Real Talk: Blogging with Depression
Real talk: depression sucks. It impacts my life heavily, and it impacts my reading and blogging experience too. I know a lot of people in the book community struggle with mental illness, so know that this is just my own, personal experience. I wanted to write this post so people who don't live this can understand it/me better, maybe, and so all of you who struggle know they're not alone. I'm here, and feel free to reach out ❤️
(TW: depression, anxiety, self-deprecating/self-critical thoughts)
I've been living/fighting with depression and general anxiety for almost two years now, and it's been a struggle. Last December I had to drop out of college because of it, and I am not yet able to return, despite my original hopes of doing so in September. Not going back yet was definitely the (only) healthy choice, but it's still difficult sometimes because now I don't conform to societies ideas of normal and useful anymore, and occasionally I feel like that's what my worth depends on.
Coincidentally, December/January is also when I started book blogging, after debating it for about half a year. Bookstagram followed shortly thereafter, and I'm so glad I have this blog now! But it's not always easy. Some days I barely find the energy to eat and brush my teeth, let alone write blog posts. When I feel bad, I read more, but writing reviews gets harder. If I feel even worse, I can't really read (or enjoy reading) anymore. My anxiety gives room for a lot of stress and unhealthy perfectionism, so I worry when I can't produce a steady stream of content, or be confident I will at least have read books I can talk about.
It's harder to make friends or connections because I don't dare to reach out and feel like I have nothing to offer and my blog isn't worth a place or I a voice. Even if I would reach out, I don't always have the energy to respond to messages and feel guilty when I can't.
My blog isn't perfect either. When you comment, there is no way you get notified if I reply to it. The subscribe option doesn't really work, so far, and I don't have the knowledge nor energy to really figure it out. Besides, if you would subscribe, I'd be so worried I couldn't cover up the fact that sometimes, there are large gaps of time without posts anymore. Now, if I feel really bad about it, I can always retroactively add posts in the past.
Those things make me super hesitant to share and promote my blog, which is a shame because I do love having it, and working on it when I can brings me a lot of joy.
But I'm here. And I wrote this post. And I'm trying, and I'm proud of that. I'm glad I started this blog, and I will continue to fight for it. Whatever your passion is or wherever you are or want to be in life, I wish you the energy and (mental) space to fight for it too. You're not going to win every day (I lose more often than not), but that's okay. We can try, and try again. You're awesome and valuable, and so am I. ❤️