Sometimes I Cry When Readers Share Their Stories in the Comments
I write personal essays more often than not, and I guess I do okay because people seem to relate to me. I connect with people on a personal level, and it feels good. A by-product of that is people share their own stories in the comments.
Most of these people aren’t writers on Medium, you can tell by looking at their profiles. They just have an account to read, and in my case, comment. I don’t know what it is about me and my story that people seem to relate to, but they do, and I often have many, very personal comments.
For a long time. I stopped reading the comments, because once in a while I would get the most hateful and spiteful comments from anonymous people who feel the need to ruin my day by spitting vitriol. I missed out for a long time on the lovely platitudes from well-meaning readers who wanted to share how much what I wrote resonated with them.
Now, I make sure I read every single comment, and while I don’t always respond every time, I do at least try to clap. I know I miss some because I get so many and it’s impossible to keep up, but I try. I cannot tell you how good it is for my mental health to have so much support from people I’ve never met.
For the most part, Medium readers are great people, unlike NewsBreak where only the hateful and stupid comment. But every so often I get someone who takes what I say and twists it. I can’t help those people, but then I get a comment like this and it makes up for all of it:
It’s crazy how many people share in the comments.
I wish I could tell each and every one of them how much they mean to me. I wish I could tell them to write their story down and hit “publish.” It has been such great therapy for me to sit and write about my life, both the good, and the bad, and I wish I could give that feeling to all the people that share their pain and joy in my comments section.
I don’t hold back when I write. I’ve written about everything from self-harm to abuse, from suicide to sexual dysfunction. I never embellish or lie and I am sorry that offends some people. The great thing is that I am trying to learn to ignore the haters, as hard as it is and being able to read all the wonderful comments I get has been good for me.
When a person like me puts everything out there for people to read, there is a level of trust I have with the people who read. I expect them to understand how hard it is to write about the things I do, and I want them to understand that when they leave kind comments, it really makes it worthwhile. But, I have nothing but disgust for someone who would leave a hateful comment on a story I wrote about my suicide attempts (which has happened).
But, as I said, the joy of writing on personal subjects like I do is that people, readers, are more inclined to share their own experiences.
I just want everyone to know that I try to read all my comments, as difficult as that is, and I try to respond as much as possible, but even if I don’t, I want you to know that I love when you share your stores of triumph and pain. The fact that you would trust me with such a sensitive matter makes me feel so close to the people who subscribe and clap. I feel in unison with the people who take the time to write a comment that either makes me laugh or shed a tear.
There have been more cases than I could count of people that have shared such personal stories that I cried like a baby. I think about these people all day and wonder if there is anything I could do to connect more.
But often, people will only make an account just so they can leave a comment, and never come back to see my reply. Many people never know just how much they touch me with their words and stories and how much I felt so close to them.
Now that you know how much I appreciate comments, I expect people to share even more. Please do, I love the stories and the jokes, and I love feeling like I am part of your lives.
Thank you all, I have a whole lot of love for all of you.