[Ed note: Please pardon what will probably multiple typos and spelling mistakes, maybe disjointed sentences and thoughts. The side effects of the Paxil withdrawal in that area seem to be much worse today - not to mention that I am having this weird aversion to light today and the brightness of the monitor is causing me to squint. Yes, I probably should just not blog today, but I did want to write this]
Much has been said about blogging as the new medium; blogging as the great voice of the little people; blogging as the future of news gathering, fact checking and money making on the web.
What's hardly said about blogs is this (for me, at least): The personal benefits have far outweighed any monetary/fleeting fame benefits.
Case in point: last night I wrote about my stupidity in taking myself off of Paxil without consulting my doctor. Between comments and emails, I have, since last night, corresponded with over one hundred people about anxiety meds, anxiety disorders, withdrawal from meds, the benefits of different types of medications and just life in general. I was up until about 2am answering emails and responding to comments.
I learned more last night than I could have ever learned from my doctor or pharmacist. There is something to be said for learning from experience and I have learned an awful lot from the experience of others.
The best part was getting emails from people who I normally consider my advesaries - people with whom I argue (sometimes nastily) on a daily basis and bloggers who I assumed were my arch enemies.
There is something very comforting about sharing your experience with others who know exactly what you are going through. When I try to explain the little electro-shocks in my head, they know what I mean. One person called them jellyfish stings and they didn't have to explain it farther.
What I'm saying is this: blogging is more than the newest fad. It's more than editorializing or opining or debating. It's more than a new way to make some money or a great way to get your writing skills recognized. No matter how corny this sounds or how many people dismiss the thought, the blogging world, for myself and many others, is a real community.
Think of all the times you have seen bloggers rallying around someone who needs help or prayers or money. It's like a community fund drive, but one that immediately stretches around the globe. Think of the power of something like that. Sure, that power can be used to drive corrupt politicians out of office or cheating writers out of newspaper jobs, but it can also be used for good and I think the blogging community (and by that I mean the entire community, not just one sub-genre of blogging) has shown just how much good it can do.
So I'd just like to thank everyone who helped me get through a rough night. And I would like to now send you all over to do the same for Kelley
, who has been diagnosed with MS.
We're good people. Even if we sometimes can't stand each other.