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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

One Year Blog Anniversary

One year ago, on June12, 2011, I launched this blog with a post about successfully photographing lupine at park near my house.

I wasn't entirely new to blogging. I'd been keeping online journals, both private and semi-private, since before they were called blogs. (Remember Diaryland, anyone?) I decided to get into blogging publicly because Etsy recommended it as a way to promote your store and I'm always writing essays in my head on various topics anyway, so I was not opposed to promoting my work and my thoughts in written form! I was also looking for a platform from which to do mental health advocacy work, especially since the onset of the migraines meant I wouldn't be able to do anything that involved showing up in person.

Unfortunately, less than one month after I started this blog, I accidentally hit my head on the stair rail and ended up with a concussion that I have yet to fully recover from. The migraines had already made it more difficult for me to articulate my thoughts and since the concussion, there have been many days where an insurmountable gulf lies between what I wish to say and my ability to say it. (I had intended to post this on the actual anniversary of launching my blog, but was unable to finish it yesterday because my mind quit working!) The easiest posts to write are the ones that describe something I've done, like a weekend spent dog-sitting or spending time with the horses. The more nuanced, thoughtful pieces continue to be very hard to get down: I have two in draft mode, for example, that I haven't been able to work on for weeks. I have enough ideas that I could easily post every other day, but my brain simply can't work that way anymore.

That said, I have managed to write several post that I consider meaningful and important and that have moved people in return. Most of the posts I want to highlight are a bit on the heavy side, so if you'd prefer to look at beautiful photos and hear about my exploits with horses and dogs, you're best bet is to scroll through my blog archives instead! The following are some of my favorites:

Can't Regret What I Did For Love
I wrote this post about not regretting things done with the best intentions shortly after hitting my head.

A Day of Mourning: A Migraine Anniversary
This post sums up everything you need to know about what it is like for me to be living as a chronic migraineur.

My Migraines: A Visual Handbook
This illustrated post defines my migraines in pictures.

The Darkest Evening of the Year
In this post, I recall one of the bleakest days in my early days of confronting my just-diagnoses and as-yet untreated mental illness and why it's worth remembering still.

More Than Just My Diagnoses
I consider this to be one of the most important things I have written and something that I want to share with others!

Choosing My Sorrows: Thoughts on Dogs and Loss
This post I wrote about why I felt sad about the death of a dog I'd never met really resonated with people. Strangers wrote me to thank me for saying what they had been unable to put into words. What started as a sad experience and a personal examination of grief turned into something positive for many people and underscored for me the value of sharing what I have to say.

To cope with the limitations imposed on my life by health problems requires a mindset that focuses on what is positive rather than what is negative. In this post, I walk through my way of thinking about the world so that I am capable of experiencing gratitude on a daily basis.

Haiku of Horses
This is one of the very shortest pieces I've written about my recent experiences with horses, but it says it best.

This first year of blogging has seen me through a variety of ups and downs, including a head injury, the opening of a second Etsy store, being granted disability benefits, buying my fancy pants camera, facing some old sexual harassment issues, the death of an old kitty I cat-sat for many years,  the death of my grandfather, getting involved with horses, and encountering a shrew-mole! I can't wait to see what interesting photos and experiences this next year of blogging will bring!


  1. Hi Colleen. I just wanted to let you know that I'm working my way through the posts you've listed here and I'm so touched by your journey. I've learned a lot already (your migraine descriptions were really amazing) and I so appreciate you sharing your story with us.

  2. Congrats on your Blogiversary :)

    It has been fun getting to know you, your photos and story are inspiring :)

    Have a lovely weekend, cheers, T. :)