Hello I’m Sarah, and I’ve got a story to share with you. It’s my own tale of juggling motherhood, battling caffeine addiction (30 cans of Diet Coke a day, if you can believe it!), postnatal depression, and a painful divorce. But amidst all that chaos, I found solace in the unlikeliest of places – my blog and daily blogging. Stick with me, and I’ll tell you all about it.
The Darkness Before the Blog
Life was tossing me from one storm to the next. I’d divorced a drunk, and met the love of my life and 3 years later I had two little ones, a 10-year-old. I was on maternity leave, and I was offered redundancy. I took the payout without thinking. But I felt worthless. Recovering from an abusive marriage is enough to drown anyone, but the stress of a young family and a growing business… Well, my caffeine addiction made the void more bearable.
However busy I was, the Void didn’t care. The void seemed to grow each day, and I felt utterly lost. It seemed like the Void brought along it’s best mate, depression. I felt so lonely. So lost. Even the Void had someone; I was all alone.
Discovering Blogging – A New Beginning
I started blogging purely as a business tool. With three children and a life in turmoil, I was looking for ways to promote my new husband’s business. Little did I know, this simple decision to blog would become a therapeutic lifeline, leading me on a healing journey and transforming my life in ways I never could have imagined.
But as I wrote, I began to notice something – a sense of calm, a spark of joy. It was as if the blog was whispering, “You’re not alone,” and I found myself leaning on it more and more.
Blogging as Therapy – Writing to Heal
I began to write about everything – my highs, my lows, my dreams, and fears. I wasn’t just promoting the business anymore; I was connecting with myself and others.
Each post became a therapy session, a moment to breathe and reflect.
Without even planning it, my blog became my anchor.
It also brought me friends. People looking to grow their business through their blog connected with me. Other women who were dealing their their own Void started to share my content and talk to me. Look at me making friends with strangers on the internet!
Challenges, Mistakes, and Growth
It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. The divorce and remarriage were tough, especially on my eldest daughter. I made mistakes. But I kept writing, growing, and learning from every bump along the road. My blog was there, steady as a rock, helping me navigate the storm.
More blogs came. New sites. Each one connecting and communicating with their audiences. But who was I to have a digital empire? And bam, a skip-load of imposter syndrome almost drowned my fledgling recovery from depression.
I kept on writing. So long as I kept writing, all would become good in my world. I was juggling lots of balls. And for balls read blogs. Organising writers for the content, juggling the cost of the sites, managing so many egos… But it wasn’t as hard as the partially empty nest.
The hardest part was writing about stupid government policy, or so I thought. Getting something big changed meant focusing on that rather than what was happening in my life. My eldest daughter was walking out the door, starting her own journey in life. A partially empty nest was the last thing I needed, and I thought the depression would come hurtling back to fill the space… But… Diet Coke stepped in instead.
When you mention addiction, people assume alcohol or drugs. They forget there are many things we can become addicted to, including nicotine and caffeine, two legal and addictive substances.
I’d conquered the depression but not the caffeine… And at 30 cans a day it was almost as expensive as smoking. Could I blog my way out of this?
Victory Over the Void – A Slow but Steady Recovery
I started another blog. At this point I had several sites, and they’d won recognition and international acclaim. Could I write about my health? Could I share the steps to overcoming caffeine addiction? And did I want to do this publicly? And so Caffeine or Death was born. This anonymous blog chronicled my caffeine addiction. From the day a pub rep gave me a free case of Pepsi Max (“Try it, everyone loves it”) to the last can of Coke Zero. I shared my ups, downs and ways to change the way I drank liquids.
Slowly but surely, I began to heal. The addiction waned, and the words flowed.
And then something incredible happened – the Pandemic. It was like the world paused. Stopped. I’d never experience anything like it in my lifetime. To walk out of the house onto an empty street and hear no noise at all, just quiet. I’d managed to find peace amongst all the worry about my loved ones. I wasn’t seeking something to soothe my pain. I was finally free.
Lockdown became the cherry on top of my recovery, a beautiful reminder that there is hope, even in the darkest times. And throughout this time, I didn’t drink a single drop of caffeine. I had no desire for it.
I didn’t feel cut off from the world, because I had my blog. I was able to support my community and they supported me. Together we came through it as best as we could.
My journey, with all its twists and turns, taught me that sometimes, help comes from where we least expect it. For me, it was blogging. For you, it might be something entirely different. The key is to keep searching, keep believing, and keep loving, no matter what.
If my story resonated with you or if you have your journey to share, please comment below. Let’s be there for each other, light the way, and spread some hope. If you need professional help, don’t hesitate to get it. I believe my recovery would’ve been better if I’d got some help sooner.
And if you know someone who could use a little inspiration today, why not share this post with them?
Sarah Arrow is the creator of the 30-Day Business Blogging Challenge and First Page Famous. She loves how blogging can help elevate small businesses and individuals who need to be heard!