But doing this project makes me vulnerable to criticism on multiple fronts:
- The program I am working on is designed and adapted for chronic pain rather than PCS. There's no evidence it will work, even though I think the concept of pain/symptom pathways persisting after parts of the body have healed because they've been well-used can be seen as pretty much the same process. So I'm curious about the overlap.
- Reprogramming the brain through cognitive therapy and mindfulness is an accepted treatment for disorders that are considered primarily emotional (i.e. depression, PTSD) and it's not clear to me why there's such a differentiation between emotional disorders with physical symptoms (like sleep or weight changes that come with depression) and physical disorders with emotional symptoms (like anxiety due to chronic pain from a back injury), but because there's cultural shame in having a mental illness, those with physical illnesses often want no part of mental health treatment, even if it helps cure them. So doing this opens me to that kind of backlash.
- I combine this treatment with meds, physical therapy, and cognitive rehab. There's no way of knowing (if I do have progress) which was most helpful. But I still think it's important to describe how it feels and what seems to be related.
- This treatment involves self-disclosure, and that opens me up to the judgment of others regarding my choices, my interpretations, and even my writing. Expressing yourself is always difficult but doing so with a lot of cognitive symptoms means I may not explain a concept clearly, or may not understand it fully. I make a lot of mistakes. It's relatively easy to point them out.
I want people to read this blog project because I want to help others with my kinds of problems.
At the same time, I worry about backlash. This year has been a horrid one for bloggers, with vicious, dehumanizing comments made on thoughtful blogs that range from provocative to innocuous, with especially disturbing remarks reserved for women expressing (perhaps) unpopular views. You can't unread or unthink that stuff when it's said about you. Writing honestly (and not anonymously) on the internet has become increasingly risky.
I think the risk is worth it, but I hesitated for months before deciding to go forward. In my experience the comments on my posts have been constructive; some are spam and I screen them out. Only a few have been critical but those were not harsh.
That could change any day, and although I think I'd keep going regardless, I'm not sure. I like that Blog Action Day 2015 is focused on having more respect for the efforts people are putting into blogging for the sake of helping others.
I really hope it helps.
Thanks for listening, I'll be back tomorrow with my post on the next NPD step (Awareness).