What It's Like to Be a Blogger Struggling With Anxiety
Blogging, despite what others may think, isn’t just free samples and hashtags. So what’s it like being a blogger with anxiety? Cute shots of snuggly blankets and tea? Tweeting about biting nails and nervous flutters with the hashtag #socialanxiety? Blushing adorably after every time someone mentions how good your blog is? Sadly not.
Being a blogger with anxiety is tough. It’s horribly and disappointingly tough.
Anxiety is having to pace around the room, take a breath, ignore your heart, ignore your head and snap shut your laptop screen after posting a single article. It’s never looking at your stats, for fear that the low numbers will frighten you into deleting your site. It’s buying expensive products for a perfect review and then panicking about bank accounts, overdrafts, expenses and disposable income for the next month after uploading.
It’s seeing an invite for a networking event, clicking yes, and then faltering the minute before you head out of the door with a heavy heart and too much anxiety to cope. It’s never messaging, commenting or interacting with the bloggers you love, for fear they’ll immediately reject you or that you’ll sound cringingly keen and embarrassing.
It’s repeating “no, no, really, no, I don’t think so..” the minute someone asks if you’ll start a Youtube channel. It’s thinking that communicating to the world through typing is bad enough, never mind speaking.
It’s wanting to travel to amazing places for beautiful photography and a stunning series of travel articles read by tourists all over the world — but cancelling your flight with shaky hands after a bad panic attack and a fit of nerves stopping you every step of the way.
1 in 4 people struggle with a mental illness, and bloggers are no different. Our jobs, hobbies and passions may take place inside cosy offices and coffee shops, but it takes an enormous amount of effort every day just to open our laptops and start writing. For some, blogging is a form of therapy — an outlet for the thoughts we’re not quite sure how to express out loud. For others, it’s an escape from the anxious world, into one of beauty, lifestyle, interiors and baking.
Much like writers, the income for bloggers is small and sporadic, and can come at the price of office socializing, and in some case, severe isolation that can sometimes lead to manifestations of anxiety and depression. The added pressure of a creative environment and a whole generation of digital competitors means that the blogging profession is already a hotbed of potential anxiety, even without the increasing numbers of bloggers with panic disorder, generalized anxiety and depression contributing to those figures.
This article may make the world of blogging seem like a dark, gloomy, unsatisfactory place. In reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The blogging community is one of bright color, imagination and fun — as well as immense online support, inspiration and motivation to keep even the most anxious of bloggers uploading.
The only change this article calls for is awareness. We need to be aware of the pressures bloggers face; of the “high-functioning,” generalized, social and specific anxiety triggers in creating, posting and sharing their work with the world — and respect them for their trials. This is the best way to support the bloggers in your life, community and online accounts — and they’ll never stop being grateful for it.
Follow this journey here.
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Unsplash photo via Christin Hume