I started my blog about two months ago, and it has been an amazing outlet for my anxiety and depression. I’ve always channelled my emotions into writing. Whether it’s story writing, a journal entry, or a poem, I always use written words to express myself. I’ve always found writing easier than speaking. A blog is a great way to communicate your thoughts and opinions, and to help others. It’s also a great way to connect with other people struggling with similar issues and with similar interests.
My anxiety and depression has been really tough to deal with this year. So many brilliant things have happened in my life which I am so thankful for, but I’ve also experienced loss and homesickness, which have triggered my mental disorders. I’ve had anxiety since I was very young, and depression has spurred from that. A few months ago I experienced frequent periods of low mood, and felt unable to pull myself out of it. I struggled to motivate myself to continue writing my novel.
Starting a blog has been something I’ve thought about occasionally over the past year, but I always dismissed it. I thought blogging would just leave me embarrassed and unsuccessful. However, two months ago I sat at my desk and started a WordPress account, because I wanted to share my writing journey. My main motivation was to establish a platform as a writer. Along the way I’ve learnt that I don’t just have to write about my novel; I can blog about anything that comes to mind. That’s why it’s a great outlet for mental illness.
Reading other blogs has also helped, and I love how open the blogging community is about mental health and personal struggles. It’s amazing that we are able to be part of a forward-thinking movement, and I hope that we can break the stigma surrounding mental health. If you are suffering from a mental disorder, you should be able to express your struggle without being discouraged or insulted for it.
Recently I voluntarily stepped down from a management position at work, because I knew it was getting too much for me. With so many other things on my mind – my writing, blogging and other commitments – I was struggling to deal with the stress of managing a team during the busy Christmas period. My anxiety was screaming, and it left me feeling lost and claustrophobic. Instead of getting annoyed at myself like I used to, I listened to my feelings and understood that it was too much to deal with. One day at work a few weeks ago I suddenly felt really ill, and thought I was going to throw up. After taking a few five minute breaks, and drinking lots of water, it gradually passed. It was not until an hour later that I realised it was an anxiety attack. I didn’t recognise the symptoms as anxiety-related because my anxiety attacks usually come in the form of a racing heartbeat, dizziness, hot flushes and irregular breathing. As I’d never been in that situation before – work was busier than I’ve ever experienced in a management position – I was overwhelmed and couldn’t read the signs before the anxiety attack occurred.
Anyway, back to blogging. I now have the spare time I need to focus on my blog, and more time to write. I enjoy the lack of structure and freedom of thought when it comes to blogging. My novel is not heavily structured but it’s not about me. I can’t celebrate my own strengths and recognise my personal weaknesses when writing about characters. Although some characters embody a personal trait or two, I generally don’t incorporate myself into my writing. Blogging is a way for me to do that.
What does blogging mean to you, and how has it helped you on your journey? I hope this post encourages you to share your story, because the more we share our stories the more chance we have of changing the way society views mental health.
– S x