Being a book blogger, or any kind of blogger is hard. It’s long hours, it’s getting the right lighting for that perfect picture, it’s tweeting, re-sharing, liking…the list is endless. For some, it is their full time job.
Full disclosure; I have suffered with anxiety and depression since my early teens. A combination of a dysfunctional family and bullying at school was a recipe for the person you see before you today. A constant daily struggle of wondering if people are talking about me, have I pissed anyone off and so on.
Reading has always been able to calm me down. Reading is my solace. Reading is my escape from everything. Sitting down with my book and escaping into another world.
Looking for an outlet for my love of books and the genre, I made the plunge with three of my closest friends and The P.Turners Book Blog was born! So much excitement, happiness and determination was poured into the blog to get it ready to share with the world. I noticed a change in my mood almost overnight. I was excited to sit and read and then share my reviews. Being invited onto my first blog tour at the end of 2016 was a personal highlight.
The shift then happened as fast as a car crash. All of the feelings of self doubt, feeling worthless, worrying about being accepted, the pressure of conveying my reviews in the best way. I started to feel suffocated, but as with most sufferers of anxiety and depression I know, I didn’t let it show. For those on the outside, I was riding the wave and enjoying every minute of it. Behind the scenes, I am stressing about what little time I had to complete a review, then would this review even be good enough?
More recently – I have noticed that I haven’t been invited on some upcoming blog tours. Now most bloggers may look at this and think “Oh well, maybe next time.” My mind likes to attack me. Watching other bloggers receive their books, I start to feel worthless again. Why was I not chosen? Is it me? Have I done something wrong? I know this is not the case and that there simply isn’t enough space for EVERY blogger out there, but that doesn’t stop the feelings this evokes.
Hiding out mode is where I am most comfortable. Hiding away for a few days to get my head right so I can be back on my A-game and bring it everything, When this happens I am then back in the space of “well, I’ve been away for a few days, does anyone care? If no one cares, why do I do it?”. FYI – I HATE feeling like this.
I read this open letter recently and I could relate to every word written. It’s too easy to put on a mask and have people believe you are upbeat and positive, when all you really want to do is hide yourself away and watch repeats of Jeremy Kyle.
People can look at Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat and think you are living this great life and how “happy” you look. What they don’t see are the tears streaming down your face when you realise you have to go and face people and be social. That you will meet people for the first time and have to try and make conversation with you and that you will have NO idea what to say to them. That you spent 30 minutes in the bathroom trying to bring yourself to apply make up….
Well, Halloween has come early this year and it’s about time I showed everyone my real mask. The one that frowns a lot. The one that likes to people watch. The one that looks constantly uncomfortable. The one that cries off events for no other reason than getting in my own head. It’s not pretty…but this is me.
If this letter asks for anything, it will be to bear with me? Bear with me while I still try to figure this game of “life” out. It’s taking me a little longer than most. The most important lesson I have learned…. It IS ok to say that you’re not ok.
Hugs and cups of tea.