This was a challenging summer, to say the least.
I took over Budding Fort Collins back in March after two other bloggers decided it was too much grass-roots work to keep up with. It’s not easy by any means, especially building something from the ground up, but since I’ve already been blogging consistently for the last five years – no big deal. This is what I do and I truly care about reducing stigmas with cannabis culture.
There are other stigmas that people are trying to reduce, and I happened to fall into that right around May.
I kept plugging along with blog posts even though depression was starting to sink in deeper and deeper. There were days that the thick black feeling settling into my chest was more than I could bear, and writing felt nearly impossible. There’s some writing that I have to keep up with because it pays the bills. And the writing that didn’t – no matter how much I loved it before – had to take a backseat until it all got sorted out.
So, Budding Fort Collins was put on the back burner as I worked on digging myself out of a depression so low that I haven’t felt like that for nearly 10 years.
It has been about 7 weeks since I’ve started to feel like I’m back on track. I’ve been waiting for time to pass to see how consistent that is before taking this blog back on. Depression can be the worst roller coaster ride that you never wanted to get on in the first place, feeling better one day and possibly getting your hopes up, to suddenly being slapped upside the back of the head with despair from nowhere while driving to the grocery store. It is so up and down that it’s dizzying. I didn’t want to make the mistake of writing on here again to realize that I jumped the gun and would have to stop again.
Sometimes this can be easier to manage with some of the other blogs I write on. Guest bloggers or contributing bloggers are thrilled to help out with restaurant review on Feasting Fort Collins or filling a gap on Fresh Air Fort Collins. But here on Budding Fort Collins? It’s different. People are excited to read about the content, but very few actually want to write about it or attribute a byline because then they will be outed as cannabis consumers and the fear of being stigmatized holds them back.
It took a network of friends asking to listen and offer support, as well as my amazing husband, to help me work through depression. On one of my many mental-health hikes, I realized that I can’t come back to this blog without a similar network of support. I honestly can’t keep this going solo. But the good news is that I do have friends who have offered to help out – even if they have to write under a pen name. One friend who has actually been a blogger on a different blog in the network before is coming back to contribute posts once a week. I’ll write posts in between his and still manage the Facebook and the Twitter pages. Then I have another friend offering to write a bud and beer pairing series, which I think is interesting.
I spoke about my coming out of the cannabis closet post at Ignite a few weeks ago. Back in May when I was originally going to do this before I had to cancel due to the flu, I was going to focus on the response from the community when writing to reduce the stigma attached to cannabis. But since the challenges from this summer, I switched gears on why it’s really OK to be who you are.
It’s because it doesn’t matter. The people who love and care for you do so because of who you are as a person. Not what you smoke.
And that’s why this blog is getting back on track.