This post is about something very personal to me. So today I’m going to talk about my blogging story and how books really did save me at a time when I didn’t know what else to do. Like I said, this is a very personal post. I’ve been thinking about posting this for some time.
I’ve never said this on my blog, but I suffer from anxiety and depression. Sometimes the way I’m feeling gets in the way of blogging. Blogging can be stressful, and I know I’m not alone in all of the anxieties I experience with this hobby. I love blogging, I love the community, I love discussing books with you guys and being part of something so amazing.
I face anxiety in social situations, especially around people I don’t know and places that I am unfamiliar with. Over the years, I just thought that I was overly shy — I could never understand why I felt so nervous and scared being around people. As I got older I thought that my over-worrying, nervousness and shyness wasn’t exactly something I was going to grow out of because if anything, it just seemed to be getting worse. I never told anyone about the anxiety I would feel in social situations.
As far back as I can remember I’ve shown signs of anxiety. My earliest memory is in primary school, when I would get nervous at the start of each day. While I was a happy child and teen throughout those years, I now realise that those small events may have been my first anxious experience.
As I got further into High School, I started to realize that these feelings and thoughts weren’t going away. I felt unhappy and anxious constantly. I knew something was wrong, so I saw a therapist, but it was never “solved.” I’d go through periods where I convinced myself I was fine and just overreacting, but then there were times when I didn’t even want to wake up in the morning. I became hyper-aware of everything around me, was always on edge, and couldn’t concentrate on any of my work.
I am nineteen and have struggled with my mental health for basically as far back as I can remember. As a child, I was seen as very shy and sensitive, but as I reached my teens, I developed major social anxiety and depression. I have spent my whole life dealing with mental illness, and I still do, although I can now function far better than before, I still struggle severely. I cannot work, as my anxiety is just still too high for that.
It’s something you have to accept and live with. Worst mistake you can make, like I did, is to start avoiding everything. I was scared all the time. Now it goes up and down. Moments like now, where I feel good. But also moments where I have to drag myself out of the house, and just get through the day. And this problem follows me to blogging, too.
I have been an avid reader since 2013. Since then I have read many books. Over the years of my life, books have been my best friend, they have stood by me at every stage giving me the advice I needed. I used to read a lot when I was between the ages of 5 through 8. Then, I stopped reading. One of the worst decisions of my life.
Thankfully, I regained the habit and I’m very proud of that. Since then, I have never stopped reading for longer than two days. I have learned a lot of things, much more than I would’ve been able to without reading.
The Internet is like a safe haven for someone with an anxiety disorder or just for someone that can’t express themselves freely out in the real world. I’ve become so much better just in the last year with my social anxiety. It honestly helps that I have to interact with people all the time on this blog — it pushes me to be social and overcome my challenges. I’m still at a point where I have to convince myself this isn’t something to be ashamed of, because I still am. I feel like people will laugh at me, or think I’m weird. So this post is sort of a very big step.
What it comes down to is this: I love blogging. I love sharing my love for books, I love reading about all the other books people love. But because of my anxiety, I never really feel as if I’m a part of the community. I never really get to say what I want to say. I continue my unhealthy habit of avoiding communications and confrontations. And for once, I wanted to express that it isn’t a “silly little fear.” It’s something entirely unavoidable for me. It’s present as I write this post and imagine people reading it.
Mostly, I wish I could express to others that, no matter how very dark the depths of your despair may feel, this will ease in time. It is the loneliest illness to battle, but in the end it does make you a stronger, more compassionate person when you come through on the other side Although I can barely speak to people in person, I have found that I can write. It is a huge part of me, but does not define me as a person..
Let me know if you would like me to write more personal posts like this. To all my Readers, I am very grateful that you take the time to read my blog. This Blog wouldn’t be here without you. I am so grateful to share my blogging journey with all of you. Thank you all and have an awesome week.