do people comment because they have things to say or they feel they have to?

There has been a strange sense of wondering if I should be telling this part of my story.

What’s healing for me and therapeutic in telling may not be what most want to read.  Granted, some understand and some get what is going on in my head.  But I wonder how many are really tired of what they think is whining everyday.

I write.  An obscene amount of people read.  A few comment.

And I love those comments.  They mean the world to me.

But i wonder what the silent readers are thinking.

Sometimes, I will get an email out of the blue.  They read something and they connected or it reminds them of someone they had in their life.

For a second I get to touch their world.

It’s been hard because communication isn’t the easiest thing I’ve learned to do.  I’ve had to get around the feeling that people are listening for me to make mistakes.  I can’t explain what it does to a person like me to have the gift of quick speech stolen.

So, since I can’t speak like I’d like to, I write.

But maybe I shouldn’t.  Maybe it isn’t the healing tool I thought it was.

It might be a way of whining to a group that feels obligated to listen.

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137 Responses to do people comment because they have things to say or they feel they have to?

  1. Kaza July 27, 2010 at 10:01 AM #

    Hey there! I’m finally catching up with this blog. (I was working long hours for months, and had no time to read.) So I’m coming late to this one, but hopefully you’ll still see it. I’m reading because I had really come to feel a connection through, of all things, Twitter, when we used to tweet back & forth (I was @kazasplace, then changed it to @kaza007 after someone told me there is a store in Australia named Kaza’s Place — the name of my old blog, hence the Twitter handle — and I didn’t want confusion. Okay, more than you wanted to know, but there you have it!)

    AnyWAY (get to the point, Kaza), I echo what someone else said that I read because I care, and am thinking about you and wanting to know how it’s going. And I find that what you write ends up actually helping me. Because I am a big ol’ whiner. And I always think something difficult is going to last just FOREVER. So I need perspective. You often give me that. You might not want to be someone else’s perspective (who wants THAT job?), but if you ever wonder if this does any good for anyone else, the answer is yes. Of course the more important thing is does it do good for you? If so, keep writing! We’ll keep reading.

    One last thought: I know writing in shorter thoughts is probably frustrating, but reading it is actually calming. Kind of Zen, you know? Anyway. xoxoxo

  2. Lisa July 7, 2010 at 10:02 PM #

    Hi Anissa ~ so I am really late in catching up on what is going on the with the Mayhew’s but I want you to know I am commenting to tell you that I have noticed you are back in FULL FORCE ! I have followed your family since Peyton’s cancer and I hope you have just some idea of the number of people you have touched in all you have written ! PLEASE PLEASE don’t stop sharing your feelings, your joys and your sadness. Maybe we don’t comment often enough but I don’t even know you and probably never will but I have the DEEPEST respect for you, your husband, your children and your friends. Through your writing and your husband’s writings, I am a better person !!!

    You are doing great and THANK YOU!!

    IL — no one you will probably ever meet !

  3. Jen Ward July 1, 2010 at 7:02 PM #

    I found you through Heather Spohr’s website as well. I found out about hers from my cousin and then I found yours. I’ve followed your story silently and laughed and cried at your posts. My husband would come home from work and I would joyfully announce, “Anissa is DOING MUCH BETTER!” He’s say, Huh? the lady on the internet? Oh , good!

    I have a lot of health problems. It makes me feel guilty that my kids don’t get to have a “normal mom.” They will probably have different experiences in life because I’m their mom. Which is probably a good and bad thing.

    But you are the embodiment and spirit of a true fighter, a winner, and a fabulous mom. I’m SO PROUD OF YOU. I cannot fathom what you have been through over the last few years between all the strokes and your daughter’s cancer. But I will fight with you too. Along with the millions of other stalkers..

    Keep fighting. Your battle is already won. You are alive. You made it back from an unimaginable hell..several times. You turn your strokes into Key strokes. And you make us all want your luck to turn around…So I think that means I’ll start stalking Ty too. You need a dream house to go with your dreams!!!

    All my love,


  4. Jenny July 1, 2010 at 12:24 AM #

    I’m a never-before-commenter! I’m horribly addicted to you, to be honest. I came across your blog from Heather Spohr’s site, and read just about everything you wrote. I cried, I laughed, and now I sound like a stalker (plus my house seriously needed cleaning after I ignored it to read for an entire weekend! :P ).

    I don’t comment because I pretty much feel nobody cares what I say, haha, and usually somebody else has said it first or better!

    Don’t stop writing! Let it all out. Spill it! I’ll keep on reading. You are kind of stuck with me now. :)

    Sending hugs!
    .-= Jenny´s last blog ..What is it =-.

  5. Tim Young June 30, 2010 at 10:34 AM #

    I am one of those that normally do not post comments, but do so today because of what you give to all of us who read you religiously. I didn’t take your comments as whinning but more as fustration. I have been reading your blogs since Peyton’s illness.
    Your writings have inspired and challenge me in ways that no other person has. You steadfastly refuse to accept the status quo during her illness and lovingly provided for your family and their individual needs during this time.
    Her name is Anissa and she makes me smile, laugh, cry, ponder, think, pray, hope but mostly smile for her gift to us is her writings. Yours in Christ…Tim

  6. ladybughugs June 29, 2010 at 10:14 PM #

    I haven’t read the other comments, so please bear with me if I’m repeating what others have said.

    I, for one, think it’s important that you share your story. All of it. The good and the bad, the darkness and the light, the fears and the triumphs. You may never know whose life you’ll touch or who receives the gift of hope…the hope they need to get them through the long days and the dark nights. Keep talking. It may be just what someone needs to pull themselves or a loved one through.
    .-= ladybughugs´s last blog ..Hiatus =-.

  7. Susie June 29, 2010 at 10:13 PM #

    Why do I come back and comment? My late husband had cancer, my mom had a stroke, and I adore deep writing.
    Your words are such a gift because you are doing it one-handed at the moment. Whether you inspire me with a post, make me laugh with your humor or give me food for thought, I want you to know its your amazing gift of writing that brings me back.
    But don’t write for me! You should write because YOU want to. Yes, you have a story to tell but the tapestry of your words are so rich for you to get emotions out, that it is a gift for yourself. But I predict sometime in the future, your writings of when Peyton had cancer, then Pete’s writings while you were hospitalized and your triumph in coming back to write your blog will become a best selling book that will inspire an audience all over the world. Let the future unfold…

  8. emily June 29, 2010 at 9:57 PM #

    Sure, I’m a few days late, but I’m late with everything these days.

    I read your blog all of the time. I follow you on twitter (heck, we had a whole conversation about our kids once…right before you had the stroke, actually. So perhaps I don’t owe you any goat dowry now? Maybe?) but…well, you have so many followers, so many people who love you, that I don’t comment. They all say it for me, and I feel kinda dumb saying “uh, yeah, what they said.”

    Don’t stop writing. I will read as long as you want to write.

  9. Anna June 29, 2010 at 6:30 PM #

    You made me remember something. No, you actually made me realize something I hadn’t before. It’s too long for a simple comment and I don’t just want to squeeze it in. Please go over to my humble little blog, that pales in comparison to yours, if you would like to read it.
    You are an impressive and inspiring woman. And I hope you never stop writing. Not because people like me love to read. But because you love to write.
    .-= Anna´s last blog ..true inspiration =-.

    • Anna June 29, 2010 at 6:35 PM #

      true inspiration is not actually my last blog, but the second last. Move on to the next one if you want the first part of my comment to make any sense. Not that stuff I say ever does…

  10. firegirl June 29, 2010 at 6:21 PM #

    I read nearly every day & I laugh at your tweets throughout my day.
    I rarely read the comments on blogs. I don’t comment often.

    I don’t care if you write about what socks you’re wearing. I’ll still read.
    I think about you often & send thoughts out to the Big Guy regularly. I am wishing that I was going to BlogHer just because I want to meet you because stroke or not, you are a rockstar.

  11. Jen @ lifelove'n'wine June 29, 2010 at 12:16 PM #

    I read often, but rarely comment. I had to comment on this one. I have NEVER considered anything that you have written here to be whining. I love reading about your struggles and your triumphs. I want to read about your recovery. I care about what happens in your day to day life. I read because I want you to write more. You’ve heard it before, but your writing is inspirational. Seeing what you have to go through every day and knowing that you overcome it shows me that I can overcome the (much smaller) obstacles in my life. It also shows me that sometimes it’s ok to be scared, to be pissed off, to think it’s not fair, and to cry. The important thing is that you keep on going. Please keep writing.
    .-= Jen @ lifelove’n'wine´s last blog ..Dad =-.

  12. Jessica June 29, 2010 at 9:36 AM #

    Hi, Another Lurker here! I read everyday a couple times a day, follow you on twitter and have been moved and inspired by you and your story time and time agian. I do not know why I don’t comment more, but I have wanted to, but sometimes I just feel wierd not really knowing you and all…anyway I live near you I think and if I ever see you out and about I will introduce lurker self to you!

    :) , Jess

  13. kristeneileen June 29, 2010 at 7:42 AM #


    I follow you on Twitter & have for a long time (follow me back?!). I’m one of those lurkers… I don’t know why I don’t comment more often, but I will from now on, knowing how much it means. More of us understand you than you think, and we come back because we love you – not because we have to. One of the beautiful things about this little online village of ours is that it is inclusive, and by choice. No one here is being forced or pressured to read or support anyone – the love is spontaneous. Just like we’ve seen you spring into action to love those around you, we’re here for you now. Complain away, woman. You’ve got a pass ;) You push yourself enough of the time, I assure you! Be encouraged – you encourage me.


  14. Joy June 29, 2010 at 1:47 AM #

    I’m another lurker. I don’t think I’ve ever commented either. I read a lot of blogs (and only ones that I’m interested in) whenever I have time. I never feel obligated to read any. I comment whenever I feel that I have something to add to the conversation. Frequently where there are a ton of comments already I won’t add anything because I’m sure that the blogger doesn’t have time to read them all and no one else will read that far down the comment list. :)

    If I felt you were just whining, I wouldn’t read the blog. I see a lot of determination and fortitude from you and your family. I admire it and I find the strength to keep going in my own life when my own roadblocks are so much smaller than yours are. I hope you keep writing, because I want to keep reading.
    .-= Joy´s last blog ..Success =-.

  15. Fran June 28, 2010 at 9:43 PM #

    I can’t imagine feeling obligated to read yet not obligated to comment. I read when I have time. I stop by whenever I can.

    I consider you a miracle in the flesh. A living testimony to the grace of God. An answer to thousands of prayers. Maybe I should wish that I knew you before but I definitely know you by reputation. Unless you’ve got a gh0st writer, what I see when I stop by – the fighter, the mom, the loving, sarcastic, determined woman I’d heard about.

    Though I rarely comment, you always touch me. God bless you and all who are witness to your healing.
    .-= Fran´s last blog ..Spring Cleaning =-.

  16. TwinCitiesLynn June 28, 2010 at 8:06 PM #

    Another “always read but never comment” lurker here… I find strength in your words, strength in what you have overcome and how far you have come. I don’t feel like your site is a pity party, but you know what? If your choice was to whine on each post, so what? It’s YOUR blog, and god knows you and your family has been through enough that you would have plenty to whine about. But hey, we all have bad days we need to get out and complain / whine / bitch about, and if we, your friends and stalkers can’t deal with it? Too bad.

  17. Lucille June 28, 2010 at 7:43 PM #

    I read every week but don’t comment. I don’t know why…I find great inspiration in your words, always have even when you were going through cancer with Peyton. I know in my gut that you’re going to get better physically and will return to doing all of your favorite things. Have faith!! Keep writing!!

  18. Kate June 28, 2010 at 6:20 PM #

    I comment when I have something new to say OR I can reiterate previous comments. But I also like to feel like we’re having a dialogue, because as I read our blog, I feel like I begin to know a little bit about you whereas you don’t know anything about me. I like to think that when I comment, you find out a little bit more about me, someone who reads your blog and loves it.

  19. Debbie June 28, 2010 at 4:33 PM #

    I read every day and I never comment (except, you know, now). I never think you’re whining. I think you’re admitting that what’s tough is tough and that what’s glorious is glorious. That’s honesty, not whining. Honestly rocks. And so do you.

  20. Jenny June 28, 2010 at 4:14 PM #

    I comment because I want to. I almost always say whatever it is that I’m thinking, and when I read your blog I must respond because you are thought-provoking. Even though you are stalking me on facebook. :)

  21. andi June 28, 2010 at 2:36 PM #

    it’s interesting, i randomly found your site – your other site – via the bloggess right after you were hospitalized. i was struck by your family, your husband’s dedication and the story of all you were experiencing. i was sucked in, so to speak. i rooted for you, cried for you and lived through your husband’s writing and point of view.

    then you came here and started writing. i was amazed with your honestly and dedication. and since them, i’m floored at your progress. not the things you write about, but rather how you write. how much it’s changed since you first started here.

    i find myself rooting for you, excited for you and just very impressed with how brutally honest and open you are. so many people write about what’s going on in their lives and while I find it interesting, i’m not usually drawn in and inspired.

    you, though, i subscribe to your blog and look forward eagerly to each post. every one has something different to say, different thoughts that come forth in me. it challenges me and how i view things – and keep things in perspective.

    most of those other blogs, though? unsubscribe. LOL!

    thanks for being so honest. no, i don’t wait for you to screw up because all i see you doing is rising above all expectations. that’s inspiring to me.

  22. Kristin June 28, 2010 at 2:34 PM #

    I don’t comment because I feel obligated. I comment because I am honored to be allowed to be a part of this journey. I am honored that first your husband and then you have shared the ups and downs and struggles and achievements of this journey. I didn’t find your blog before your stroke. I found your blog at that point because two bloggers who mean the world to me shared your news and asked for prayers. I read a lot of your archives and laughed and cried and prayed you would recover. I wanted the chance to get to know you not just your archives. You are an amazing woman and I comment because I’m cheering you on.
    .-= Kristin´s last blog ..How to freak out your 13 yr old =-.

  23. Scala June 28, 2010 at 2:05 PM #

    You are inspirational, and you know what– the world isn’t always sunny-side up, filled with candies and yumminess. Everyone has every right to share his/her thoughts and if someone is always positive, then it’s not real. Continue being real. You remind me to give extra love to the things that really do matter.

  24. Em June 28, 2010 at 1:04 PM #

    De-lurking. I live in Northern Ireland and I work in a nursing home. We have a new intermediate care unit to deal with younger people and the elderly who are rehabilitating after strokes , illnesses and various other issues.
    For me reading your blog shows there is life after a stroke , that while things may be hard its worth sticking to it and fighting to try to get back to normal. Too many times I see people just give up and stay in the home when they could be fighting harder but somehow they don’t have the will. You have the will. Keep fighting

  25. Tracy Solomon June 28, 2010 at 12:23 PM #


    I completely get what you say. I read your blog for a few reasons. I want to know how you are doing. I always enjoy what you have to say and how you say it. I know you have definitely had more than your fair share of life’s downfalls and you face it head on. You aren’t afraid to say what you think and I can appreciate that. I too have used writing as a way of therapy although I didn’t think of it that way so much I guess when I started sharing Katia’s story. I express myself better in writing so I prefer to write although I don’t mind speaking in front of a crowd to share Katia’s story. When you had your stroke and I learned it had affected your speech, I remembered how outgoing and energetic you always were. I prayed so hard for your full recovery and I still do. My Aunt, the most outgoing, talkative and intelligent one had ALS and I watched as she became someone locked away in a shell of a body. She would come up and visit Katia in the hospital and I just wished she had a way to communicate.

    I pray for you constantly, more than you may ever imagine. I comment to let you know you cross my mind but also to let you know your words and what you have to say touch me and also that they make me think and appreciate life. Though our girls share similar stories, you have been through something I have never confronted and I pray for you and your family daily for strength and whatever you may need each and every day, Anissa.

    Tracy Solomon, Tampa
    .-= Tracy Solomon´s last blog ..If You Dont Like It- You Can =-.

  26. Tori June 28, 2010 at 12:03 PM #

    Thank you for sharing your story. Your insight into the healing process– and your honesty about its up and downs– is inspirational due to its truth. I subscribe via RSS, and although I seldom comment on any blog I read, I feel compelled to let you know today how much your blog means to me, and how every time I read an entry, I send healing thoughts to you and your family, and to others I know fighting their own health battles. It’s a reminder to me to send out good thoughts into the universe, where hopefully they mingle with others’ good thoughts and achieve some good. I hope you’ll continue sharing with us all–we read because we care, not because we have to.

  27. Lesley Yates June 28, 2010 at 11:16 AM #

    Wow. I work with your husband Pete. I follow your blog because of your brutal honesty, your family love and ALL of the friends that support you. You make me realize how precious life is and how much the simple things mean! I want to be a better person because of you! I have never seen such strength and determination from anyone before. Your family is blessed to have you by their side and they do show unconditional love. You are a lucky women Anissa. Pete and your children are very lucky to have you too. May God continue to bless you…I continue to be touched by your blog and keep you all in my prayers. Stay strong!

  28. Laura June 28, 2010 at 10:33 AM #

    I read your every post, however I don’t comment on each one. You, your family and your husban have been such an inspiration through everything you all have been through. The way you treck on and look up makes me admire you each and every day.
    I chose not to comment on each post because I don’t want to be repetative, andI do not think that you should quit writing. Its your blog, your place, and what you are going through is for you and you alone. You may have a few down days, btu you are such an inspiration!!!
    Many hugs and a TON of support you way.

  29. Cissa Fireheart June 28, 2010 at 10:21 AM #

    I read but don’t comment because I don’t think anything I could say hasn’t already been said. I read you through my feed reader because you inspire me to keep fighting when I have my own bad stuff going on. But today I am commenting because I want my comment to be read.

    You are an awesome woman, and I am proud to have a little connection to you, if only through the internet where I read your words.

  30. Kathy June 28, 2010 at 10:08 AM #

    I read you because I had cancer and my son has autism and you help me realize that everyone has cr*p they have to go through, even when they have had more than their fair share of it. You understand that feeling of being tired of always being the strong one. Plus, you are quick, witty, sarcastic and concise and I love that. I feel like you are someone I would love to hang out with. (Excuse the double ending prepositions!)

  31. Cheryl June 28, 2010 at 9:32 AM #

    I’m de-lurking to say don’t stop writing, or talking. I love your honesty and your sense of humor. I am a reluctant blog commenter. Usually, what I’d say has already been said in the comments before mine, and then I want to bang my head on the desk because, “why, oh WHYYYY can’t I think of another, fresh, original way to say what THEY’RE saying?”. Pisses me off. Another reason is I am sometimes a little starstruck by the awesome. I love your tweets, and your blog, and if your blog takes a more “therapeutic/ brutally honest” turn, I’ll still be here.

  32. Christina June 28, 2010 at 9:28 AM #

    I did not read the other comments but I read because you are amazing. Also, I wonder if I would have such strength to fight my way through all that you have fought through the past few years. So I draw inspiration from your strength of mind/body/spirit. Thank you.

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