Sian asked this question and I realised it would take more than a comment on her blog to answer it. I started blogging as a way of getting out of the house without actually leaving. After my parents moved in with us, so that I could look after them, I wasn't able to go out without arranging for someone to be here. If I did I could guarantee that my mother would forward roll out of her chair - picking up something she thought she could see on the floor - or she would empty her ashtray into the waste paper bin. The problem with this being that usually there was a lighted cigarette in the ashtray and the waste paper bin was full of tissues. They rarely burst into flames, by the way, but oh boy do they smoulder and produce smoke!
Gradually they needed more care than I could give. I couldn't lift my mother from the armchair into the wheelchair and then onto the loo and when she fell out of bed, note the when not if, Dad would ring the panic bell and then I would have to untangle her from her nightie to make her decent so that my wonderful husband could lift her back into bed. This got to be too much even with respite and so they went to a nursing home.
My Dad hated it and kept telling me that he hated me for "throwing us away now we are no use", I was so exhausted that those months are a bit of a blur and then my Dad died. So there I was, not going out and blaming myself for his death. My Mum surprised us by not following him straight away. She hung on for three years and then passed away quietly in my arms.
This still left me with no one to talk to except my family and how do you rant about your father being horrible to the grandchildren that adored him? Well, you don't.
All this conspired to make me have panic attacks every time I got to the front door. Mr M was wonderful and has been my rock always there to hold me and bring me through the panic attacks encouraging me to go out with him and gradually increasing the distance between me and home until I was able to go out with other people sometimes.
Blogging became a way of making new friends, talking to new people and this has helped me to get to the point where - and I am very proud of this - yesterday evening I remembered that I had to pay the deposit on the hire of the hall for the family reunion.
I put on my coat and shoes, grabbed my purse and keys and went out the door and across the road to see a woman I had never met before. We chatted for a few minutes and as I crossed the road on my way back I realised what I had done. All on my own, just like a normal person. I texted Mr M who was in work and then had a celebratory cup of decaf.
That's why I blog.