Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Why I Started Blogging

I have a passion for writing and I’ve had several blogs over the last 12 or so years. Back then it wasn’t referred to as “blogging” – it was just posting about whatever came to mind on sites like MySpace. I stopped when I got to about the age of 15 as by then bullies at school where using it as a way to cyber bully me and I couldn’t face logging in to yet another torrent of abuse. There wasn’t a protocol for reporting it either as at that point cyberbullying wasn’t a term that was being used and there was no way of prosecuting anyone for it. There wasn’t even awareness that this was an actual thing that was happening. I made the mistake of making an ask.fm account in my final year of high school and the cyberbullying continued. As there was the option to be anonymous, I noticed that the influx of mean messages increased when I got to college and started doing the work experience part of the course. There was a distinct difference in tone between the people I went to school with and those that I was at college with/working with so I just thought it best to close down the account. If that was how everyone saw me - “batty”, “fat”, “ugly”, “miserable c***” (and a whole lot worse that I won’t repeat because I really don’t feel like reliving what made me suicidal or end up triggering anyone) for being depressed, anxious and openly writing fan fiction then I didn’t want to know. If they couldn’t say it to my face then why should I let them post it anonymously? I was depressed enough as it was without it encouraging a cyberbullying free-for-all.

I started blogging again when I left high school but only got into a routine in the last 3 months and these days I blog as a way to stop myself from bottling up how I feel. It acts as a release of sorts. When an article is finished, uploaded and published I feel this sense of relief that comes from physically releasing my thoughts out into the world and it helps me to forget about whatever I’ve been writing about for a while. The only downfall from this, though, is knowing that what I say is out there for everyone to see and it makes me extremely anxious waiting to see if anyone comments with something negative about it or criticises it without being constructive as I am so used to receiving comments from people over the years telling me that I’m “crazy”, that I should just “get over it” and to “get a life” because “no one cares”. This has played a huge part in my need to be anonymous; to stop the comments from getting to the point where they are attacking me personally for my looks or for who they think I am based off of going to school with me and not even knowing me.

My Writing History:
I have been writing fictional short stories based on my depression and anxiety for years now – at least since I was about 12 so that’s 13 years of writing – and decided around 7 years ago that I would start writing openly about my own life. I more or less only wrote my journal-style posts for myself for nearly 7 years until I decided to venture out into posting more informational pieces and wanted to see how it would do if I were to suddenly start promoting it on Twitter (and make said social media account for it). I also have a website that hosts fictional stories that I am currently in the process of relaunching and at some point will probably link to it from here – if I ever get over the fear of showing you all the fictional things that I have created.
The original version of the blog started as a bit of an online journal where I would write about what I had been up to, how I felt and whatever had been causing my distress that week and has now turned into a blog that has not only made myself feel not as alone but has made other people feel like someone else was in the same boat. The amount of connections I have made because of this blog has been phenomenal and I am completely taken aback by the response to it.

Being Overwhelmed:
When I feel overwhelmed I take to writing and it helps me to refocus and not concentrate on whatever has been bothering me. As of this year, though, blogging has been a tad overwhelming so I’ve been writing more and more which is both a blessing and a curse (hello, Blogtober). The blog has done better than I ever could have imagined in such a short amount of time and it’s been quite surprising to me to see just how well it has done as until this year no one cared about what I wrote or even how I felt. That in itself is just mind blowing.

A Change:
As a result of making the Twitter account for this blog, it has really boosted my confidence in writing. I would even go as far to say that this version of my blog has been a bit of life changer. It’s so weird to know that people actually like the real me and are willing to keep coming back week after week (or in Blogtober’s case; day after day) to get to know me better and to help us all to not feel as alone. I feel better about myself too and I’m so happy that a lot of you have messaged me over the last few months to say that you feel better too or that my posts have given you the confidence to seek help or to even be a bit more social on social media. I’m not a doctor or mental health care professional by any means but I have been through a lot of treatment over the years as well as just experiencing things like agoraphobia and severe anxiety & depression and I’m so glad that I am able to share with you all my experiences and what I’ve learned from being in treatment.

So: thank you from the bottom of my heart for either coming back time and time again or for even being a new reader. There are over 500 of you on Twitter who read my blog, who choose to message me whether it’s just to say “hi” or because you need a friend and whom are just some of the loveliest people ever. It amazes me how many times certain posts of mine get viewed, how many of you “like” my Instagram posts and how many of you RT things I Tweet over on Twitter. It’s not about the numbers, though. It’s about the loving and caring nature of it all. I’ve never felt such love before and it’s all down to you wonderful lot.
Thanks for sticking by me!


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