Transparent vs Whiny

This morning I woke up thinking about my online reputation and what I would like it to be. When others read my poetry and personal blog posts (especially the ones having to do with mental illness, autism, or chronic pain/chronic illness) the things I strive to represent are honesty, openness, relatable vulnerability, realistic hope when possible, comforting solidarity, the healing power of sharing our pain, and the courage and inspiration to keep going, even when things feel hopeless.

However, since I myself struggle from mental illness and chronic pain, being transparent and honest means that often my viewpoint comes across as dark and bleak. I don’t try to hide that or tone it down when it happens, because to me, that is part of being honest and vulnerable enough to share what the experience of dealing with those issues is like on a daily basis. Putting a happy face on it would be lying.

My only worry is that sometimes the reality of dealing with daily mental and physical pain is that you can start to sound whiny. Part of me says, “well, of course, you are going to sound whiny now and then if you are in pain all the time! No shit!”, but for some reason our culture makes whining out to be such a negative thing that most of us want to avoid that look at all costs.

Maybe we as readers and audiences have to decide rather we really want full honesty and openness (even if it includes some whining and negativity) or if we pretend to want the truth, but in reality just want a short, scrubbed clean, feel good version of life. I know which I prefer, but I guess everyone has to decide for themselves.

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Hi! I am an artist, author, and blogger who also happens to have Asperger’s Syndrome. I have won several awards and honors for my writings and artwork. I suffer from a few severe mental illness and chronic pain conditions (Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Fibromyalgia, CFS/ME, Ehlers Danlos, Degenerative Disc Disease, etc.), which greatly affects my life and makes me want to advocate for others going through similar things. Other interests of mine include reading, writing, drawing, watching cartoons and movies, collecting toys, hanging out with my family, and annoying my 3 cats.

28 thoughts on “Transparent vs Whiny”

  1. This is so relatable. I think people that suffer from mental illnesses and chronic pain won’t see it as whining as fast as people who don’t suffer. Probably because we can relate more to one and other. Some people just don’t understand the daily struggles (or maybe they just don’t want to understand?). I’d take honesty any day.

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  2. Sadly we are kind of taught not to be vulnerable and honest about what we are going through, and are often made to feel as if we are being “winy”, even if we are not (and there’s nothing wrong with being winy from time to time either). But the more people we have being honest and showing vulnerability, the kinder, more understanding and probably happier society would be.

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  3. this is your blog Maranda, and you should feel totally free to be yourself! If people don’t like it, they can just click and leave ^^
    I don’t always leave a comment, but I do read each & every post. Seeing the number of followers you have, I’d say people visit because they appreciate your writing style & your honesty. So my advice would be, just carry on being yourself!
    oh and hope the coming year is better than the one we’ve just said goodbye to!

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  4. I’m so glad you were courageous enough to write and publish this post! For far too many years I wore different masks in different situations, each mask being what I (or others) thought should be and I came close to 100% losing myself a couple of times before my stubbornness moved aside so I could see how it was not working for me. I encourage you to be authentic with who you are in all things, situations and places. For encouragement, may I suggest you read the poem “I am Me” by Virginia Satir? It’s inspired me countless times over the years when I was worried my being authentic wasn’t worth it, and I still read it once or twice a year as a reminder!

    Be you, my friend! Nobody can do you any better!

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  5. Great post. Like a few others who have commented, I’m in a SIMILAR boat. Bad back and neck (as you know), and the pain makes me cranky at times, etc… In my experience, it’s not really so much a question of being authentic, since we all have good and bad. It’s a matter of trying to put the best part of the authentic you forward instead of the angry, insecure, or hurt side of us.

    Not that it’s easy. You’ve seen me fly off the handle in posts where I document how the media is making everything sound even worse than it truly is just to scare people into doomscrolling. Things are bad enough out there without people capitalizing on human misery. Enough of that though. 🙂

    My point was to simply try to do your best to focus on solutions and goals instead of lament the problems. I think you know this, as you’re usually fairly good there. 🙂 Focusing on the bad of situations only amplifies the problems in our mind and makes them harder to deal with. It’s something I’ve resolved to do more of this year and going forward.

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    1. I do think it is important to try to balance being honest about your ups and downs with also keeping goals and possible solutions in mind as well. We all need something to keep us going. Too much doom and gloom isn’t good for us either. It really is a delicate balance sometimes.

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  6. I understand you perfectly. I don’t really like to hide while writing as this represents my refuge and it’s the best way for me to release negative feelings and find hope.

    You are doing great, don’t worry! 🙂

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  7. I have the same worries. In fact I started this blog over a year ago BUT in fear of peoples opinions, I’ve wasted away months of time, money and brainpower in drafting but not posting because I don’t want people to think I’m just complaining. I’d like to reach others with chronic illness but it’s at the risk of seeming like a grumpy old woman! My opinion is that this is your space, your blog and you should be allowed to post what you feel is beneficial. I’ve read some of your posts and I wouldn’t say you’re whiny at all! I’d definitely agree that you’re transparent! Keep up the great work Maranda. It’s bloggers like you that help me remember that I’m not alone in the chronic illness battle! 😁👍

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