To blog or not to blog?

To blog or not to blog?

16th October, 2018

This month’s blog is a reflection on the benefits and drawbacks of ‘blogging.' I was inspired to begin blogging having read many other clients blogs on the Headway Cambridgeshire web pages. 

Being a blogger has been incredibly helpful in understanding and combating my own brain injury.  After reading several blogs, I realised that my own brain injury experiences might potentially help others in a similar situation to me.  For example, I wrote about my experience and the benefits of horticultural therapy hoping that this would inform others. 

Aside from the boost that I get from telling others about my experiences and hoping these are of benefit to them, it has meant that I have had to use a computer and word processor to produce the blogs.  Post my brain injury my typing skills leave a lot to be desired mainly due to my left sided weakness and visual impairment.  Hence, typing on a keyboard is very, very slow and inaccurate.  This rather hampers the online blogger and makes the work of the editor/mentor (aka Mum J) challenging, but does keep her employed!

Blogging helps test the boundaries of my cognitive abilities and where they need to improve.  Such cognitive abilities include:

  •  Planning – topic sourcing, decision making and sticking to deadlines
  • Communication – between myself, my ‘editor’ and Headway
  • Memory – remembering what I have done and what needs to be done (this has taken a lot of practice and is still from perfect!!)
  • Concentration – to get pen to paper as opposed to thinking and talking about it

I have found the use of speech activated software incredibly helpful when blogging, as this allows me to put my train of thought on paper without having to stop and start or lose focus. 

Strictures I have put on myself are that I am responsible for deciding the topic and have a mutually agreed ‘hand in’ deadline with Headway.  This helps with my organisation skills as I always attempt to stick to the agreed date.  It also keeps the blog fluid.

The less sunny side of blogging is the act of reflecting on my own brain injury, which I find can be emotional.  For example, I can sometimes find it hard to talk about what the future holds for me and the things that I want to achieve such as suitable employment and relative independence. 

Making myself aware of my feelings and aspirations, through the platform of blogging, means that I can identify and bring them to the surface. This enables me to put plans in action and helps reduce the impact of my worries.  It helps me to avoid ignoring my true thoughts and feelings, which is very therapeutic, although potentially often scary!

To blog or not to blog that is the question.  Weighing up the pros and cons my answer is.... I intend to keep on blogging! The overall benefits of blogging for me are that it has enormously benefited my higher functioning cognitive abilities e.g. provided an increase in concentration and the ability to stay focused over an extended period.  Admittedly, I find it difficult to get going sometimes, but once I do, the words tend to flow. 

To conclude, I have found blogging beneficial and hope that readers of my blogs who have experienced similar traumas, can relate to my ramblings as well as the realisation that we are not unique in our thoughts. From a selfish point of view, it has provided me with a feeling of normality and purpose some of which I felt I had lost.  Through the reflective practice of blogging, I now know that these were not lost but just well hidden. 

Ever since Headway has been involved, my son’s life has completely turned around.
Chris, Headway client