Real Talk: Blogging with a chronic health condition is hard.

I know it's not just me. Blogging has changed and keeping up is difficult. It's exceptionally difficult if you have a condition that limits your time online and destroys your concentration. I am a mental health blogger with long-term, pervasive conditions and M.E/CFS.

Blogging should always be a stress free zone
via Google Images
This does not make creating content and keeping 'locked in' to social media easy, at all. In fact, the vast majority of the time it is incredibly hard to sit up and type for more than half an hour. How other people are able to work full time, have a social life AND blog is absolutely beyond comprehension. I do know how much hard work is involved in blogging and to be honest I am very jealous of their ability to function so highly - and I'm sure they feel they aren't doing enough! 

Blogging used to be my 'safe space' but I think since the start of the year I've felt a shift into something a lot more stressful. There's an enormous pressure to keep up, post regularly, make sure your photos are of the most perfect standard, have an immaculate layout and all the while be ever present on social media which I really don't think is a terribly good thing to be doing. I keep hearing that people who spend too much time on Facebook, Twitter and such are more likely to feel negatively about their own lives and that could easily spiral into all sorts of dark avenues. I definitely need to step away from social media from time to time because all I see is reminders of how my life could be if I wasn't stuck in a body that doesn't function terribly well.

I have no problem with twitter but it now seems that Google+ is the 'place to be' and I honestly cannot get my head around it, or do I have the energy or brain capacity to try. Facebook annoys me and I really don't know why, so if you're wondering why I haven't bothered setting up a 'page' on there, it's because basically Facebook pisses me off! Don't even get me started on using Google Analytics to monitor your blog... 

If I'm not blogging, I'm either asleep, revising or in a dissociated haze somewhere. That's about the sum of my life. Occasionally I can make it outside to go to Body Balance or go for a swim. Blogging is not my priority and probably never will be. The exception to this is only if I am sent a product, then I will make a conscious effort to work my socks off to put out a decent post for them. I had hoped that my summer break from university would be spent making this little blog a priority and working hard to improve it, but life comes along and slaps you at the most annoying moments. I have resits to prepare for and that's just how it's got to be, sadly!

If you're a follower of my blog, I really and truly thank you for being here. There are probably so many things I am doing wrong but you're sticking it until I get shit figured out, and that makes you awesome. If you've not noticed, I really do abide by the quality over quantity philosophy and I hope that reflects in the content I do put out. You should see my drafts folder!! It's so full with half-written posts and ideas that I just can't quite 'get right'. Making your blog stand out from the crowd is probably one of the hardest things you are up against; while gaining followers should absolutely not be your motivation, I think we can all agree that it's nice to know you're not working your arse off to essentially talk to yourself. 

A common problem for people with M.E/CFS and anxiety disorders to an extent is having word-finding difficulties. You know when you know a word you want to say but you can't quite get it to come out? Imagine that, but for entire conversations. Or when you're trying to write an essay on the origin of eukaryotic cells - that was a frustrating ordeal. I believe it's sometimes called writers block but I'm not entirely sure if that's correct, to me that's more of a white noise issue than words just not coming out.

Something else I have noticed is that social anxiety can manifest itself online. I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling unable to comment on blogs or groups for fear of not being a 'regular face' and getting a whole load of 'what the **** are you doing here?' and 'please go away...' thrown at them. I do try. I try so damn hard but 99% of the time I just can't bring myself to do it. Pretty daft, because online you're pretty anonymous - unless you choose not to be etc. It's not a face-to-face situation which should take the edge off, right?! 

I have SO MANY ideas and plans for this blog but I really don't know if I have the capabilities to put them into place. I guess we could try it and see what happens...

In closing: blogging should never make you feel like this, and if it does it's probably time for a break! 

Samantha Nicholls. Powered by Blogger.


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