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Friday, September 10, 2010

Why Do I Write This Blog?

The short answer is: Because I want to!

But since I am writing it, the long answer follows. I am not suggesting here that everyone with dementia would benefit from writing a blog or a journal. I am not saying there is any benefit to reading this blog. I am saying that I find it useful and enjoyable for me. Every case of FTD is different.

I am writing this because I recently re-examined whether or not I was going to continue. This is a bit of a rehash of what I wrote earlier in the What and Why - About This Blog page, but these are the current reasons I decided to continue writing rather than why I started it in the first place.

Writing this blog has many advantages and benefits for me - It is also a royal pain in the butt sometimes.

If you are considering writing, here is some superficial insight. Really, just Google it. There is a lot of helpful information out there.

There are some days when I never want to see this blog again, and never want to write anything again. This is nothing new. I used to feel that way when I was writing in the past. Occasionally I do not know where to start, or have trouble initiating the action of writing. Once I get started it is fun, but it isn't always easy to get started. Sometimes it is difficult to stay on task, and finish what I am writing - especially if I get interrupted by something - like a phone call. I take my time. I write a little bit, watch TV or do something else, then write a little more. I save often, and work on a post over a few days. For me it is a lot of fun most of the time.

Before I ever started it I made a list of about a hundred different things relating to bvFTD to write about, so I have plenty of subject matter. I had also been documenting what I was going through, so I had a lot of it already written before I actually started the blog. I have not looked at my list in quite a while because new ideas pop up based on comments, something I see online, or something that happens during my day. I try to keep to the subject of my bvFTD, but if I want to write about something else - I do. I have written things, and never posted them. I have deleted a few posts. My goal is to be writing a full month ahead, and have all of the posts scheduled. Right now I am about 2-3 weeks ahead. I keep it easy for me.

I decided at the start that I would write it even if nobody else but me ever looked at it. I figured that might be the case, but in the back of my mind I hoped someone somewhere would find something useful here. It is a self-serving and self-rewarding endeavor, but if some other good comes of it that would be great too. That is why I chose to make it readable by anyone online, and now people are reading my blog from all over the world. I never would have expected that! I plan to make a very short post of the stats for tracking as it appears they only show activity for the past month - and I just think it is really, really, really KOOL!.

My blog has allowed me to record and track a lot of information about my experience with bvFTD that can be used for future reference. There is so little first hand information on bvFTD that I hope writing this personal account will be useful to others. It is a wonder that I can still write as well as I do when I can't remember what I did two minutes ago, or add a couple numbers.

By writing it down I can actually see what I was feeling and thinking at the time. When I write them down, I save my thoughts and experiences. By doing this it assists me to make decisions, and to understand the changes brought about by my condition. Sometimes I revisit a topic as my thoughts or feelings change. Sometimes by thinking about or researching something for a post it assists me to put it all in order.

Writing posts for my blog reduces my overall stress. When I am writing, or even thinking about what I am going to write, I am concentrating on that, and not worrying about anything else. I am totally absorbed in what I am doing. It may take me several days to write a short post, but I still enjoy doing it - most of the time.

My blog is also a form of self-expression, and gives me a way to communicate what I am going through. Communication is sometimes difficult - another classic symptom of bvFTD. This blog has become my voice. A shout out to the world - or a whimper in the darkness. It makes me feel like I am being heard, even if I am not. It may provide me with some additional clarity in my understanding of my own condition because it forces me to concentrate and think in an orderly and logical pattern - in theory. Sometimes my writing is more organized than others, but I try. Maybe it will help others to better understand me, and my changed behavior.

I can sometimes see and better understand what I want, what is important to me, and how I feel. This concentrated thinking and examination of my own thoughts and feelings helps me to create goals and resolutions. Sometimes that goal is simply to write about something else. Sometimes the resolution is of huge significance.

When I write about my goals, or my symptoms, or just something fun, it helps me to organize what I want to accomplish for the day, the week, or the month. Often I think of things to add to my to-do list when I am writing. Sometimes I even actually add them. Anything that assists me to organize, and put things in order, can't be all bad. Organization and planning are now very difficult for me.

Writing posts for my blog contributes to my personal awareness. It is a symptom of bvFTD to be unaware of the symptoms of bvFTD. How is that for a Catch-22? For me examining and writing about it helps me see and understand the changes. If I can see and understand them I have a better chance of dealing with them. Sometimes just being aware that something is a symptom lets me recognize it in myself, and to make accommodations for it if possible. BvFTD is with me every minute of every day, and influences every single one of my thoughts and actions and feelings.

The research that I have done for some of my posts has made me aware of some of my symptoms, and contributed to my understanding of my own thoughts and behavior. Awareness seems to help.

When I am writing it is "my time". It is time I set aside without interruptions. It is relaxing, and enjoyable. Even when the subject I am writing about is emotional I still enjoy the writing. I used to enjoy writing books, and now I enjoy writing for my blog. Writers write!

Writing for my blog is not demanding. If I don't get around to it for a few days, it is OK. I can do it at my own pace, whenever I want. I can write about anything, and I can throw it away if I don't like it. I often watch TV or listen to music while I am writing. It is pleasant, and it gives me something to do. I suppose it is mentally stimulating too, but the jury is still out as to whether that is a good thing, or a bad thing. It does make me think. I have to organize, and plan, and execute that plan. These are areas where I am impaired, so working on this blog can be difficult sometimes.

I am trying to create a record, so that it is easier to see patterns, changes, and progression. Sometimes I have forgotten what I wrote, and had to re-read an old post to remind me of what happened. My blog is a snapshot of my thoughts and experiences. My blog can be looked at months or years from now, and comparisons can be made. (Every case of FTD is different. I just had to say it again.)

I feel a need to write it down, get it out. I feel a power in recording my experience because I may not remember otherwise. It is one minor area of my life that I have some amount of control over.

If I can't think of anything to write about for a post, I can always just write about my blog. Hey! What a concept. I just did!

Comments are welcome.


  1. wow, and all this time I thought it was cause you just really didn't want to get a dog lol

  2. Thanks for the comment Ian.

    Well... that too... even though I like dogs... but I got a fat black & white poor excuse for an overgrown hamster with an attitude named Kroozer instead.

    That will give me something to write about. (grin!)

  3. found you site over misterwong... but one question do you have twitter or facebook, where i can be connected with you blog...? thanks

  4. Thanks for the comment.

    No, I do not use Twitter, and though I am on FB I do not link to this blog from there. Since I have bvFTD, it is enough of a challenge just to manage the blog. Anything else would be overwhelming. I guess the best way is just to bookmark it, or Google bvFTD.