Retro Reading: When We Hit 100 Followers (January 2015)


********This is from the archives and was published when the blog hit 100 followers. As we come up on 1000, I thought it would be fun to read this. (Do you think I should give a prize to our 1000th follower? Like some bipolar meds?)

Well, this kind of snuck in under the wire. We have officially hit one hundred followers!

When I started this blog, I think I had a vague idea of what a “follower” was…after all, I had been following a couple of blogs myself. And I remember getting my first follower or two. That was darned exciting. But I don’t think I envisioned myself with 100 followers. And certainly not within five months. (Should we count the first month? It really sucked!)

I am not crazy enough to believe that 100 people are out there anxiously awaiting my next entry. Some of my followers have probably drifted far, far away and either don’t read blogs anymore or don’t read mine. But just to have 100 folks hit the follow button is a big deal.

I follow about 20 blogs. I do read most of the stuff they put out. I will say that many of them have become inactive. It doesn’t take me long to go through my twenty blogs because many of them also don’t publish too often. One blog I follow publishes photos about once a month. That doesn’t take to long to check out. Other blogs write very short entries. So that makes it go pretty quickly. There are only one or two that I am addicted to and I always aggressively check to see if they’ve written anything. I am sort of following their story as it unfolds.

I don’t know how I feel about the number of followers I have. I’d be glad to have more, but that isn’t the reason I go on. I think a hundred followers is a really good base. The reason I started this whole thing was to shut up my docs and friends about journaling. I just never liked to journal because it seemed like a big dead end. I mean a) my handwriting is so shaky a regular journal would not look good b) I wouldn’t really want my friends and family reading all this crap. But there is something about a blog. I have been VERY honest on this blog. There’s something about it being semi-anonymous that lets me feel free to write.

My women’s support group (which is Christian based) knows that I blog. They recommend some sort of journaling and they accept my blogging as totally acceptable. My bipolar group also knows I blog and they are impressed and all want to read it. But with the exception of one friend, I have kept this anonymous as best I can. I do use the one friend who reads this as a good person to bounce things off of.

One goal my blog has sort of weaseled into in helping with mental health awareness. I’m not saying I am your average bipolar person, but I might be close. You know, the person who is pretty functional a lot of the time but has trouble holding a job. The person who responds well to meds. The person who has solid long term relationships. The person who has had lots of days in bed or on the couch but can also run holiday parties and get to social activities.

As I am browsing around the blogging world I see blogs with 300K followers. Now that’s a bit much. I don’t know what the ideal amount would be. One reason I would like to increase my followers is to increase my comments. I can’t tell you how nice it is to get a comment or some feedback on an entry. I don’t even care if people say “my God that was dull.” I just like to hear from both old and new readers and hear what you are thinking. I like to feel that I am on this journey with others. To practice what I preach, I do try to leave comments at my other favorite blogs, just to let them know I am out there. And I feel like I have I have made some anonymous blog friends. I love it.

I have had a few nice comments lately. I am paraphrasing here but someone said “I like your blog. It is just like you are sitting down and talking to me.” I think that’s a pretty high compliment. I want this blog to feel like we are all in this together. Especially if you have MI, young adult children, weight problems, or anything else going on in your life. My life is definitely more than just mental illness. And I think this has come about in a big way because of the encouragement of the people reading.

It’s kind of interesting that we are hitting the number 100 followers right at the beginning of the year. I suppose I should be ambitious like many of my fellow bloggers and set some sort of goals for next year. I don’t know if followers pick up as the ball gets rolling, or if they keep just coming in at the same regular rate.

So whether you are an “official” follower or not, I thank you for being here. I feel like I have created a tiny community here on mental illness and the joy of bipolar. And more important, on the recovery from bipolar. Through me, you have learned that it is one step forward and three steps back.

We are supposed to some up with one word for the year for our women’s support group. Some other girls are using hope, or balance. You’re supposed to pray about it. I haven’t prayed much, but I have come up with either “acceptance” or “recovery”. I don’t really want to accept myself as is but I don’t think I can be in full recovery. I need a word between those two.

So whether you are one of the 100 or just a casual reader, thanks for being here. You’re needed and wanted.

hugs, lily

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