Usually I try to log into all the sites connected to this blog and reply to all the messages and comments where I can, sometimes, especially on days we receive an overwhelming amount of messages, I just can’t deal with it. I would actually start having difficulty breathing and will get to the point of tears before I would admit something wasn’t okay. But now when things start to feel too much for me to handle, I’ll disconnect. Both data and wi-fi get turned off on my phone in an attempt at me avoiding the interwebs. I’ve even gone as far as to shut my phone off for a couple days. There are people who know how to get a hold of me during this time, in case of an emergency, but mostly I just lay in bed or take my kid and dog out for a walk to calm me down.
I have had people who thought I was purposefully avoiding them. I wish I could tell them all not to take it personally. I even have days where I only interact with my pets because I can hardly handle my husband and child. (Thankfully those are rare) And they are my favorite people! So if even they’re not immune to my anxiety issues, everyone else is just doomed.
There are sometimes days where I do need to force myself to reply to a certain amount of emails, messages, tweets, etc. Especially if we start getting backed up. I have gotten to the point of recognizing when I’m near my limit. So I’ll stop before that. As awful as this sounds, sometimes I’ll accidentally miss an email and it’ll go unanswered for months. I always feel horrible when I catch this.
The only thing that keeps me active during these anxiety issues is Review or Regret with Katie from Just Another Girl and her Books. No matter how bad I’m feelings, I assure you it’ll be a billion times worse if I were to have to sing Justin Bieber live on my Facebook page because I couldn’t get enough reviews written. So, even if I’m having a bad week, I will force myself to finish the minimum review requirement. Sometimes last minute, but I totally appear somewhat active.
What people aren’t realizing is I’m choosing reviews with the least conflict or issues and always books I read for my own entertainment. Also, I’m usually not promoting them anywhere past Deja Revu. Not even on twitter or my personal facebook page. They’re all honest reviews, mind you, but I’m just not comfortable enough with my own opinion to share it sometimes.
I wouldn’t say I feel obligated to post when I’m in a good period. Instead, I actually want to post and interact. This is generally when I come up with a ton of ideas. (Sometimes actually good ones) And everything goes smoothly until I get the curtain back on again. Which is when I start distancing myself again, and everything cycles back to the bad times.
It’s incredibly frustrating when this happens. Because I’ll have done all of this work only to be thwarted by myself. And that makes everything worse. Because I know what I’m capable of and I see what I’m having to give up every single time I fall back. But I just cannot keep up with myself. Like I mentioned earlier, there is a block on myself. It takes an incredible amount of effort just to do a regular review post. I am exhausted after writing just one review, so promoting it is just out of the question.
I have lost touch with authors and other bloggers because of some of my cases of anxiety. I was unable to reply to them and I have no doubts I’ve been labeled as uninterested, flakey, or worse. And by the time I’m okay again, the relationship is already damaged. This is one of the reasons I started opening up about my anxiety. People are much more forgiving when they realize you’re not just an asshole.
As a book addict, I like to acquire signed books. The easiest way to do this is by attending book signings. It’s also good to go to those things as a blogger because promotion and whatnot. I have a love/hate relationship with those things. My first signings went poorly. I attended them on my own, foolishly. I did met some awesome people, but there were so many people at these things that I just got so overwhelmed by all the authors and other bloggers. The worst one (which is actually where I met Sofia) had me running back to my car at least four times because of panic attacks. I would have to convince myself to go back inside.
I’ve since learned not to attend those things on my own. If my fellow bloggers aren’t available to go with me then my husband will suck it up and go. Mostly I am pretty awkward and ridiculous at signings. I ramble so much. But I’ve gotten better at them and I’m learning to navigate them. If you see me at one you can come up and say hello. Just don’t be thrown off if I’m awkward af.
One thing I’ve finally accepted is a need for a support system. I’m the type of person used to doing things on my own. So it’s been a real struggle for me to admit when I need help. Whenever I ask I feel like I’m a failure, but it gets easier every time. I’ve also found myself surrounded by many understanding people. This doesn’t mean they all let me shut myself out. Instead, they help me navigate my anxiety and motivate me through the difficult times.
I absolutely highly recommend anyone with anxiety to build up a group of friends that can understand them, even if those people don’t deal with it themselves. What people need is acceptance and help when times get too much for them. And don’t be afraid to talk to your friends about it. More often than not they’re actually happy to support you. And if not, they’re not actually your friend. So good riddance to those bums.
The biggest thing I wish I knew when I started blogging is that I don’t have to do everything people ask of me. It is okay to say no. Sure, it might cause hurt feelings. But those people will get over it. My health is not worth the stress. I gave up family time and sleep, two of my favorite things, and it was unnecessary and I wasted so much effort for things that weren’t even appreciated. Basically I’d allow myself to get taken advantage of because I couldn’t stand up for myself. It is okay and important to step back. Don’t let the stress control me.
Sometimes the anxiety gets bad and hard for me to control, but I’m managing. I still have good days to look forward to, even if things seem bleak, and many people I can lean on if I need them. Navigating social media and my blog with anxiety can still be pretty difficult for me at times, and that’s okay. I’ll just take it one day at a time.
If you want to start your own just make sure to come up with a handful of questions to help encourage a rounded out article. Don’t forget to include the rules as well. Also, and this isn’t required, you should totally tag me on FACEBOOK or TWITTER so I can participate with yours.
Please feel free to submit your article to our weekly review/article/giveaway roundup. This would be considered a response article, unless you’ve come up with the topic yourself. You can submit them here:
- Have you come out about your anxiety?
- How does your anxiety ever impact how you interact on social media?
- Do you have to push yourself to reply back to people?
- Is there anything that spurs you on to complete a goal?
- When your anxiety gets bad, how is your presence affected?
- When you finally come out of a bad period of anxiety do you feel you need to compensate with lots of material?
- What’s one of the worst experiences (you feel comfortable sharing) you’ve had with your blog/page because of anxiety?
- Do you participate in book signings? If so, how do you handle them?
- What sort of support system do you have in place, if any?
- Is there any advice you wish you had before you started your page/blog?