My blog is primarily about living with chronic and mental illness, though I also share some posts about my blogging journey. I personally live with Bipolar Disorder and Familial Mediterranean Fever so many of my posts relate to living successfully with those conditions.
I have had about a dozen friends commit suicide and dozens more not get help because they were afraid to talk about mental illness. My hope by starting this blog was to hopefully help get more people talking about mental illness and seeking the help they need.
I write daily poetry and other creative writing, speaking to whatever is currently occurring in my life or happens to be in the forefront of my mind. This ends up encompassing a wide range of topics but I primarily write about relationships, love, mental health, time, light, and energy. I write as a creative outlet as well as to express myself and connect with others.
When I started my blog, most of my writing dealt with an ongoing divorce and my personal mental health struggles. It has since evolved, and though these topics still surface from time to time, they are no longer central.
I have also worked with several relationships defined as muses. I had never really worked with a muse relationship before and neither had any of them – it was a new experience and brought about some very inspired writing. I have since, inevitably it seems, fallen deeply in love with one particular muse, Blackbird, whom a majority of my writing either is about or to.
I found myself in a place of great darkness at the beginning of 2018, and realized that I needed to speak or my words would swallow me alive. I began posting with no real goal, other than to share my story and release the built up writing. I began this journey with the (rather foolish) intent of remaining distant and anonymous, but have since come to love this community, finding new meaning in the relationships I have built and the perspectives I have gained. I am slowly working to open myself up, and feel I have gained a family of sorts in those I have come to love here. I am inspired every day by the stories and poetry others share, the experience I encounter in my life, and those who I share this journey with.
Serve, in many ways, as an aid to my bipolar disorder recovery– I wanted to discipline myself to write on a regular basis, preferably as many week days of the year as possible. So often with bipolar disorder, energy, motivation, and concentration are issues. To be able to fulfill an assigned responsibility with regularity is great preparation for getting back to a normal life.
I also wanted to expand my thinking beyond my illness. Way too often, mental illness becomes too much of a daily focus. I had many interests and loves before my illness consumed me. It was time to revisit them, and explore new ones, too. Reading other peoples’ blogs has also been so enriching and educational for me. I follow bloggers who write nature poetry, travel or culinary-related pieces, social and political pieces, and much more. I also very much enjoy their camaraderie.
Exploremy creative side, and dabble in new styles of writing – Prior to starting this blog, writing was not really a major passion of mine. Sure, I wrote plenty of papers and essays at school and university. Many of my past jobs required a lot of writing, too, especially my most recent one. But all of that writing was communications, sales and marketing-type writing. I was good at it, but it sure got boring after a while! I wanted to write stories, reflections, poetic pieces, and articles on completely different things. I’ve written portions of a potential memoir, researched topics of interest to me, had a little fun, reminisced, and looked hard and deep at who I was, am now, and who I’d like to be in the future. Never before had I expressed such passion, emotion, and love in writing.
Share my bipolar disorder experience with others and help to fight stigma – I’ve spent plenty of time at in-person and online bipolar forums, supporting others and receiving wonderful support. I still do, but there are many people out there that are unfamiliar with or have skewed understanding of bipolar disorder, anxiety, and other mental health issues. I have readers of my blog without mental health issues. That makes me so happy! I also appreciate my readers who have shared their stories and comments.
Halfway through last year, I set a goal of publishing at least 200 posts. I’m happy to say that I exceeded 230 in 12 months! That’s enough writing to fill a book, and is the equivalent of almost one post per work day. I can’t believe it! Of these posts, about 50% include some reference to mental health, but the rest are about other topics completely. Looking back at my very first post The very beginning… I achieved what I set out to do. I am tickled pink!
I am looking forward to reading and writing posts throughout 2018. I’m not entirely sure what direction(s) I’ll take, but I think that’s OK. As time passes, this will be clearer to me.
Martina Franklin Poole Blog was created as I realized that my illustrations and writings were coming together into a memoir, and that an author should have a blog. Like my recently published book, my blog focuses on my creativity and how it relates to the healing path I am traveling in therapy for PTSD. It is a place to publish my drawings and narratives, find and share mental health support and resources, and to explore the process of writing and illustrating children’s books (my next creative endeavor). My book, An Artist’s Travel Log, is available on Amazon, and my blog is at martinafranklinpoole.com.