Facing Our Demons: Living with Mental Illness

This is quite a long post and very personal. It was originally written last week and I hadn’t posted it yet because I have been dealing with the ongoing issues discussed within. Mental illness affects many of us to varying degrees. At times I find it can be paralyzing and it can interfere with me living my life as I want and can prevent me from experiencing enjoyment at times. Other times it motivates me to try and push myself further, to try and do better or better. 

Here I have documented what I was feeling like when I first wrote the post which didn’t get published from then until now you will see that all of the above has happened. I missed out on experiences but in the end I am trying to push past it so I can get through it and achieve what I set out to do originally, write this blog. I anticipated that my mental illness would somehow affect me writing this blog however I hadn’t expected it to quite so much as it has.

 The writing in bold or italics is my updated parts I’ve since added, the writing not in bold was a draft which I wrote over a week ago and meant to post it the entire time.

 It shows some insight into how mental illness can affect me and many others who suffer depression, anxiety and other mental illness. I wasn’t going to post but I think it’s important that I at least share that I do live with mental illness and it affects me sometimes quite severely. I know many other people struggle with their mental health to varying degrees and I thought posting this now may not only help me and give you more insight into who I am but it may help someone else out there to not feel so alone. So here goes…

I live with a mental illness, mostly I am affected by anxiety and depression, which can be at times crippling. When I get anxious about something one way I sometimes deal with it is to avoid it all together which is counterproductive at best. This is something I’m working on but it’s a gradual and continual process. 

When I started getting anxiety about writing my blog I straight away flipped into avoidance mode which I swore I wouldn’t do. Today (now last week,) I forced myself to finish writing and post a review I had mostly written. It wasn’t an overly difficult post, in fact it was quite easy to write. It was the posting that got my anxiety all worked up. I am not entirely sure why and that’s the thing about anxiety is that it cab totally defy logic, but I think in this case the fact that I have had a few readers and followers git me a bit nervous and panicked almost about what they (you,) might think of my posts and of me. I want my readers, you guys to be able to enjoy reading posts here and I’d love you to be able to relate to some things or at least understand what it is I’m trying to say when I write here. 

It made me realize that I now have some insecurities, which isn’t entirely bad if I can keep on pushing myself to write. It just means I want to write as well as I can about interesting topics. I realized that it means I actually want you guys to like this blog and to enjoy it or learn from it, relate to it as I said before. Ideally I’d love for you to want to come back for more next time I write something that interests you. In the long run I’d like to form a connection with you as you read this and get to know me, I hope that some of you will engage and comment or contact me so I can get to know you too. I feel like that’s a really strange thing to admit to because pleasing people wasn’t my first concern nor reason for starting this blog but it has become a source of stress to me lately at times.

I don’t want to post crap but at the same time by avoiding that I am not posting anything and I’m not sure what’s worse. At least by posting I am writing and developing my own style which is a good thing, so I’ll push on. 

By continuing to make myself write I think I will get there. Alternatively if I just ignore it because of my anxiety that would mean the end of something I really enjoy doing and want to continue. Anxiety and depression can affect many areas of life in this way not just blog posting it can be just about anything and by putting our heads in the sand and hoping it will go away we often make the problem worse. Facing it can be uncomfortable but also very rewarding. 

I welcome comments on all of my posts, I encourage people to be supportive with what they say but acknowledge that everyone has the right to their own opinion.

So I am writing this post to get me writing and to give you all an insight into some of the things I struggle with. I intend on posting it tomorrow after I post the good news about the vote on Australian same-sex marriage laws being announced yesterday. (Last week now) 

Even that post which I felt was positive and was my way of congratulating all the people who fought so hard to have the laws changed caused me some amount of anxiety when posting. This is the problem with anxiety it often has no real or logical reason to be, it just is. When you suffer anxiety it is all consuming. Those people who’ve dealt with and overcome unthinkable adversity ought to be congratulated. Overall I am really happy about the outcome of the plebiscite although a bit saddened that it had to come to that and that the laws weren’t passed without the need for an expensive postal vote. 

The fact that putting up such a simple post has caused me anxiety caused me more anxiety. This is the cycle of anxiety and depression and other mental illnesses. They cause more discomfort just by existing. 

By pressing publish now I am facing up to my fear and hopefully it will help me to overcome some of my blogging anxiety. I suspect it will be something I will have to deal with in the future but I’ll take it one step at a time. I would love to say I will post everyday but with other commitments as well as my mental illness that probably won’t be possible. 

For now I am setting myself a goal to post at least once or twice a week and any more than that will be a bonus for me (and hopefully you.) If I can I will schedule posts when I have written more than one, like today. 

In many ways blogging (and writing,) helps me to deal with my anxiety and depression and there’s a great deal of other bloggers out there who openly post about their struggles. This helps me to know that I am not alone and other people experience the same or similar feelings as I do and some of them have overcome much bigger obstacles. We all have our own struggles in life, some face more hardships than others and sometimes the immensity of one person’s troubles are bigger than someone else’s but it’s all relative. Writing a journal is another tool which can help some people deal with stress it’s a more private method than blogging too. 

I hope someone out there reads this and knows they aren’t suffering alone. If you are struggling you can often relate to someone else who is struggling. 

Reading other people’s posts about mental illness has helped me on a number of levels and made me feel like its OK for me to post honestly about my own issues. If I can speak out openly about them then it shows another layer of the real me and who I truly am which I think is important as a blogger, to be authentic even if it is anonymously, your blog should be a place where you can be yourself, or I guess some people choose a persona to go along with their blog. I find it hard enough to be myself let alone trying to be someone else so I’ll stick with doing me, albeit with a pseudonym for now.

I genuinely hope that being myself will help me in the long run, connect to others just like me or people totally different to myself who just like to understand our differences and the uniqueness that each of us as individuals have. 

I might not be the prettiest, youngest, skinniest or anything-ist to make me the right person to be blogging about sex and life but I am me and I have an interest in sex, life, love and all that goes with it. I have a little bit of knowledge and a passion to gain more so I think those attributes are enough for me to be a blogger in my chosen niche. My past experiences in relationships and the sex industry give me some insight into human nature and sexuality but my passion to share information to help people and make the world a better, safer place are probably the things that will help me succeed in what I am doing here. Success is also relative, who is judging my success? The answer is probably myself, how will I gauge how successful I am or aren’t? Probably by my ability to stick at it through times like these when I get anxious about posting. Or times when I don’t really feel like writing anything but I push myself to do it. If I am still writing this blog in 6 months to a year from now I will feel like a success in some regard. If during that time I manage to connect with others and continue to show little pieces of the authentic me then I will have succeeded in one of my goals. If in addition to those things I manage to help someone, or teach someone something, then I really have succeeded in accomplishing my main goals. That will be something I can feel proud of. So in order to have any chance at any level of success I must first try which means pushing through the anxiety and ‘can’t be fucked,’ days and just doing it. Like I am now.

I apologise for rambling on a bit there but I have managed to accomplish one more goal I set for myself which was to write an entire post from beginning to end. I have almost done that now and I will be posting this tomorrow. Tomorrow is an exciting day for me, Sexpo a sex and lifestyle Expo is on and I’m going tomorrow. I hope to get more material to work with in the way of subject matter and who knows what else? I hope to be able to afford to buy some goodies to review and I might be lucky enough to connect with some manufacturers while I’m there who might want me to review something for them. That would be the ultimate.

This post was written a few weeks ago and due to the depression I was suffering from I hadn’t yet posted it, I missed going to Sexpo which I am still disappointed about but I am hoping to get back on track and hopefully by next year I’ll have a few more new blogging friends to meet up with. I hope those who I missed this year understand now why I didn’t make it. I also note that the thing which was plaguing me was pressing the publish button which I hadn’t yet done so to combat that I am going to schedule this post and one other, a review I’ve written so they will both be posted by tomorrow even though they are vastly different  in subject matter they’re both important to me in their own ways. I hope once this is posted it can act as a kind of cathartic cleansing and allow me to get back on track and write more interesting, fun, sexy stuff for y’all. 

If you made it to the end of that post I want to say thank you, it was one of the longest I’ve written to date and not really the type of post I enjoy sharing but I feel like I should. So now I am going to publish this before I put it off any longer. I hope that you find the courage to face up to anything that’s currently holding you back too no matter how big or small when we face our demons we succeed and should celebrate our small victories.