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On Being a Blogger with Depression

Living with depression and anxiety of course means vastly different things to different people.  

But, over time, it also means different things to those who live with it; each month, week, shit…….even each day, I can find myself mired in different manifestations of the same old thing.  It sucks for me and I’m sure it totally sucks for my family who have to soldier on while Mum’s head is spinning.

How ironic then, that without even digging down too deeply (and psychoanalysing myself even more than I already do!) I know with conviction that what’s feeding this recent influx of anxiety is the one thing that used to bring me so much joy and creative freedom.  This blog.

I’m writing this at 6.30am on a Saturday morning.  I awoke suddenly, minutes ago as if I never actually slept.  Kicked out of my precious and desperately needed slumber by one thought.  Blog related of course.  What.  The.  Fuck.

See, this blogging game is a serious hustle right now.  The thing is and (revelation!) I’ve just realised this right this second, I’ve been hustling for all of the wrong reasons and all of the wrong people.  Blogging in New Zealand has evolved massively over the past 18 months and it’s on the cusp of being a semi-lucrative little ‘hobby’.  Or perhaps more than a hobby.  Maybe even a ………. job?

When you have a ‘job’, there is someone paying your wages.  The Man, so to speak.  When a blogger, ie ME is working for The Man, guess what?  More often than not it means I’m not working, writing, creating for ME.  Or you for that matter.

This gives me the shits.  Oh and massive anxiety, by the way.

I feel like I’m actually buried in obligations to people and brands, the trouble is, I’m not sure if these obligations actually exist or whether I’m just creating mad-precedents and expectations of myself that are a bit OTT.  I remember a couple of years ago when one of my favourite bloggers Talia, who was totally on top of her game at the time – so I thought – announced that she was done with all of her commercial relationships and was just settling in to blog for herself again.  I remember thinking “Whaaaaat?”  But, Talia, someone sent you FREE stuff, isn’t your life complete now?

Bwahahaha.  Oh how I laugh now.

Because I get it.  And it’s totally doing my head in.

This little tour on the depression bus is almost entirely blogging related and I hate that something I love so much and am really, really proud of building is beginning to build me a little prison in my head.  I’m just not sure I can keep up with the online-Joneses anymore.  The pace this industry is moving is so fast and hectic that it’s entirely possible to lose yourself and everything you believe in in the process of ‘making it’, of getting ‘invited’, of receiving ALL the stuff, of being on ALL the lists.

I brainstormed the things I used to love blogging about – when I had the time – ie before the ‘obligations’ began to strangle me;

  • I love cooking, photographing and blogging recipes.  I was reminded of this yesterday as I finished a sponsored post involving baking.  I miss this.
  • I love just writing about LIFE.  I am reminded of this EVERY DAMN DAY when I don’t write at all.
  • I love crafting.  I used to knit, crochet, make rad antler necklaces out of FIMO.  I NEED more of this.
  • Wardrobe Wednesday.  That was fun.  It challenged me to actually get dressed up and shop my closet.  Does anyone still do this?
  • I love taking beautiful pictures
  • I used to love the blogging community.  I don’t anymore.  I miss you guys xx

These things may not be SEO friendly or currently kicking ass on Google Trends but they made me happy, and that’s got to count for something right?

I don’t know where this post leads, but I do know where I begin.  That’s with my family.  Secondly, the answer is right here in front of me, it’s in these words on this white page of pixels.  Words that are true and are me and that I felt compelled, rather than obligated to write.

 

 

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Melissa

I live in rural Auckland, New Zealand. Two boys, one big, one not so big and 2 boy dogs belong to me and I them. I love Coca Cola in all of its sugar-less forms and I love you internet. I take way too many pictures of my kids and collect them all here. This is what I am doing when I should be cleaning or cooking or doing other 'useful' things.

21 thoughts on “On Being a Blogger with Depression”

  1. OMG – how to say this without being a total bitch … I miss your blogs, your real blogs, your you and the boys in the kitchen, E taking photos of your outfits. Don't get me wrong, I am so stoked for you and with what you have accomplished in the last year or so. I just skip those posts and wait for you to write about you.

  2. Good on you Melissa for speaking out. I think this post is just answering to yourself what is weighing you down. Go with what feels right for yourself. I'm with Tara, I miss your every day stuff type of blogs.

  3. Yup I agree with Tara – I love your real life posts and skip past the promo ones – sorry

  4. Thanks SO much for sharing! I imagine that was a little hard to do? We put enough pressure on ourselves outside of the ‘demands’ of society and it’s tough to fight against that!! I have been trying to start a blog and there is constant tension between me feeling like I ‘should’ be posting because that’s what bloggers do… And wanting or being inspired to post. It’s a difficult line to walk! All the best with your journey! Love what you do however you decide to do it!!

  5. Oh Melissa! So honest and I love it! I think from the outside it must look glamorous, product launches, free stuff and the like – but the pressure! Go easy on yourself and I'm looking forward to reading your true voice again xxx

  6. You gotta stay true to yourself. That's most important. I too enjoy your personal writing rather than sponsored or product stuff. It's what makes you 'you' that's the interesting bit. x

  7. I just think you are ALL kinds of awesome. However you figure this out remember that there's a groups of old timers who really like you. YOU. I don't care what or how your blog looks like or what/ how it's become. I read because of YOU. I like you and always will xox

  8. I love this and so admire your honesty! Being creative I think its always so important to be true to yourself!

  9. Wow Mel, what a great post. I hope you figure out what's best for the Nest. There are lots of writing jobs out there for someone as funny and talented as you. I actually recommended you to a co-worker this week who was looking for someone creative to run our Facebook page – we overpay an agency a ridiculous amount each month for 'content'. You would be great at something like that xox

  10. Melissa, I so HEAR you on this one! You know I'm a fellow depression-battler and this very thing made me re-evaluate why i was blogging about 18 months ago when obligations had sucked the joy out of something that was my creative outlet. I'd stopped enjoying it and it was increasing my anxiety. I reckon now I'm back to just loving to blog again. Like you I love the "old" community of bloggers who just blogged because they loved it. When you get to the point of having a bit of space and want to have coffee and chew the fat about all this with someone who TOTALLY has been there (and lived to blog about it) you know where I live! Love ya, my friend. You're awesome. And *what Sammy ED said*
    xx

  11. OMG I LOVE THIS POST and WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT this topic! Cause I'm feeling ya babe – HARD! xx love it xx love it xx love it xx #whatdowedo #howcanescapethepressue #butstillhaveacareer #andfeelhappy ?????????????????

  12. I’d always wondered about the time consuming mind consuming all consuming blogging world so many people enter into. I see a lot that pop up then drop off. It’s even something I thought I might love to do. I love writing. I love promoting. I love sharing and interacting online. But I’ve also never been one to be able to leave the office behind completely even when it’s in another building many kilometres away. Never did this do anything good for my anxiety levels, so I can only imagine what I’d be like if I started up a blog, like working from home, I’d most likely implode!!! I say whatever you decide to do ongoing, you’re pretty amazing to have achieved what you have to date and be proud! Love reading you’re blogs. You’re refreshing and real, and reading your posts always makes me feel more accepting of all life’s craziness!!! (Cause just quietly… It’s like reading about my secret twin lol!)

  13. Oh! *hugs*
    This makes me so sad because a) I know the weight of depression and anxiety, b) I’m regularly asking ‘where have all the feelings in the blogs gone?’ and totally forgetting that the pressure of any marketable product, even a hobby like blogging is really quite daunting. I’ve always enjoyed your writing and I love that your one of few bloggers that enjoy saying four letter words as much as I do. Thanks for sharing this xx

  14. Ad you'll know you are not alone. As the comments suggest there are many of us that feel you. Being true to you and doing what makes you happy is so so important. Balance is so hard to find in life but I am sure you'll find a way that works for you… and of course… you can always readjust as you go along! Hang in there and follow the light – I am sure you will find your happy place soon. Sending big hugs and lots of encouraging thoughts xx

  15. As Elizabeth Wurtzel says,“That's the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything,as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily,that it's impossible to ever see the end.”

    -Marion Taylor.

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