When I started private counselling for my anxiety, I was in the midst of one of the worst periods my mental health has ever seen. I barely left the house. My thoughts were so irrational. The thought of going anywhere left me in a state of dread and that first therapy appointment? My gosh, I thought I was going to die. But starting private therapy was invaluable for me; my counsellor and I got along really well, I trusted her and felt I could fully open up to her. She really did help me in so many ways and I often wonder where I would be today had I not gone to see her in that time when I was so desperate for anything to help numb these unbearable feelings of constant dread, anxiety and fear over everything and nothing all at once.
Phew, this post has been a long time coming. Again, it’s another one of my word-vomit, spontaneous, horribly written posts which I’ll look back on and realise it doesn’t make much sense at all but it’s a topic which has been firmly on my mind for well, fucking months and one that I need to talk about. For no other reason than to just get what I’m feeling off my chest, in the hope that it might make me feel a bit better and maybe, just maybe, someone reading this will feel the same and offer some insight.
Over the last month, my relationship with social media has changed. Whereas once upon a time, heading on to Twitter to express my concerns over something, finding comfort in scrolling aimlessly through hundreds of tweets and just generally, zoning out of real life was my solace but now, I find myself… resenting that very thing. And it’s not only Twitter, don’t worry Twitter bby, I’m not singling u out. Some days, I can’t bare to look at Instagram and the thought of going on Facebook? Oh, hell no. My relationship with social media has changed. But why?
I read a blog post the other day… And I didn’t like it. And I didn’t like some of the things which were said. I won’t name and shame and this isn’t a “reaction” type post; I don’t think I’d ever go through the effort of doing one of those. But it did prompt me to want to write my own post about this topic – a topic which was rather contradictory in the original post and a topic which I think needs to be emphasised more.
Ever since I started reviewing books in 2013, I’ve always used a 1-5 star rating of some description (although I did change my stars to cupcakes because I thought it was cuter but it follows the same system). Whether it be on my blog, Goodreads or Amazon I was always rating the books I had read between 1 and 5 stars. I thought everybody did that, I thought that was the “norm”. But since blogging more and more, I’ve seen various opinions from people who say the star rating isn’t for them, they don’t like it or they rate books in a different way. Some, not at all.
*Trigger warning: eating disorders, disordered eating and vomit*
I think this post has come at a convenient time as we’ve just seen the release of the Netflix original movie, “To The Bone”, this month – a film, based on true events, about a girl with anorexia and her journey to recovery. Which I actually enjoyed – though it’s definitely not without it’s faults but I think they did a great job on a whole. But anyway, I’m not here to discuss the movie (if you do want to discuss the movie, please leave a comment as I’d love to hear what you thought!), I’m here to lay myself bare and talk about my disordered eating throughout my life.
Since becoming self employed, starting an online business and starting a blog, I’ve found myself becoming increasingly and increasingly eager to do more and achieve more. Followers, likes, comments, amount of books read, projects to start (and probably not finish), money to raise for charity, more “stuff” to implement into my business. More and more and more stuff for me to do – whether I have the time to do it or not. I’m highly a Type A personality, I thrive off of organisation, getting stuff done, meeting deadlines and projects and often spend near enough the whole day from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed doing some kind of work related “thing”. Is this healthy? Probably not. But I never, ever used to be like this. Nowhere near.
I love a to-do list. I love to-do lists more than life itself. And apart from when I’m on holiday, I don’t think I’ve got through a single day in the last 2 years without working from a to-do list. I am a super organised person and I thrive off of it; the thought of waking up and just going about your day terrifies me. What if I forget something? What if I’m not getting my priorities straight? I am your straight up, stereotypical Type A personality and whilst that’s great and all and I get a shit load done on a daily basis it definitely has it’s downsides. To-do lists are amazing but recently, I’ve been noticing downsides.
Blog photography has always been the bane of my blogging life. I’m not good at taking photos, period. No matter how good the camera or perfect the lighting, it’s just something I am not good at. I try my best and would say some of my own, personal photos I’ve taken for my blog are… satisfactory at best. But no matter how hard I try, they never compare to the perfectly laid out flat lays with the pretty copper and rose gold photos props in the perfect lighting which makes you envious of that particular blogger’s amazing skill.
Like any other creative industry whereby you “put yourself out there” in some way; be that through art or music or acting, blogging gives you a platform to express yourself, network and… be judged. If you’re giving a part of yourself to the online world, there are hundreds of thousands of other people all doing the same thing, all looking to each other for guidance or inspiration and there are some who look at others and will judge. I’ve done it. You’ve probably done it, too. It’s bad to judge but some of the things I’ve seen bloggers be “judgy” about, I don’t find intrinsically bad, at all. And those are the points I want to talk about today.