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.

 

 

If Monday could be everyday please.

 

Dave and I

Every Monday morning without fail, my various social media hangouts are inundated with digital ‘groans’ – another Monday!  5 more days ’til the weekend ::::insert sad emoticon:::: There needs to be a day between Saturday and Sunday the people say.

I say – hooray for Monday!  It’s my best, most favourite day of the week.  I’m a sucker for routine, so the weekends of full boy immersion, unpredictability + spontaneity get my OCD a little stabby ya know?

Mondays bring the chance to shake off any disappointments of the week before, to hone the to-do lists and set some goals for the week ahead.  I struggled over the weekend and couldn’t wait to go to bed and put Sunday {and the entire WEEK} to rest.  I felt depression breathing down my neck for three days, finding joy had become difficult and I was surely spreading none of my own joy amongst my lovely little family.

But Monday came and helped blow the cobwebs away.  

I thought and I thought about some of the potential triggers that had dragged me down; comparison, financial stress, this blog {!} and procrastinating.  All of these things are, thankfully, easily remedied with a little ‘let it go’ and ‘shake it off’ therapy.

So, today is Tuesday and I’m going to rock it like it’s Monday!

Have a great week everyone x

RIP Charlotte Dawson, A Letter to the Editor – From my Brother

I wish my bro was a mummy-blogger.  He has the rare ability to translate his IRL personality exactly into the written word.  He can be totally caustic and make you want to punch him in the face, but he also speaks truthfully and from the heart and as such, I couldn’t agree more with his response to Deborah Hill Cone’s repulsive soliloquy on Charlotte Dawson’s death;

So, it’s about time for my annual strongly worded letter.

‘Hi everyone, I’m Hadyn Godfrey, you might remember be from such facebook rants as “Novopay….No Way!” and “Michael Laws isn’t misunderstood, he’s just a douchebag”‘

I didn’t like the article below very much so I wrote the following to the editor.

Dear Editors,

I’m truly glad that you’ve dropped the charade, took the plunge and are finally living up to your new legacy as a tabloid paper. No longer are you simply tabloid-formatted, your content now matches your look.

It’s a similar angle to the one Deborah Hill Cone presented in her creative piece entitled, ‘It wasn’t just depression that claimed Charlotte’; The forgotten, struggling newspaper just can’t keep up its gleaming facade any longer. The image The Herald presented to the world just wasn’t who you really are was it?. But now? You’ve done it now Jim, you’ve finally plucked up the courage to show the world the real you.

Good on you mate, it takes cojones to just lay it all out for all to see.

The clues have always been there, you’ve had David Farrar and Sir Bob Jones on your payroll long enough for those of us with cynical minds to start to suspect they were there for more than just a hat-tip to balance. They weren’t just mad jesters, there for our collective entertainment either, were they?

If the women of this world who are approaching their fifties can hold themselves back long enough from the apparently insatiable desire to just end it all rather than struggle on as undesirable, penniless old hags, I hope they take the time to remind you, The New Zealand Tabloid, that mental illness is a real issue that affects real human beings.

Publishing utter drivel from some pseudo-psychologist-‘journalist’, so transparently pushing her own demented view of the world on us in the most sadly opportunistic way, does so much harm to the hard work that so many have done to raise awareness and understanding of illnesses such as depression.

As a sufferer of depression myself, I know it’s exactly articles like this that prevent people from asking for help. It’s the opinion-piece version of someone telling a sufferer to ‘just get over it, you’re just sad’. Apparently depression is so insignificant that it just isn’t enough to have taken Charlotte Dawson’s life on its own. ‘You’re not depressed Charlotte, you’re just getting old, and you’re too lazy to stick around and figure out how to deal with it’, waffles Hill Cone.

Deborah Hill Cone is as entitled to her opinion as anyone in our land of free speech, but as for you NZ herald, please show some decency and common sense. For one minute can you at least pretend to not be so obviously driven by this primal need to drum up readers and make the big bucks for the suits upstairs, and act like there are real human beings EDITING your paper.

Real human beings show compassion for each other. Real human beings don’t kick someone when they’re DEAD. Real human beings don’t belittle an illness that untold numbers of us have to live with everyday.

If there are any real human beings listening in your ivory towers, start asking yourselves why you really come to work everyday. If it really is to stir up controversy to make profit at all costs, then well done, you’re doing a great job. If however you look deep inside and have any shred of true journalistic integrity left, perhaps you might use better judgement before publishing an article like this one.

Real human beings read your paper and know that Charlotte Dawson was a real human being too.

Yours sincerely
Hadyn Godfrey

*Steps off soapbox*

*Drops microphone*

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11208554