I have received incredible support for the previous blog post through both comments and emails. Among this support has been encouragement to send the post to the local newspaper. I can think of no higher compliment. So why am I hesitating?
In the spirit of saying something nice about myself, which I try to do on rare occasions, I am very proud of that post. I think it’s well written and powerful but somehow funny too. It makes an important point and addresses a difficult issue. I’ll admit I needed J. to vet the piece to ensure it wasn’t too caustic to publish, but her support helped me feel more confident about what I had to say. Your positive feedback tells me my pride is not misplaced.
You’d think I’d want to send writing I’m proud of to a wider audience. What writer doesn’t want to be published and recognized and even applauded for her writing? Sure I’d love my blog to go viral, as the young’uns say. Who wouldn’t? The bigger the audience, the better. If I were just writing for myself, I’d keep a diary; I’m writing publicly because I want others to be part of my journey. That’s why I appreciate your thoughts and comments and reactions so much.
If all that is true, then why am I hesitating? If I were to send that post to the newspaper, I’d have to sign my last name to it, and I don’t think “Doe” would suffice. I’m not sure I’m ready to go all the way, if you know what I mean. At this point, having cancer is part of my identity whether I want it to be or not. I live it and breathe it, and it will probably be the death of me. How much of this do I want John. Q. Public, including Jane X. Client, to know?
I’ve worked hard to protect my privacy thus far in this blog because I felt it was important to protect my clients from what I’m going through. I’d have shared my full name long ago were I not a psychologist, but I can’t get my head around the client issue. What would it be like for them if I came out publicly as having leukemia? Sure, I’ve told a few, including all of those I’ve seen since my cancer diagnosis, but I haven’t divulged the news far and wide.
There will be a time when I’m ready to disclose my last name, but I’m not quite there yet. Maybe it’ll be when I stop seeing clients altogether, but I just renewed my professional registration, and my little shingle is still hanging. Please don’t remind me of how quiet my office phone has been lately. I know, I know.
For now, you’ll have to trust I appreciate the validation and support, the comments and the questions, and the editing feedback. (My verb tenses have been a mess lately, I realize. Grammarians, don’t hold back!) I hate discovering careless editing errors after the fact, knowing that you’ve all spotted them but no one has told me. That’s something I’m not at all proud of.