I cannot believe that it is twelve years since I wrote my first tentative post on my blog. At the time, my life was so topsy turvy, living with an alcoholic husband, who was in and out of hospital; trying to keep life normal for a growing teenager with important exams on the horizon; walking a dog; helping an aged, partially-disabled mother; and keeping a household going single-handedly. I felt I was slowly sinking.
I had been drawn to blogland by one or two quite well-known blogs which featured in the daily press at the time and quite quickly dipped into more along the way. To start with I was just a reader, but one blogger, asked why I didn't blog. I remember thinking "what on earth I have I got to blog about that anyone would be interested in?" Then one day, a particularly awful day, when my mood was in my boots, I suddenly felt the need to write it all down to empty my feelings out and lighten my load. I had shared my problems of living with an alcoholic with nobody. Neither friends, nor wider family, nor neighbours knew a single thing. Those privy to the bare outlines (and I mean bare outlines) of the truth consisted of my mother and my sister-in-law but, as they geographically lived a long way away, I hardly saw them enough to share the minutiae of my troubles with them. I had bottled everything up inside until I was going to blow a gasket. So on that very bad day, I just sat down and typed and typed without stopping. Suddenly the penny dropped. This was not just my story, but there must be others in the same circumstances out there too. Maybe this was the beginnings of my blog.
So twelve years ago, I wrote this. I remember tentatively hesitating before I pressed the "Publish" button. I didn't think anyone would actually read it really and, in any case, it was mainly written for me. Did I want to wash my laundry in public? But, hell, nobody would read it anyway. I pressed "Publish". To my utter amazement I received eight comments within a few weeks and so my blogging existence began. I had readers!
Since then, its readership has waxed and waned. At the height of things I maybe got 40 to 70 comments. Now I am lucky to have three. I suppose the tale was quite gripping at the time, as the twists and turns of my marriage changed dramatically and Greg's condition worsened. Obviously, my ramblings since have become less about alcoholism and more about general things and interest has tailed off. I do however take great comfort from the fact that many people living with an alcoholic have found the blog a great help and even alcoholics themselves have thanked me for helping them to steer away from what was on the cards, if they continued drinking, having seen the tragic outcome for my husband.
Sometimes, I think I have run out of steam. Twelve years is a long time to keep a blog going, particularly as its original purpose is long finished. Yet I also feel it has been a useful tool to look back on the past - a sort of online diary - particularly to sometimes punch myself what that alcoholic past looked like, as the passing years have mellowed the reality somewhat. So I sometimes keep going for that alone. Having said that, I am not sure whether I shall continue or not. Maybe now is the end of the road. Or maybe there is more road ahead. Right now, I cannot make that call.