Monday, July 22, 2013

Why The Duchess of Cambridge (Kate) Would Find Treatment Diaries Comforting.

How many of you keep or have in the past, kept a private written record of your thoughts and feelings?

How many of you would feel comfortable publishing your emotions and having hundreds or even thousands of people read them?

During my teens I often expressed my teenage angst in a diary that is so well hidden I have no idea where it is now!

So given my preference for privacy you might be wondering how I came to be writing a blog, especially one that expresses a myriad of emotions.( I often wonder this myself!)
It is certainly a question I imagine my UK family and  friends are often asking. As you probably know us Brits are not well known for revealing how we truly feel. After all we coined the phrase "keep a stiff upper-lip." 

I couldn't help but think about Kate, The Duchess of Cambridge, and how she must be cringing at the thought of the world in a frenzy about her birthing details. Millions of people discussing the ins and outs of her contractions as though they were in the room with her. And then writing them down for posterity. I am squirming on her behalf.

 As you know my blog Brainstorm was born out of telling the story of my husband's battle with trigeminal neuralgia and his recovery from brain surgery. There is no doubt that it has been therapeutic for me to write about our journey and many of you have told me how many of the posts have resonated with your own experiences or changed your perspective in some way. 

However if I'm being completely honest with you - there is much that I haven't written about on Brainstorm. I couldn't really find the words to explain how I choose what to reveal publicly  and what I would keep in my private diary, ( if I knew where it was.....)

Then I found Treatment Diaries on Twitter. Treatment Diaries was created by Amy Ohm @treatdiariesCEO a cancer survivor who understands that patients and caregivers need to talk about their situations but don't always want to do it publicly. I was intrigued with their mission. 
Treatment Diaries is

Social but PRIVATE...anonymously connecting individuals affected by any
 illness through online health related conversations captured in personal diaries............

After reading this I understood where my revelation limits were and how important a role Treatment Diaries plays in filling the gap between public forum and private diary. 

In collaboration with Treatment Diaries @treatdiaries I have written a blog post about bringing comfort to caregivers and patients and am thrilled to have the opportunity to discuss caregiving and bringing comfort as a guest on their #treatchatdiaries on Tuesday 7/23/2013 at 8.00pm ET. 

If you have a twitter account I hope you'll join me. If you would like to know more about how twitter chat works please email me. 

If you are a blogger I'd love to know how you choose what to reveal and what to keep private.

If you keep or have kept a diary, why do you do so and how has it helped you process your feelings?

Keep in touch and let me know. You can always message me privately too! ( I understand I'm British!)

And Kate, if you're reading this: congratulations and if you ever need some anonymous support, now you know of a place to vent!


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  1. Brilliant! I worked with Cancer patients through writing one summer - I didn't realize it had a name! I also worked with a spiritual writing coach when I was in rabbinical school - and it was an important catalyst in my rabbinic identity formation. I presume this was a type of Treatment Diary also...
    Thanks for this, Gilly!

    1. Certainly sounds like it Kara.-sharing your feelings in a written form with only the people you choose.
      I love this middle ground between blog and private diary, because it is in the small circle or one-on-one sharing that you can be completelty honest and get supportive feedback, but only from those you have chosen to share with. And as you say not only do you get feedback but that can lead to self-growth as well. There is also therapy in being able to help others as you yourself are being supported.

  2. Yes, it's the same Martyn as @ZkidooKreativ! I find that sharing my own experiences, as a way of helping others, helps me express things, and indeed feelings, publicly, something, as a fellow Brit, I probably wouldn't otherwise do. Blogging and Twitter help me share my feelings with others, in a way I probably wouldn't do, face-to-face, with complete strangers.

    1. Hi Martyn -Great to talk to you in more than 140 characters! Thank you for visiting Brainstorm.
      I agree with you. Writing also gives you a chance to think about what you want to say and review it before publishing or tweeting. Except of course during a tweetchat which I am about to do.....I think using writing as a medium for expression has made me braver too. Are you writing on your own blog? Please send me the link if you are.Looking forward to more chats on Twitter and brainstorm with you.