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One Big Happy

[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.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference One Big Happy:

» Blogging: Not Your Parents' Online Community Tool from the media drop
Michele at A Small Victory writes about blogging and how it has an impact not only for the greater good, but that effect it can have on a blogger or blog reader individually is astounding. Much has been said about... [Read More]

» A real community from sisu
"We're good people. Even if we sometimes can't stand each other," writes Michele at A Small Victory, marveling at the way the blogosphere is so much more than just a forum for political ranting: What I'm saying is this: blogging [Read More]

» It's not just "News" - It's FILLER! from Who Tends the Fires
The Word for the Day is: "Villification" "Wheel! Oh, keep your touch; we're goin' round a corner. Time! -- mark time, an' let the men be'ind us close. Lord! the transport's full, an' 'alf our lot not on 'er --... [Read More]


Nicely put! I hope you feel better very soon.

And there's always the fallback to the happy warm fuzzy stuff like catblogging. There's nothing more enjoyable than seeing pictures of other people's cats doing silly things to get you through the horrible, awful workday.

In some ways, the blogsphere reminds me of the old days (pre 1994) of Usenet.

I hate cats.

By George, I think you've got it. It's easily the greatest thing about blogging. The sense of community. The caring that people have for each other. I am surprised (and delighted) to hear that you are getting support from "enemies". Maybe at some level we all really can "just get along". here's hoping. And I hope you feel better soon.

You're totally onto something there, Michele. When I decided to go ahead and blog that I'd been diagnosed with breast cancer this past summer, within hours I had emails from others who'd gone through treatment, letting me know of good resources, tips for dealing with chemo/nausea/radiation/hovering relatives, and so on. It was like having a support group without having to leave the house. And when I blogged that I'd be participating in the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk this July, the response was incredible -- so far, I've raised $4,185, and over 25% of that is from fellow bloggers.

The sense of community is, truly, a great thing. For me, it's possibly the best thing about blogging.

What are you talking about, you fascist. Bush=Oil. BusHitler.

Um, death to us.

Or something.

Stop talking about what unites us. We must focus on what divides us! Partisanship is good! The Other Party is inherently evil! Anyone who speaks naughty about the Leader is evil! Anyone who criticizes asinine criticism is evil!

The main thing is that we must not, by any means, join with fellow Americans; we must verbally assault each other, and call the party we don't like, "traitors."

Because that is the way we come out of the war together, which is what counts.

Alternatively, possibly not.

I wonder what blogs during WW11 would have read like. Not pretty, I suspect.

I gotta get better at this "satire" stuff.

I know my life has been enriched by the support I've gotten from my online community through the years. It still amazes me to some extent.

Hope you're feeling better today, Michele.

oh I hate getting along..

Can't we all just go back to bickering?

Michele - It's not just for bloggers. While I don't have a blog, my life has been enriched by you, Meryl, Connie and Kim DuToit. Misha,Acidman (who I love like a brother), Sheila O'Malley, Stevie at caughtinthecrossfire, Kelley at keyissues and kelley at suburbanblight and Stephen the vodkaman. I know I'm leaving out many, (don't even get me started on Glenn or Bill Quick), you all have opened up a whole new world for me and I shall be eternally grateful. I wish you all love and the joy of the season. Terry

Yeah... I know. Despite that I don't have as much time as I might like to update, I still find it lonely to have closed down my own blog. (getting out of the kitchen, etc)

Well said. It really is amazing what a bunch of very different people have built out here in blogland.