoughts raced through my mind: What if a future employer reads this like Mom said? What if someone leaves me a mean comment? What if…"
"What if people judge me? A lotta people don't understand depression," I said aloud.
"Just do it, babe. You donno how many people it'll help."
I pressed my fingers into my temples. "I'm scared."
"You said the same thing about your catcalling post. And look at how many people liked that one."
At first, publicly sharing my experience as a woman dealing with depression seemed to endanger the sense of security that writing in private gave me. Doing so was one of the most terrifying things I'd ever done.
It always feels as if I'm undressing on a stage before an enormous crowd, pointing to a scar on my body and saying, "Here's the story of how I got this."
But I trust in the saying, "With great risk, come great rewards."
In the song "For Miles," Thrice sings,
We've learned that if we'll
Open the wounds and share them then soon they start to heal.
As long as we live, every scar is a bridge to someone's broken heart.
I believe these words with all of my heart, which is why I believe writers should take risks with their writing.
Sharing pieces of myself in the most transparent way possible is often a very painful risk. Opening those wounds, however, allows room for healing in myself, in others and in society as a whole.
Although, I'd love to be able to make a living through Equis Place, this healing is the greatest reward of the risk I take by blogging publicly about my life.
Within a day of honestly sharing my story of depression on Equis Place, the post had reached at least 200 people, and within days of publishing my post on my terrible experiences with catcalling, 467 people "liked" it. But, as much as seeing those numbers made the impact of my writing real to me, I could care less about the numbers. I care more about the people behind them.
It amazed me how many people could relate to my experiences.
So even if only two people had liked it and commented to say how my post helped them face their own fears and tragedies, I would've been happy.
Sharing the bare truth of my experiences as a mom, as a woman and as a family member is never easy.
Doing so is always worth it, though.
That's something I wish everyone would realize--that our hurts allow us to connect to others in as important a way as our joys do.
I know that each time I share a part of my life story through Equis Place, I am helping myself and others move one more step towards freedom from the pain that keeps us captive.
This freedom is present in the strength we feel after facing our fears. This freedom is present in the relationships we build by engaging in a conversation about them.
I also hope that by exposing the difficulties of my life and the challenges I face in society as a woman and mother of color, I am helping to create justice for myself and for others.
After all, my desire for freedom is the reason I started this blog in the first place.
How do you take risks in your life? What are the rewards?
This post is also linked to Shell's Pour Your Heart Out.