Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What can eat through your nerves faster than MS?

The Little Green Monster = aka Jealousy

I have a confession to make. I suffer from a Relapsing-Remitting form of the "green-eyed monster" syndrome. It's a disease which is highly embarrassing and tends to disrupt the natural balance of things - physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, socially, and sometimes economically.

Yesterday morning when reading posts of various MS bloggers, I came across one in particular which unexpectedly unlocked the cage of the little green monster. The subject of the post was one which I knew would be coming soon as the author had already discussed it briefly in recent weeks. But somehow the details given and manner of delivery provided nourishment to that withered beast of mine. Before I had finished reading the complete article, my little green monster had grown a foot or two and was running around the room knocking things over in a most spiteful way.

So what was it exactly that unlocked the cage? Why this post?

Maybe it was the self-proclamation of how "popular" this person's blog has become. Maybe it was the author's admission of having lurked through blogs and message boards for inspiration. Maybe it's because this blogger often speaks as with authority, sometimes uses questionable references, and happens to be still quite new to MS.

When it comes to opportunities in Web 2.0 (online social media), each person can create his/her own platform from which to speak. That is one of the cool aspects of blogging - we are each citizen-journalists here in the blogosphere. Some of us intentionally speak only to a few, perhaps just to members of our family, and some aspire to reach many thousands around the globe. Some of us seek to build a better MS community online through collaborative efforts and some of us might use our well-connected media persona to jump start our online reputation.

But what's really bothering you Lisa?

Maybe I desire greater recognition or wider exposure, I don't know. Sure enough, somebody (or multiple somebodies) at Reuters News and the Chicago Tribune have liked individual posts enough to include them on their websites as part of the Blogburst network. Of course, there is no compensation for this, only minimal exposure for Brass and Ivory. I rarely, if ever, obtain new visitors from this extra exposure to my writing as the required link back to my blog is rarely followed. To date Brass and Ivory has yet to receive its 10,000th visitor.

So what are you really feeling Lisa?

Well, since you ask....I think my little green-eyed monster is now turning into a blue-eyed monster after reading those words above. Maybe I'm sad that I haven't knocked on all the doors of possible opportunities. Maybe I'm feeling melancholy since not all of the MS bloggers out there have added Brass and Ivory to their blogrolls, thus helping to spread my reach throughout the blogosphere.

Or maybe, I was just wearing a green shirt yesterday morning, reflecting green in my eyes, and today I'm wearing blue. I've got the type of eyes which can appear to change colors depending on what color I am wearing. Or maybe, I've just chosen blue today to match my mood. I'm not sure yet.

Questions for you dear reader:

What unleashes your "little green monster"?
And what do you do to tame it and lock it back up?


  1. Great question...hmm, first, I AGREE your blog deserves more recognition, it is always well written, educational, researched (Don't know where you find the time.) and grounded in facts. Actually, I'm shocked.
    Back to the greeny...I feel like I have so much...ok, I wish I knew more about all the cool graphic stuff other bloggers have.I think that is more envy. I envy a lot of blogs. I never feel like I'm doing mine as well as it should be. What does WTI mean? I still can't even speak the language. Do? I try and get it, or move on and forget I was envious. I hate questions I can't answer---now I'll have to THINK.

  2. Extremely thought-provoking post, Lisa. Now I really must confess that I, too, battle the green-eyed monster on occasion.

    At very loose ends, as far as my work/career goes, I see green when others seem to just fall backwards into success without much effort.

    What what do I do about it? I go with it for a few minutes, then with every ounce of strength I can muster, force myself to get over it. My day will come, as will yours.

    You are one hell of a blogger and I know of no other who understands the ins and outs of Big Pharma, insurance and all the red tape that comes with MS.

    I'm banking on 'slow and steady' wins the race -- hang in there with us turtles!

  3. Diane & Mandy, Thank you both for the kind words and votes of confidence. I've really come to enjoy this blogging thing and plan to continue for a while.

    If I'm going to hang with the turtles, can I be a seaturtle? I love seaturtles.

    WTI? I had to look this one up in the Urban Dictionary. It is shorthand for "What's the Idea?"
    WTBI = "What's the Big Idea?"
    These are loosely related to the more common:
    WTF = "What the Fuck?"

    BTW (by the way) Diane, I'd be happy to try to help you with bloggy graphic stuff if you'd like. Most of the stuff I've done has been the result of trial/error and I'm still learning.

    You ladies are truly my "homies."

  4. Hey,

    Oddly, I think I know the hidden meaning between the lines of this post/situation. And, for what it's worth, I find/found your response to be both BOLD and REFRESHING...saying things I have only thought, but never addressed. Whether spoken from "envy" or spoken from "heart/truth", I admire your courage to simply SPEAK! I often ignore (or try to anyway) the fact the Emperor is wearing no clothes. It just makes my life easier somehow. But when I become envious of another, it is very hard for me to turn on the "thankful" knob...this is more a matter of feeling "less than" someone else for me, which is a life long theme I struggle with.

    BTW...I linked you just now in a vicious post about research (the link to YOU is NOT vicious however!)...because I think about your personal struggles with financing your MS and how fortunate I am to have good insurance. I admire your grace in this matter...

    Linda D. in Seattle

  5. I think we become green when we think something that "belongs" to us is being taken. In this case, you want to get some part of your identity or validation from some standard you have in your mind about the blogging world. What I think the green is telling us is that we have to let go of whatever it is we think we "have" or desire. Because, Lisa, your place in blogging world is yours, and is like no other's. From the point of view I have up here at 15,000 feet, you look pretty successful. You have touched lives and I don't know what could be more valuable than that.

    What makes me green are people who have been entreprenuerally very successful. I always feel like they have something I don't - a gene I wasn't wired with. I believe that they are better than me. Or even worse, I feel like I never achieved my potential, whatever it was.

    I try and turn it into admiration rather than envy.

    trrish in Colorado

  6. and furthermore....

    I just did a little research and found a clue. And I would like to remind you that there are big differences between ascribed authority, or power, and innate or personal authority or power. You, Lisa my dear, have the latter. You may also have the former someday, but what makes you effective is the other. You can't buy that.

    If I'm looking for the truth, I go to a blog like yours. If I'm looking for bullshit, I go to one of the more 'official' places that have a post every day, even if there is nothing to say.

    Stay the way you are,


  7. Linda & Trrish, Thank you so much for lifting a mirror to my being and letting me see what you see. Too often, I do find those feelings of "less than" clouding my view and serving to distract me.

    "You have touched lives and I don't know what could be more valuable than that."

    Thank you.

  8. Lisa,
    I had read this a few days ago and was very touched by what you wrote. I was also a litle dumbfounded because I am in awe of your blog actually. I think it is so fantastic. I would never expect you to ever feel the presence of the "green monster". I believe that the success of others can be inspiration for us and better yet, we can even learn from their mistakes. Your Blog is amazing and the recognition will come.

    Being new to blog world, I guess I am a little naive about exposure and recognition. Maybe someday, I will start to notice the larger picture. I am such a small tadpole in the big big pond of blogging. I am just looking for comments! I am laughing here but it's the truth. Seriously, my "green monster" is hungry for comments and I sometimes feel disheartened. I wonder why others get more comments or page views than I do. After being through a lengthy hospitalization and rehab, being homebound and trying to raise disabled children all at the same time, I have lost my "social" network along with my mobility and independence.

    My needs for connection, friendship, socializing, and appreciation are fuel for MY little, wicked & green monsters fire.

    I put my jealousy at ease by reminding myself that I am only human, on a journey like everyone else. Right now I may not be the top frog in the pond, BUT I know I am not the smallest tadpole either; I am just trying to tell the world what it's like to be Ammey.