For the past couple of weeks, my mental health hadn’t been too great - so much so, that I decided to take a step back from both my blog and social media channels.
Having been a blogger now for three years, I found myself in a position that I wasn’t used to, nor had I felt before. I was constantly comparing myself to others on social media. Where I was in my life compared to others, whether it be my job, social life, my blog, feeling like I wasn’t moving forward yet everybody around me was, and I was even comparing my own physical appearance and body to others that I viewed on social media.
The overwhelming thoughts of ‘That’s it now, you’ve peaked - you’ve had your moment and nobody cares what you do next.’ ‘You’re clearly not good at what you do because you would be doing what they’re doing.’ ‘You’re shit.’ kept swirling around in my head, and I guess I just began to feel bogged down and as though these thoughts were right.
Why was I blogging? What was the point? Does anybody actually care? Do I even enjoy this anymore?
As these thoughts became louder and my feelings became more mixed, I could feel my enthusiasm levels dwindling, not only for my blog, but for everything in general. I remember one Sunday I left my home and drove around aimlessly for 7 long hours almost in a daze until coming to the realisation that actually, it didn’t matter if others didn’t care, because I knew I no longer did.
People around me knew that something wasn’t right as I became quieter and began to withdraw from conversations and making an effort. It’s hard sometimes as I feel that I enjoy and love making people laugh so when I do, I tend to be rather dramatic (I blame my love for Tiffany Pollard/New York for this) so that when I do feel down, I fear that I won’t be taken seriously as I myself, try not to take life too seriously.
Luckily I was strong enough to be able to make the decision of taking a step back from social media and my blog as I could feel this was the main cause of my low mood and negative thoughts. The love and messages that came through once I had told my followers that I wasn’t feeling too great mentally, took me by surprise. Perhaps I had got into my head too much at this point? But I couldn’t shake off that ‘failure’ feeling. A colleague at work told me that she thought I was brave for putting myself out there for as I came across as vulnerable which got me to thinking… We need to start opening up more of a dialogue when it comes to mental health, and it certainly shouldn’t be seen as something that’s embarrassing, nor will it make you appear weak!
Being somebody who wears their heart on their sleeve, I try to be as transparent as possible, which is why I’m writing this. In my process of moving forward, I have since unfollowed those who no longer make me feel good about myself. I’ve just written that sentence and I have just cringed.
OF COURSE YOU SHOULDN’T BE FOLLOWING ANYBODY WHO DOESN’T MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF. FACT. END OF. PERIOD. THE END. GOODBYE. SEE YA LATER. TOODALOO. SHEEYA.
Prior to me feeling this way, I had booked a trip away to Prague, and I’ve always been a huge believer in ‘Everything happens for a reason’ and I truly believe that this trip was supposed to have happened at this particular time in my life for me to be able to step away from everything, and re-evaluate what is important to me. Having this time away from familiar surroundings allowed me to push myself out of my comfort zone and to switch off. I remember feeling apprehensive when the plane was beginning to land back in Leeds/Bradford airport in case all of those dark, negative thoughts came flooding back and I’ll be honest, those thoughts aren’t as loud anymore.
I do enjoy blogging, and having had the time away to reflect, I now know what is important to me and what simply isn’t. If I don’t get a chance to post on a particular date or a time, then it’s okay! I have now realised and learnt that sometimes, it’s not always about how much or how little you post, it’s about how you feel when doing something. If it makes you feel good, then that’s all that matters. I’m fully aware some people may read this and think ‘Oh chuffin’ ‘ell, what’s he got to whinge about???’ but writing this and posting it is a way forward for me. So that I am able to reflect on this period in time, and hopefully I’ll be able to see how far I’ll have come since then.
If you are struggling or struggle with your mental health, then please don’t suffer in silence.