Before I talk about why I’ve stopped blogging, let me tell you why I’ve decided to start writing again. This week, my Doctor started me on blood pressure medication after a grueling two month period of testing. My pulse and blood pressure is very high for someone my age, and it’s also extremely sudden for me to have high blood pressure. I’ve had a rough winter, health wise, and had strep twice and numerous upper respiratory infections. I had my tonsils removed when I was six, so strep has been a nightmare. My doctor discovered my high blood pressure during my first bout with strep. I spent the past two months going for multiple tests: EKG’s, renal artery ultrasounds, eye exams, urine exams, blood tests. All to rule out a secondary reason for high blood pressure that could be a reoccurance of pseudotumor cerebri that I had back in 2004 to a tumor (g-d forbid). The tests all came back normal, which means that I have developed sudden high blood pressure. And we don’t know why. I’ve recently dropped 30 kilos since my baby’s birth, I don’t eat too much salt, and I exercise. I called my Aunts and cousins to find out if there’s a family history of high blood pressure on my Mom’s side and was told that my maternal Grandmother’s side of the family tended towards high blood pressure. Hitler took care of my paternal side of the family, so I can’t really call around there. But, genetics aside, it’s baffling that I should suddenly have high blood pressure.
Until I thought about it. About the stressful year I’ve gone through: from last summer’s “war” to the fall’s terror attacks in Jerusalem. Combined with work stresses, lack of sleep, and some family issues, and there are days where I find it hard to take a breath. And through it all, I’ve had no outlet. Sure, I have my DH and my best friend to talk to, but sometimes those conversations just aren’t enough. And, in the past, I had my writing as an incredible outlet for my stress. I would open up to my WordPress platform and write the things that were on my mind and when I would hit the publish button, I felt this tremendous sense of relief.
But I stopped writing for an entire year. And what I’ve discovered is that I lost my outlet, and my health has suffered for it.
So why did I stop writing? Primarily, I stopped writing because I felt torn about the things I was sharing with the ethernet. Mostly, I felt that I didn’t have a right to share personal stories about my children with the universe. I mean, I don’t ask them permission to blog about their cute stories or challenges, and that’s not fair. It’s not fair of me to decide to share their personal lives with strangers. I spend a lot of time reading other Mommy bloggers and sometimes, I’m surprised with some of the stories they’ve chosen to share with the world. I wonder how their words will one day impact their children. As we all know, once it’s out on the internet, it’s there for life.
I thought about all of the bullying I endured as a child. I remembered some of the nasty names I was called, some of the horrible experiences I went through (getting locked in a 7 minutes in heaven closet with a guy I had a crush on while the rest of my “friends” laughed and held the door closed), or when YK at Camp Moshava drew a giant picture of a cow with an arrow towards his ass with the words “Shira Cowass” in big letters and then dropped the picture into my lap on a Shabbat afternoon. Then I thought about those experiences living on YouTube or Instagram, and it’s too horrific. For me, those horrible stories live in my memories alone. In today’s day and age, those videos and images are posting on social platforms for the world to see and laugh at. I thought about what would happen to my children if some of the stories I shared about them on my blog were used as fodder for bullying. How terrible I would feel is an innocent story would be used to tease or ridicule them, all because a nasty classmate Googled my blog and read some of these stories. I wondered what would happen if a potential employer read my blog and saw some of the challenging posts and deduced that it must be a character flaw and decide not to hire them.
So, I decided to stop blogging about my children. I already had a policy to not blog about my spouse, and suddenly I wondered why anyone would bother reading what I was writing. If I wasn’t writing about my children or my relationship anymore, what would I write about? I don’t blog about politics, and there’s really only so many blog posts I could write about challenges living as an ex-pat in Israel.
And so months went by and my fingers would itch when I sat down at my computer and the words would race through my brain and I mentally composed blog post after blog post. I mentally wrote about my feelings running with my children to our sealed room during missle attacks, and my heartbreak when the three kidnapped teens were discovered murdered. I mentally blogged about my decision to carry a cell phone to shul in Jerusalem during the fall, when terrorists were using their cars as weapons, or stabbing strangers in our city with meat cleavers and knives. I mentally blogged about cash flow problems and the astronomical cost of living in Israel. I mentally blogged about the challenges of an immigrant parent with a child going through first grade, and all the ways I was failing her. I mentally blogged about the Israeli Taxes Authority, who decided that I owed them money and went into my personal bank account and withdrew almost 3,000 shekels. This put us into minus at the bank and, for the first time in my life, I had to put our groceries on a payment plan. I mentally blogged about the sudden death of my beloved Grandmother, and how I spent 10 weeks crying every Friday night after dinner. I mentally blogged about new recipes, the latest Yotam Ottolenghi cookbook, and my secret desire to open a pop up restaurant. I mentally blogged about food allergies in Israel, and the struggles we’ve been having trying to figure out how to feed our children.
But I never put these words to paper. I never wrote them down in public or in private, and they went through my mind and were forgotten the next morning. The emotions remained bottled up inside.
So, here I am. I’m tired. My choices for blood pressure medication included a side effect that included swollen ankles or one that made me tired. So, I opted for the one that makes me tired. I figured, I’m already really tired, I might as well keep my skinny ankles.
And, I’ve decided along with continued diet and exercise, and watching all the sodium that I eat, to resume writing again. I’m still going to avoid blogging about my children, and my spouse, but I’m going back to writing about my feelings. My experiences as an immigrant Mother living in Israel. As a small business owner trying to grow my business and find fulfillment in my career. As a foodie, who loves to experience new and exciting cuisines that Israel has to offer. And as a crusader, as I work to improve Israel’s attitude towards food allergies.
I hope it will be the catharsis that I so desperately need, and I hope you’ll do me the honor to follow me on my latest journey towards a health life.