Christisue Campbell started blogging when her now 12-year-old son was only 2, “before (blogging) was a cool thing to do,” Christisue says. Written originally as a means to keep family informed and to keep a journal, Christisue’s original blog name on her personal website became Ditching the Masks when she moved to Wordpress.
While she didn’t move all of her previous work to her new blog, Christisue says that Ditching the Masks allowed her to find her voice as a writer. About Ditching the Masks, Christisue says,
Parents are a large readership. I mostly blog about day to day life, but with a twist – it’s life with some challenges – about mental illness as a survivor, parent of it, or someone challenged with it; I blog from all sides of it. I have two kids who are challenged by their versions of mental illness as well as a spouse and extended family. I personally have an invisible chronic illness and intense pain issues. I blog about how to live not only with it, but thrive regardless of it. Through it all, my focus is always to share a positive or truthful look at the things I am talking about, also focusing on grace and seeing the blessings in life.
Christiesue wants parents, “to know they are not alone. That there is someone else out there who has a hard time with things too. That things are not always rosy behind the front door of life.”
In keeping with the title of her blog, Christiesue says, “I like to strip away the mask and just be real, no matter what it is I’m talking about. I don’t see it as a negative or wallowing kind of thing, but a truthful and honest thing. We like to show off our ‘great’ life on FB or Instagram, but we then go home and feel bad about how hard it is and how NOT like everyone else’s pictures it is. The reality is we ALL have some hard thing we are living with. It just looks different to each of us.”
Christiesue really does take off her masks in her blog, Ditching the Masks:
Real life takes up most of my time but writing is the only way for the swirling words that dictate life to be tamed. So I write on. As a mother of three kids 12-16, each with different struggles, I refuse to allow a diagnosis to define them. With mental illnesses and learning disorders, life is a constant struggle behind the front door no one sees. In my blog Ditching the Masks, I unlock the door and invite you in for a visit. It's not always pretty, but I promise, it's all real.
Having learned early on to have a hearty laugh instead of crying, I just try to roll with the punches. Juggling the normal mothering mania of laundry, dishes, dust, and dinner, I show off by shuttling the mom van to soccer practices, fetching forgotten homework, and not flipping out over last-minute science fair madness. Somehow, on top of all that, I still find a way to sit at this keyboard and try to make sense of what goes on inside my head and of the world.
If you are a parent who is struggling with mental illness or other difficult parenting issues, and you want to take off your own mask and “get real” about what’s going on in your life, or even if you just want to connect with somebody who understands your struggles, please click on any of the links in Christisue’s Ditching the Masks blog.