Hi guys! I’ve been thinking about posting this for some time, and as today is World Mental Health Day, it seems like the right time to throw these thoughts out into the blogosphere. I have a tendency to feel like I’m alone in how I’m feeling, but the truth is, lots of people within the book-blogging community struggle with mental health conditions, so this is me reaching out and saying that if you yourself feel that way, you are not alone.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever explicitly said so on my blog, but I suffer from depression and anxiety. Sometimes the way I’m feeling gets in the way of blogging, as you can probably tell from how sporadic a blogger I’ve been over the past few months. I’m trying at the moment – it’s very hard, but I’m trying – to convince myself that I should NOT feel guilty about this.
Book-blogging can be stressful at the best of times, 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 fangirling and being part of something so awesome. But there are so many stresses and struggles that sit alongside the good stuff, which are only amplified by anxiety and depression, and I know I’m not alone in this:
I can’t be the only one who sees how many books another human is reading and reviewing per week and feels stressed that it’s been two weeks and I haven’t finished a single book because I can’t concentrate right now
I can’t be the only one who gets panicky because it’s been more than a week and I haven’t replied to my blog comments because I’m overwhelmed, and what if everyone thinks I’m rude and ignorant and lazy
I can’t be the only one who worries that I’ll be forgotten because I haven’t posted anything in ten days and I don’t know when I’ll be able to because my brain is full of fog and just picking what to have for lunch is a challenge right now
I can’t be the only one who sees other bloggers giving advice like ‘you should try to blog every day, or a least 4 times a week’ and wants to curl up in a little ball of unworthiness because I am clearly not trying hard enough
I can’t be the only one whose heart starts beating faster when somebody says they want to read a book I’ve reviewed, because what if they hate it? What if they never trust my opinion again? And worse still, what if they find it problematic and get offended by it and hate me for encouraging them to read it?
I can’t be the only one who gets anxious when everyone around me is reviewing a new release and I haven’t even read it yet, because reading books is hard when you’re so tired you’re barely alive
And I certainly can’t be the only one who thinks what I’ve written is a pile of crap when my stats aren’t very good. That I’m a big fat failure full stop.
In fact, I know I’m not the only one.
I’ve decided it’s high time we stopped feeling so guilty. Blogging is supposed to be enjoyable, but sometimes it’s really hard. Sometimes, anxiety and depression can make blogging feel like climbing a mountain. But it’s okay:
It’s okay if it takes us two weeks, three weeks, a month, to read one book.
It’s okay if it takes us a while to get back to people who’ve commented on our posts – they’ll understand. They won’t throw rocks at us.
It’s okay if we don’t blog for a month – everyone takes hiatuses.
It’s okay not to blog every single day. It’s enough that we’re getting up and getting through the day. We matter more than our blogs, at the end of the day.
In fact, it’s perfectly okay to do something OTHER than blogging when we get home from a mentally exhausting day at work/school/other gruelling reality thing. It’s okay to binge-watch something on Netflix instead of reading. It’s okay to get into bed at 9.30, even if that is earlier than our Granny retires to hers.
It’s okay if we like a book and somebody else doesn’t – everyone has different opinions, and nobody is going to throw rocks at us for expressing ours.
It’s okay if we don’t review a new release; we can read and review whatever we want, it’s our blog! And we don’t even HAVE to review a book – we could just read it for fun and not worry about it. Nobody is going to throw rocks at us if we don’t come up with 1,000 sparklingly witty and insightful words about Empire of Storms. (In fact, nobody throws rocks in the book blogging community full stop. We’re all lovely human beings.)
It’s also okay if we don’t get a gazillion views on one of our blog posts. We’re blogging because we enjoy it, and stats don’t matter. Oh and while we’re at it, our blog is not crap, and neither are we.
Basically, it’s okay to give ourselves a break. STOP BEATING OURSELVES UP. We deserve to be happy, and blogging isn’t going anywhere. It’ll still be there when we feel up to it again. And so will all the wonderful people in this community, who understand, and may even feel the same way. 🙂
Much love to you all and hope you have a lovely week. And if any of the above is familiar to you, I am always here for anyone who needs a virtual hug right now. ❤
Image source: Giphy