- Associated Press - Sunday, May 15, 2016

NORFOLK, Neb. (AP) - Paul Leckband has always loved writing.

The former administrator for Lutheran High Northeast in Norfolk can find enjoyment in writing everything from family newsletters to faculty bulletins, the Norfolk Daily News (https://bit.ly/1OkIYZI ) reported.

Yet there’s one form of writing he never expected to do - and enjoy doing - and that’s blogging.

So how’d he become a regular blogger?

It started as self-therapy.

Leckband said he has suffered from chronic depression and general anxiety for more than 10 years. At one point, it became severe enough that he needed to take long-term medical leave from his position at Lutheran High.

It was around that time that he started using writing as a tool in his treatment.

“I’ve known for years that writing is one of the things you can do to help work off your stress, your anxiety,” Leckband said. “So I just think the act of writing can kind of help you vent. I have found that to be true in my case.”

At first, he just used Facebook. But as his posts became increasingly longer, his wife and son encouraged him to create a blog.

With the help of his son, Nathan - who has his own blog - he started one in the fall of 2014, calling it Leckband Husker State Blog.

According to Leckband, he doesn’t always blog “correctly” - sometimes blogging too often or making his posts too long. He didn’t grow up in the “Facebook, blogger generation,” as he puts it.

But it’s made a difference with his depression.

That’s why a portion of his blog focuses on mental health. He’s touched on topics ranging from the effect of exercise on depression to how depression can cause “burnout.”

But the blog has evolved over time to include different topics.

So, for example, there’s Mental Health Monday but also Political Tuesday, Whimsical Wednesday, Theological Thursday and Fact Check Friday, among other themes.

Inspiration for posts comes from a variety of places, he said.

Specifically, one thing he likes to do is take notes when he reads his newspapers, marking quotes and articles he thinks he could use in a blog.

He’ll also blog about his experiences, such as family vacations or how he dealt with getting a new pet.

And while he mainly blogs for personal purposes, Leckband said he hoped that those who stumble across it find it amusing or even helpful if they, too, are suffering from depression or anxiety.

The occasional feedback he gets is always mixed, he said, but the blog is all in good fun, and he tries to be open and honest in his writings.

“Sometimes I like to think I’m being very clever, and then the few comments I do get either reinforce that or reinforces that I’m not nearly as clever as I think,” Leckband said with a smile.

And even though he never expected to be a blogger, writing has always come naturally to him, considering that one of his college majors was English.

“If you were to have told me that eventually I would be a writer, but my writing would mostly be in the form of school handbooks and family Christmas letters and blogs and devotions, I probably would have been willing to bet you money that I’m never going to do that kind of writing,” Leckband said. “It’s funny how life works out. I always say God has a sense of humor.”

___

Information from: Norfolk Daily News, https://www.norfolkdailynews.com

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