Beyond the Blurb | How Blogging Has Saved Me from My Mental Illnesses

Since the #BellLetsTalk campaign, which draws awareness to mental health and illness, begins today, I thought I’d talk about mine. As most of you know, I have two mental illnesses: anxiety and PTSD. I wasn’t diagnosed until last year. I always knew I had anxiety since I was young, but I never knew I had the latter.

My mental illnesses are always present in my life. Something or someone may set them off. And I withdraw from life. Now, some of my blogger friends may have realized that I haven’t been around lately. As you read my post, I will be at a local hospital, waiting for my Mom to go into surgery to remove the breast cancer the doctors have found. I wasn’t sure if I’d want to discuss something this personal on my blog, but it has become an extension of me and my life. And maybe reaching out to other people who have dealt with this situation will help.

I have withdrawn from the blogosphere. And a part of me wants to apologize and say that my anxiety keeps me away. But I feel as if that’s an excuse. So instead, for my discussion post, Beyond the Blurb, I want to talk about how book blogging has saved me from my mental illnesses. I never believed blogging would do such a thing. But here I am, marvelling at how a simple website has given me so much. So here is how:

It Gives Me a Place to Vent

With my anxiety and PTSD, I feel safer in my home, away from the people and the society that have caused me so much anger, rage, and pain. I used to love going out at night, but for years, I feared to do that alone. But now, the night is when I add another post and talk about subjects that have provided me a platform to feel as if people will hear my voice, which is often quiet and unheard.

 

It Allows Me to Reach Out into the World and to Find New People

You may not understand how every single one of my readers and the ones who have become my blogger friends and family has helped me through my dark times. Just talking to me and reaching out have done wonders for my anxiety. For years, I refused to talk about my scars because I didn’t see the point. But the past is a part of me. If I don’t acknowledge it, how can I move past it? So knowing people are there who are accepting is uplifting.

 

Even If It May Be Stressful, Blogging Releases My Built-Up Anxiety

Odd, right? How can something cause stress help relieve it? Somehow, it does the opposite of what I thought it would. Blogging shouldn’t demand all of your undivided attention. If it does, then perhaps you’re approaching it the wrong way. You call the shots. So if I don’t feel up to do a post, I don’t write one.

 

It Shows I’m Not Alone

When you feel isolated, your mental health typically takes a nosedive. We humans aren’t solitary beings. Even if we crave the wilderness and the quiet away from society, we usually find our way back. When I figured that knowledge out, this understanding is when I realized I can’t seclude myself from everyone. I can see that mental illness is shared through everyone. And I am not the only person who feels like drowning sometimes.

 

It Has Also Enabled Me to Give Support Others Who Are Struggling

I truly find one of my callings in helping people. I may be selfish, but when I offer to help another person who suffers from anything in life, I know I’ve accomplished something. I feel empowered. So the major reason why I started Beyond the Blurb was to offer support to new and seasoned bloggers who need that little nudge in the right direction.

How has blogging helped you as a person and a blogger? Has it helped or affected your mental health? Let’s chat!

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11 thoughts on “Beyond the Blurb | How Blogging Has Saved Me from My Mental Illnesses

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Siobhan. I’m sending lots of love your way, and I hope everything goes smoothly for your mum. ❀

    I know the stress and anxiety of the waiting room. About 14 months ago my mum's fiance had to go to Melbourne for an 8 hour surgery to remove a growth that would have turned into cancer on his bowel. He had cancer when he was only a toddler which had altered the shape of his stomach so taking yet another chunk was risky. It was one of the worst, most stress-filled days of my life which then became a stress-filled few months as it took him a while to recuperate. Just remember to stay positive and to look after yourself mentally. You are not alone.

    I'm only a keyboard away if you need to vent, rant, talk or anything else. xxoo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for all the well wishes! I’m just getting back into the swing of things while I took some time away to help her out. Everything went well.

      I think I’m still in the process of trying to find the calm during the storm. I know what has happened and what will occur, but I haven’t caught my breath yet. I don’t know how you handled that. I’m glad to hear it didn’t progress to that stage. I hope he’s doing great now!

      Thank you, love. All this support is the best thing to hear right now! πŸ’œ

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m so happy that everything went well – thanks for letting me know because I was worried for you both! ❀ Hopefully now you'll have that time to catch your breath so to say and take some time for yourself. It can only go upwards from here! xxx

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  2. I wish your mom all the best! ❀ It's horrible to be the sick one, but I've also been the one sitting by my brother's bed at the hospital when he's really ill and it's so emotionally difficult in a completely different way. So hope you're doing good as well

    I disappeared off the blog in the beginning of summer as I was in the hospital with major pain and turned out (after not having seen so many confused doctors in all my life of chronic illness) that I had a heavy lung infection and my gallbladder was about to fail, so had minor surgery and mostly okay now, but it took six months. What blogging helps with is promoting books as a hobby and I can share it with people as I've always been a reader, but my friends not. It's really great to have it because even if my ability to read is lowered by illness, it doesn't disappear completely. I did taekwondo for a couple years and loved it, along with walks in nature, but that's very physical things that I can only do on good days. Like even embroidery and piano isn't always possible because sometimes I can't move my fingers without pain, but I've been able to lately and it's so awesome! Also there's so variety in level of reading, when I'm not feeling great I might be reading more short stories or poetry, that you can concentrate on piece by piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When you’re in the bed, you truly don’t realize how stressful your illness is to the people you love until you’re in the chair beside them. I was always the one who was sick, not usually her until she got older.

      I’m so happy to know you’re getting better. I can’t imagine how difficult that journey was. I understand completely though. Blogging and reading seem to always be in the background for me, so I find them easy to come back to.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so happy your blog helps you with your mental health, Siobhan.

    It’s the same for me. Although I don’t have any mental illnesses – that I’m aware of, although I sometimes have this nagging feeling I might have some kind of social anxiety? – I do understand perfectly well how having this outlet can help people in so many ways.
    It’s a safe place to talk about the things you want to talk about, to share things and thoughts, to try and be there for others, to talk about harder topics while still feeling safe – or at least more safe than if you should talk to someone sitting right in front of you.

    As for the stress-factor? Honestly, it’s what I love a lot about blogging. It distracts me from the things in “real life” going wrong or in need of fixing. A creative outlet, a distraction, something that’ll always be “good” [or as close to as can be] no matter what happens. Something that gives me joy even when it does stress me out, hah. πŸ™‚

    In any case, I hope you and your mom are doing okay. Wishing you both all the strength and courage you need. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think in the back of my mind I thought I had social anxiety until I was diagnosed with GAD. So for years, I wouldn’t talk about it until I started opening up here to you guys. And I feel a little liberated.

      And I completely agree with you there! Creative outlets, whether or not stressful, have always helped me. I feel, for a lack of a better word, safe somehow. It’s something that I can control and decide to shape.

      Thank you for all the love, Kathy. πŸ’œ She’s recuperating as am I.

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  4. First I want to commend you for being brave and sharing this post with all of us, I know from personal experience how difficult it can be to open up. It’s so important to let others see they aren’t alone.

    I hope your mom’s surgery went well. Sending you and your family lots of love.

    Blogging also helps me with my mental illness: it distracts me from my RL stressors and gives me an outlet to focus my energy. I love it so much, and I am glad it brought us together!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I needed to read your comment. Thank you, Kal. πŸ’œ And I’m so happy to have you in my life. Mom is on the mend and is doing good. The surgery went well, and we’ll know more once we get the results back.

      I honestly thought that blogging would add more stress into my life, but I feel the same about it. It lets me step away from life and just de-stress.

      Like

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