Mental Health and Blogging

Hi lovelies.

It might have come to some of yours attention that I haven’t always been the most active or consistent blogger. It’s not been unheard of for me not to post for a month or two at a time, and as I’m writing this, I come to realise that it’s been nearly 5 months since I posted anything – the longest I’ve ever gone without writing. So, though it might be hard, today I thought I would sit down and talk, just us, about why that is.

I wish I could say I had some huge reason, some big event or tragedy, a hectic new job or course, but the truth is, there hasn’t really been anything like that. If anything, there’s been…nothing. But a specific kind of nothing.

I have been dealing with severe depression and PTSD since about November 2011, and anxiety/panic disorder much longer than that. My illnesses have affected me differently at different times. For the first year, it mostly meant random bouts of crying, intrusive thoughts, self-harm, an inability to get out of bed and panic attacks/sickness whenever I did. For the past year, it’s mostly meant a complete lack of motivation and an emotional nothingness. In general, it’s been permanent low mood, random anxiety attacks, dissociation and derealisation, and feeling terrified and on edge all the time.

So, basically, there hasn’t been a huge reason for my disappearance. Sure there have been difficult things happening that have made things worse (family emergencies, breaking up with my OH of four years, the death of a family friend), but no big change that really justifies the length of my absence. It’s just that at the moment, everything is kind of…nothing. It’s hard to explain, but I guess the reason I’ve been writing nothing is because at the moment, that’s all I’m really experiencing. I am surrounded by wonderful people, exciting opportunities and fun experiences, yet everything is kind of dulled, and rather than being happy or at least content, my basic state is just…nothing. No emotions, no aspirations or plans or dreams, no excitement or motivation or new ideas. Just a lot of nothing, with the occasional side of wanting to walk in front of a train.

My depression was actually one of the reasons I first started my blog – as an outlet, somewhere to write my thoughts and distract myself by helping other people, even if I couldn’t help myself. However, as my blog got more popular, I have found it harder and harder to continue writing. Don’t get me wrong – I am so pleased that my blog has reached as many people as it has, and I am so grateful for every reader, every comment, every email. I am truly humbled that you are all here, and the messages of the concern over the past few months have meant the world to me. But my anxiety means that I find it harder and harder to write posts, knowing how many people will read them. I also find that the longer I wait to write, the harder it is to do, because I don’t want to remind people that I exist and annoy or disappoint them.

I wish I could say that this is a huge “I’m back!” post, and that I’ll be back to posting every week and responding to emails and organising projects and photographing pieces and sharing things all over social media, but in all honesty, that isn’t something I know I can commit to. I have so many pieces photographed ready to review, so many new sets I know everyone would love to see, but things are just too hard at the moment, and I don’t know when they will be better. At the same time, this isn’t a goodbye, nor is it me announcing a hiatus. This is just to let you all know that I’m still here, I’m still alive, and I’m trying as best I can. I hope I’ll feel up to posting soon, and I hope you will all still be around when I do.

So, dearest readers, bloggers and supporters, please know that I am sending you all love. You give me reasons to stick around, and I appreciate you more than you could ever know.

All my love to all of you,
Anna xx

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Founder and main author of Bras and Body Image. Anna is a lingerie lover, feminist and maths student based in the UK, who hopes to someday cuddle every cat in the world.

17 thoughts on “Mental Health and Blogging

  1. Thank you for the gift of your honesty, which models how to be in the world while dealing with such challenging illnesses. Sending supportive thoughts from the U.S. Whenever you feel up to writing again, this reader (who’s been down the road of depression herself) is ready to listen!

  2. I think your mental health *is* a big reason. It’s no less important than anything else that might make things difficult for a person, and if blogging has just been too hard or too “meh” (I know the feeling of not disliking the idea of doing something, but just not wanting to) then that’s completely valid. I’m glad to know you’re still boppin’ around, and I hope things start looking up for you soon. Sending positive feelies to you. Take as much time as you need. <3

  3. Anna: What an honest post. I have nothing but respect for people who live with mental health disorders. I have an anxiety disorder (something I live with so intrinsically, I don’t even know what I’d be like without it – although it’s very tolerable for being actively managed over the past few years.) I can relate, not to the specifics of your situation, but to the core challenge of mental “otherness”. I’m giving you many positive vibes and the latitude to take your time to be your most peaceful self. People will read when you write.

  4. Dear Anna, thank you for writing this. I really appreciate that it’s not an “I’m back” or “Goodbye” post because most of life is the stuff in the middle. The “I’m getting through each day” stuff. It can be extremely hard when there’s not a specific something. Often people need a reason for why you’re down, a context to which they can attach meaning, but depression isn’t a specific something, it’s just the way it is, for a while or for a long time. I can tell you you’re brave and you won’t feel like it but bravery can be quietly propelling each footstep through each day and keeping you going. I hope you have people you can rely on and turn to, especially outside of family and friends because our love for them can be the catalyst for the fear of disappointing them that keeps us from getting well. You matter. Your illness matters. And this post matters. Thank you xx

  5. Hi Anna,

    It’s difficult for others to relate to how you feel unless you have been in a similar place yourself and I have! I apologise for being a male on your site but I have followed it in the hope of inspiration. To me, it’s like being in a funnel; difficult to climb out of but you have to hang on for fear of dropping through the bottom into an unknown void. It’s difficult to isolate what it is that makes you feel like you do and some days it’s one thing and another something else. For me, personal issues have made me feel like I do and how ever hard people around you try to make you feel better and trivialise the things that make you feel like you do, to you they are far more complex and occupy your thoughts incessantly. You feel very much alone even though there are people around you trying to pull you along into what they see as the real world. It is difficult to explain to others how you feel and why you feel like you do, especially if it is a personal issue. I do sometimes wonder why I fell so alone with so many people around you but they just don’t seem to be in the same zone. You mention about jumping in front of a train and I have also been there but the thought of the innocent driver of that train being plunged into a life torment for no good reason is what keeps me from the platform. Keep up the fight Anna and let each day improve your life.

  6. I really appreciate your honesty and courage. I hope you feel better and get all the support you need.
    When / If you feel up to blogging again, we’re here. And you won’t disappoint or annoy us, we’re here because we like reading what you write 😀

  7. We all love you, and we’re not going to judge you for taking your time for yourself :) Take your time, we’ll keep on loving what ever it is you do!

  8. Anna – Thank you for your honesty. You are showing a lot of bravery by being so open about your struggle and how hard it is right now. It is especially hard when life events trigger the depression and anxiety/panic attacks. I am in training a a marriage and family therapist and know how much counseling can help, but you must find the counselor that you can relate to. Just because a person is a counselor doesn’t mean they are perfect for you or can give you the tools you need to deal with all that is going on.
    Also, remember how many people are here and enjoy your blog and learn so much from it. Both my wife and I read it. And even though we have not met you in person, we care about you as a person, without judgment. Be patient with yourself and know we will be here when you are ready.

  9. Dear Anna,
    You are doing your best, indeed! I don’t say blog if you enjoy it, because when my antidepressants don’t work nothing gives me joy. Your health is the most important. I love your blog, but you are not simply a blogger. You are a person who can blog frequently, sometimes, rarely or not and I will cheer you on in my head. I’m glad you are alive and in this world.
    Thank you for your honesty, and I hope for the best for you.

  10. You are awesome and thank you for sharing. After an injury caused a lot of soft tissue damage, my anxiety went into high gear and caused me a lot of problems including depression. Thankfully I was able to get some help and through exercise, massage, yoga, cognitive and physical therapy, and help from ibuprofen and an antidepressant was able to get better. It took me many months just to start feeling better again let alone normal. You aren’t alone, and I will send you good thoughts and look forward to the next time you post.

  11. I pretty much abandoned (or maybe not, I still don’t know…) my own blog over a year ago for similar mental health type reasons. I think I even blew off an email from you because I was just too anxious to figure out how to answer any “how are you” questions. :( I’ve actually been pretty much avoiding the whole online bra community. Until today, when I decided to catch up on some stuff and found this post.So… I don’t know…I just wanted to say I get how you feel. Especially the part about how it gets harder to start again the more time passes and the feeling of disappointing people.

    I’m glad you’re feeling well enough to write this post. And I’m here to read anything you write when and if you’re up to posting again.

  12. Hi,

    Does anyone have any advise on how to fit an adhesive bra? Like this type in this link
    My end of year prom is coming up and I really don’t want to pay for one and find it doesnt fit.

    Thanks for your blog.

  13. Pingback: Four Years of Blogging! - Bras and Body Image

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