Okay, so for the sake of transparency...this is a question that I asked of someone I admire very much a week ago today. Not because I wanted "the" answer, but because I wanted "their" answer. They answered in the best way I can imagine, however I do have my own answer, so that's what this blog post is. It's my answer. It just happens to be very similar but not as well worded as the answer given by the person I asked last week. Because that person is an author, and is doing the same as I am but on a much, much larger scale.
Any time I prepare to release a blog post revealing a new piece of my story, I get scared. Vulnerability is scary, there's no two ways about it. Laying yourself bare in a world where people have a tendency to forget that they're talking to human beings with histories and emotions is a very scary thing. So even if something I'm writing about isn't new to me, but is something I've not talked about publicly before, I get scared. I wonder how people will react. I publish the piece anyway.
I publish it anyway because I never know who might read it, who it might help, who will realise that they aren't alone. I never know who will be pulled back from that edge that nobody likes to talk about, just because they know there's someone else out there who has felt the same things they're feeling and come out the other side.
One of my favourite films at the moment is To Write Love On Her Arms. A couple of times in the film, people say "secrets make you sick". That's another reason I push through the fear of vulnerability and speak out. It keeps my head above water when I feel like I'm drowning under the weight of something I've carried alone for months, sometimes even years.
This website has well over 100 blog posts on it now, so this overcoming fear thing has become a bit of a learned behaviour for me in the last 6 months. There's no way you can lay out all of your secrets on a nearly daily basis for 6 months and still feel paralysed by fear afterwards. You learn to manage the fear, to talk to people, to ask friends to read the post and get back to you so you know there are friendly faces out there reading what you've said. It all comes down to working out what you need to do to keep the fear at a manageable level.