Friday, October 23, 2009

Self respect vs. Reality

Don't know how many of you read Penelope Trunk's "Brazen Careerist" but I do from time to time and I love it. In terms of blogging, Penelope has been there and done that, and she writes at times about VERY personal subjects, her exes, her sex life, her career, her co-workers and THEIR personal issues.

That's such a hard thing to figure out when you are blogging. What to write about and what to NOT write about. Especially when your basic focus and subject is extremely personal. Penelope has a list of do's and don't's for blog writing. Among them: don't blog anonymously (coughcough), be honest with people about what you are writing about them (coughcoughcough...I'm honest in general but really, most of the people I write about don't even know I HAVE a blog), and "know what not to write".

Uhhh. Well yeah, there are a few things I'm not going to go into detail about. But here's my complications...a) I'm writing about my journey through being diagnosed with and learning how to live with ADHD as an adult. That's not especially gentle territory. To make it so would be inherently dishonest. Is the devil in the details? It touches on every area of my life after all. b) (I really do abuse list-making, sorry) I do write anonymously. You know what I look like, and basically what I do...but I aside from a handful of people who "know" me, I'm anonymous and I don't really intend to start identifying myself literally. I happen to be lucky enough to have a "real name" that is so generic that even when I use it, people probably think I made it up, haha, so maybe identifying myself wouldn't really be very valuable anyway.

I've been thinking about this a lot because I've gotten into some very personal territory lately. I am very honest about my experiences, from my perspective anyway, because I feel that there is value in that. Are there points where honesty could undermine my aspiration to show people that adults with ADHD are productive, creative members of society? And perhaps my anonymity even undermines that...because there are aspects of my life that I don't discuss as much because they would serve to identify me pretty explicitly? I guess I just don't believe that my story is as useful in only two dimensions. I'm like that offline too get what you get. I know how to "play the game" when I have to, but really am only willing to play it for just so long if it means pretending to be someone or something that I'm not. Or something I believe is wrong.

And how to know what NOT to write. Sigh. What NOT to write. How does an ADHDer develop the discretion to not share too much...HAHA...that's a joke...lots of us know what not to say when we have the luxury of a written page and time for self-editing. It's in person that I sometimes say stupid crap that I shouldn't and even then people usually think I'm kidding. See...half the time people will think what they want about what you write or say anyway...and how can you control that?

I guess with Penelope as a mentor that gives me quite a bit of leeway, after all, she's the woman that was recently dragged like a carcass all over the internet for blogging her true feelings about having a miscarriage at work (don't ask, you can Google it and find out for yourself...if you ever wanted to see women eat each other alive, that's the post/comment thread for you).

But even Penelope didn't go into the detail of THAT. She didn't need to...people really flipped out over ONE SENTENCE that involved no explicit detail.

So...we have no control over what people think of us anyway. That right there is a lesson that anyone with ADHD or any other mental health issue for that matter, should really take to heart.

Got it.

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