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Having a moment of self-reflection that’s been percolating all week…

Why did I want to publish my journal back in January?

  1. I wanted to feel connected to the outside world after a long, self-imposed isolation. I had been pretending with a frozen smile on my face for quite a while, and it was a relief to just let it go.
  2. I wanted to continue with my newly-emerging pattern of brutal, almost belligerant honesty… Here I am and I don’t care what you think of me.
  3. I wanted to just cleanse a bunch of junk – when I put my thoughts out there for others to read, I let go of them on some level, and actually felt lighter and free-er.
  4. I think it might have been an attempt to find others like me… other motherless daughters who are wandering aimlessly. Others who have fought breast cancer and lost. Others who have watched a parent die. Others who have really dark, depressing, unacceptable thoughts and are scared to say them.

And now, it’s two months after I “went public.” (It needs to be stated that I fully realize that “going public” is an overstatement. By “public,” I mean anyone besides me. I can count my “public” on one hand.) So what now? Do I keep writing? If so, then what do I write? Do I write the “real” stuff even if it’s not pretty and not fun and, as my sister Jennifer so eloquently said, is just plain depressing? Or do I join the mainstream blogging world, lighten up, and quit taking myself and my drama so seriously? But is there anything more serious than losing someone like Mama? Isn’t this the one topic that should be taken seriously above and before everything else?

The journal was honest. The blog is not. This week was a tough one, and I wrote because it helps. I wrote in my old stand-by Word doc, where there are no judgments, no readers, no other opinions to consider or not consider. But then yesterday, I posted those journal entries. And I don’t know why. They’re depressing, sad, not anything that anyone would want to read. But am I writing for anyone else? I don’t know. I feel embarrassed, overexposed, vulnerable knowing that others have read my private thoughts – not because I don’t want to share them (because obviously I had a choice), but because I’m afraid that people who are important to me will think less of me. That they’ll think I’m wallowing in self-pity. I guess I am. Is that ok?

But putting the real stuff out there has helped… for example, Kathy from SC. Her one comment caused an entire realization and resulting growth, and if I hadn’t put the depressing crap out there, she wouldn’t have read it and disagreed with me, and I would have potentially never acknowledged that I was making sweeping over-generalizations about triple negative breast cancer.

So as a result of this internal conflict, my blog has developed a split personality – there are now two Sarah’s warring for supremacy. Sad Sarah is… well, sad. She’s been sad for a while now, and according to Dr Jerry, she’ll be sad on varying levels for the rest of my life. Then there’s Social Sarah. She was the Lander Homecoming Queen, president of her sorority, the girl who married Bobby, the girl who smiles even when shit pisses her off. Sad Sarah took over when Mama died… she was infuriated and hurt and she wanted everybody to know it. Social Sarah ran for cover… we actually thought she might be dead for a while – that maybe she crawled into that cherry casket with Mama. But she’s not dead – she was just giving Sad Sarah her space, and now, almost 7 months later, Social Sarah’s reemerging, slowly but surely, squinting in the sun, stretching the kinks out, and starting to gradually reinsert herself into the world.

Mama would die laughing if she could hear this conversation that I’m having with myself – my habit of labeling things in order to understand them was one that amused her greatly. Eww – I just said “die laughing” – and now I just laughed. It’s really not funny – just twisted, but not funny. But I’m still laughing. Just a sidenote – I remember right after Mama’s mastectomy, Grandma B came into the hospital room, and was “comforting” her. Grandma said “Well, you’ll be fine now that you’ve got that off your chest,” and then she immediately got the most stricken look on her face while Mama started howling with laughter. Mama talked about “getting things off her chest” for a long time after that… it was her favorite mastectomy joke. My mother had a mastectomy joke repertoire. Oh my.

Ok, anyway. Back to the split personality… So should I continue blogging? Or journaling? Or both? If so, should I be Sad Sarah, Social Sarah, or both? If I blog as both, should I start logging in as whoever I am, so at the bottom of the post, it’ll clarify the author, and then my readers, all two of them, could sort by whoever they’re in the mood for? If they’re in a happy-go-lucky kinda mood, they could read the Social Sarah posts…. If they’re in a wrist-slitting kinda mood and want to finish themselves off, they could go with the Sad Sarah option.

Or maybe none of this matters and this is a stupid conversation that I just had with myself.


Here’s a picture of Mama that makes me laugh… She was singing with great enthusiasm during our annual Fall family picnic. I think I’ll end on this note. Note… get it? Like musical note? Ha.