blogging and anxiety, coping with anxiety, living with anxiety

How Blogging Helps My Anxiety

After hearing the very wonderful Bryony Gordon talk about mental health during her Thinkbomb at Blogfest16 I felt like I had to write more about my mental health and how things are right now for me really. I don’t talk about it enough on my blog which is really stupid. I kind of feel like I should talk about it because blogging really, really, really helps with my anxiety and because I know that some of my readers suffer with anxiety.

I’m not very sweary on my blog, which is quite a surprise because I swear a lot (not in front of my grandparents though) but anxiety is a real shit. It’s like living with the person that used to bully you at school because your thighs were fat. It’s like living with the first person that dumped you when you were twelve. It’s like getting a big fat F at life.

Anxiety for me is always being stressed, always overthinking and over complicating really stupid things. My anxiety might come across as laziness to some, because I don’t do much, well, I used to not do a lot but now I do some things. Anxiety is not wanting to leave the house because you are literally scared that someone that sees you might think something bad about you. Anxiety is not having control of a situation.

I typically have anxiety because my parents divorced when I was young, I moved schools, I was ignored a bit because I was relatively clever, I was sexually abused, I drunk far too much, I was bullied, I was used, I was lonely, I was fearful, I was in a controlling and abusive relationship and, well, because I’m fat. All of these things have happened in my life and over time I have let them control me. I have let them make me into a victim, into a self pitying, boring (to some) slob of a mess. Not one of these things are to blame, but collectively they have lead to me hating going anywhere alone, hating depending on any other person, thinking negatively about myself, obsessing that other people are thinking negatively about me, not taking care of myself, constantly putting on weight, being with controlling and abusive people because I, for some reason, thought that’s what love was and was so terrified they’d leave me alone, again, that I stayed with them.

Until one day I said no.

Until one day I changed.

Becoming a mum started that transformation. It made me see that I have a tiny person that will always love me and care for me. That will always need me. Now, I am needed.

Joining Ann Summers helped because I started seeing the flaws in a relationship I wasn’t happy in and that was toxic. It showed me I was worth more.

Living in a women’s refuge and doing the freedom programme helped me to see that I am not a victim, that I can overcome my demons and that I can say no. I can always say no.

Meeting a man that is wondeful, kind, funny, supportive and helpful taught me that love is not toxic. Love is forgiving and uncomplicated. Love is safety and passion and contentment.

Getting a full time job in an area I didn’t really know much about again proved that I am smart and resourceful. Being made redundant, starting a new job, hating it, then becoming a writer and becoming self employed showed that I can do whatever I put my mind too.

Starting a blog and finding other women, that feel the same way as I do, and surrounding myself with those people has built a secure and supportive network that inspires me all the time to be better, to do better, to do what I love. Because if they can do it, if they can make it then I can.

Anxiety, to me, is sitting here at my laptop and writing about the things in my life that broke me down. That ruined me completely. They have left long, deep hard scars across me and they will always be there. But those scars aren’t as red anymore. I am still stressy and anxious but I live alongside my anxiety. It doesn’t control me anymore.

Blogfest was a huge thing for me to do on my own. A conference of hundreds of women, not having met any of them before, and just going anyway despite being terrified no one would speak to me. But every single person that said “I know you, you’re Kat from Candyfloss & Dreams” made me want to cry because they know who I am and what I do, they know what is right there in my heart and soul. They identify with it. They made me smile, laugh, think and feel amazing. I went on the underground on my own despite bloody hating those escalators because everytime I go on them I think I’m going to fall backwards to my death (I hate going up on anything, lifts, rides, stairs…) I changed trains, without getting lost. I nearly missed my train but I didn’t get anxious or worried or stressed. I ended up sitting next to a lovely lady named Becky on the train home and speaking to her.

Anxiety would never have let me even say hello.

Blogging has helped me gain control over my anxiety because it has allowed me to say what I feel needs to be said. It has let me pour everything out, sort it out and adjust. It has introduced me to other like minded people and allowed me to go to these wonderful conferences where I can be with these people. Now blogging is like my medication, my therapy, as so many writers or bloggers say it is. Blogging keeps the anxiety at bay because I am doing something I fundamentally love with all my heart every single day.

So whilst I still battle every day, I am okay. I can talk about it. I can say that my life is better now because I am coping better. Anxiety doesn’t rule my life, and it certainly doesn’t have to rule your life either.

There is plenty of support you can get online to help with anxiety. Here are 5 Reasons why online anxiety support can help you. 

This is a collaborative post.

Comments

  1. I was at Blogfest too on Saturday and found the whole thing stressful, but I did also enjoy it a lot too. I suffer with both anxiety and depression so I can connect with the things you are saying. I too moved Schools many times as a child and that made me feel like I didn’t belong, but on the flip side it has also made me a very adaptable individual. It’s always great to read a honest blog post and also hear about someone who is making a success out of their lives. Shame I didn’t meet you the other day, maybe next time XXX

    1. Author

      Oh such a shame we didn’t get a chance to say hello! I really enjoyed the day and I’m glad you did too. Yes I know what you mean, I don’t have a problem with visiting new places or even moving around, but going up on my own was a big thing! Thanks so much for reading and your kind comments too. x

  2. I love this, I felt exactly the same way on Saturday. There’s no way I would have made it there even a few months ago, but what an amazing feeling when you do something out of your comfort zone. It was so good to meet you. xxx

    1. Author

      Ah it was great to meet you too! I know what you mean though if I hadn’t gone to the other event in the summer I don’t know if I’d had the confidence to go to Blogfest. I will make more of an effort next year. xx

  3. Thank you for this post, I can relate to your feelings so much. Even today, I avoided going into my village butchers because I was too scared to ask for my order and opted for the overpriced, pre packed meat in the chain store opposite just to avoid having any interaction. That is what living with anxiety does to you and it is a constant struggle! You know it is completely irrational but that makes you feel even worse for experiencing it. Thank you for your inspiring words and, you’re right, blogging is a wonderful outlet for letting things go and engaging not only with other people, but also with your own thoughts and feelings too. Well done on all you have achieved! xo #twinklytuesday

    1. Author

      Ah thank you so much for your kind comment. I have been there myself and there are times when I can be absolutely terrible when it comes to human interaction. It’s a real battle thats for sure! xx

  4. Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous post! Well done for writing about your anxiety and for being brave enough for sharing the root causes of it. I am so proud that you went to Blogfest on your own, I know I couldn’t have done that. I feel really uncomfortable around large numbers of people I don’t know. You are amazing Kat! #bestandworst xxx

    1. Author

      Thank you so much lovely! It’s really hard walking into a conference like that but I met so many other inspirational and admirable people through they day that it made me love it! xx

  5. You are so strong and well done for writing about it. I too find writing helps with trying to deal with the anxiety. I have read Bryon’s book, which is brilliant by the way if you haven’t read it. I love the fact she started a group to meet other people with mental health issues to walk, talk but not necessarily doing anything but just be present and feel you are not alone. It is the small things you can do like writing and getting the message out there what anxiety feels like and being open about the experiences of mental health. Hopefully, if more people talk about mental health it will reduce the stigma X

    1. Author

      Yes she talked about her group which I think is just fantastic! I’ll have to get her book, there are so many books I want to read after Blogfest. I do hope the more people that talk about mental health “normalise” it and reduce that stigma!

  6. Blogging is hugely therapuetic, theres something about seeing your feelings in writing which helps to relieve those anxious feelings.

  7. Very brave to talk about this. I “got” anxiety this year (actually probably had it for decades without realising it). It cripples everything: Life, job, and self. Well done for making the leaps and bounds that I haven’t yet. I hope it gets better for you.

  8. I just want to wrap you in a massive hug and say well done lovely. You are right to feel proud of yourself. So pleased you shared this post this week. #dreamandsparkle

  9. What a fantastic post. You’re clearly such a brave, strong woman and it’s fantastic that blogging has allowed you to share this with so many people!

    1. Author

      Thank you so much, it really means a lot to me. I think it’s great to just get it out isn’t it sometimes? If it helps me, hopefully it will help others!

  10. I think just by writing this article you’ve proven how strong you’ve become through all the bad. Quite a lot of this rings so true to me also, and I always sit and wonder whether I should put my thoughts into a post. But I suppose it’s always that “mental health” concern of how will people take it and how will that they think of me, that makes me falter each time. But I’ve found the blogging community to be such a friendly and supportive environment that maybe one day I’ll take the leap. You’re right, writing things down does make you feel better! #dreamandsparkle

    1. Author

      I find just writing it and leaving it unpublished sometimes has really helped! The blogging community is so supportive you’re right there, I’ve met some wonderful people through blogging which has really helped increase my self confidence.

  11. Hi, Kat. This is a wonderful and inspiring post. Having suffered emotional and sexual abuse during my childhood and adolescence, I can so relate to your feelings of anxiety. Having been hurt so much at a tender age, it’s difficult to develop trust. I am SO glad you found a wonderful, supportive and loving husband (as I was fortunate to do) and that you’re coming ‘out of your shell’ more as a result of that love and your blog. What a joyous development, isn’t it? I wish you continuing love, growth and success, in life and on the blog! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings; you’re an inspiration!

    1. Oops! Not sure how that happened but that’s hubby’s bio pic beside my comment. Well, at least you get to see the dear man I married, LOL!

    2. Author

      Oh thank you so much for your lovely comment! I am so, so sorry to read about your suffering but I am equally happy to read you’ve found a loving and supportive husband, like you say developing trust as a victim of abuse can be such a rollercoaster, and really tough on us and them! Wishing you all the best x

  12. You def seem to like what you are doing! Good! I am not surprise you are saying that about blogging. I reckon a lot of us started it as a kind of therapy. #DreamandSparkle

  13. Gosh, you have been through so much for one person. It’s not right, and you shouldn’t have had to go through it. It’s so lovely to hear that writing… blogging even, has helped you with anxiety. Anything that makes a difference to your life in a positive way has got to be a winner. Thank you for sharing with the #dreamteam xx

  14. Im so glad that blogging has helped you with your anxiety, i suffer too and it really isn’t fun. Well done you for speaking out about it

  15. Oh Kat I read this post when you first published it, and it really moved me. You should be so proud of how far you’ve come – you sound so happy now 🙂

  16. Well done you! Anxiety has been a huge issue for me over the years as well a my other mental problems i’m dealing with and blogging really has been my therapy #dreamandsparkle

  17. I absolutely love this post and didn’t know much about your background until now. Blogging is such a good way to get things of your chest and i found it quite cathartic when our son Oliver was poorly. Just getting a sense of perspective on what had happened in the week good or bad and it felt like my stress was offloaded a little bit. I love your attitude and how you’ve turned yoyr life around. #marvmondays

  18. This is such a great post, and I’m glad you can use the blog as your outlet and to help with your anxiety. I don’t suffer from it, and don’t know many people who do, so I have to admit I don’t know much about it, but I do know that for me writing is a huge help when I’m feeling stressed or upset – it gives me an outlet, so I can imagine it’s hugely important to you. I also think by you writing this post, it will help a lot of people who have gone through or are going through the same thing. I can only imagine how hard this was for you to write and publish though, so well done on a fantastic post! #MarvMondays

  19. Anxiety really is the pits isn’t it! Blogging has helped me so much in the past with mine. I find is so helpful to write everything out, whether it’s something that I post on my blog or write down just for me. #MarvMondays

  20. Amazing, just a totally amazing post!! You’ve been through so much, and it’s no surprise that you’ve suffered extreme anxiety because of it. But the turnarounds that you’ve made-especially to realise that love should be fun and easy, and not controlling and toxic, is so inspiring-I was inspired at how far you’ve come with everything! Anxiety can be debilitating, and I believe it’s like an eating disorder, or an addiction-something you learn to live with and manage, but will more than likely always be there. I was a mess in the weeks coming up to bml, and I don’t think I’ll make another blogging conference for a while, but I definitely want to get over my fears and go to another one one day!! X
    #bigpinklink

    1. Author

      I would absolutely love to meet you at any other conference or blogging meet up you manage to attend! Thank you so much it means so much to me. I completely agree it is exactly like that, when you’re coping and managing it’s totally fine but you can so easily fall of the wagon and into those anxiety driven paranoia multiverse that just sucks!! xx

  21. Well done you and it’s so good that you’ve found something that helps you. This blogging world is a lovely place to be and I firmly believe it helps so many on a daily basis. #marvmondays

  22. Oh wow, such a brilliant post and so much of this resonates with me. I have been trying to write a post about my anxiety and low self-esteem but I am finding it really hard to write. It is great though that our blogs have enabled us to explore our feelings and share our thoughts in such a supportive environment. This is a really empowering post, thank you for sharing #MarvMondays

    1. Author

      Thank you so much! I agree, getting it out there into a place where you’re going to have support back is wonderful. It’s hard to get the words out sometimes but when they do it’s such a nice feeling.

  23. Sounds to me like you’re a very strong woman whether you think so or not! I think blogging is a great way to help with anxiety, if it works for you then that’s even better. Congratulations on making it through Blog Fest – I’d be terrified too! #marvmondays

  24. Haha I’ve always held on extra tight on escalators too for being tefdified of falling back to my death or just breaking my back and then getting all jammed up so you aren’t alone with that one!
    Well done you for going to Blogfest alone, I’d never be brave enough too even without having anxiety so good on you 🙂 it always helps talking about things #MarvMondays

  25. You are brilliant by creating your own anxiety cure. I too use blogging for therapy — it’s a hell of a lot cheaper and it feels really good to let this crap out. The people you meet are amazing and we are one supportive community. Bravo Kat. Keep up the great work! #BigPinkLink xo

    1. Author

      Oh hell yes it’s cheaper haha! It really does feel so good and you are so right it’s a really helpful and supportive community for sure. x

  26. Thank you for sharing about overcoming your anxiety to go to blogfest. I’m going to a small bloggers workshop at the weekend and it’s really outside my comfort zone. That’s the thing about anxiety – pushing through it. #marvmondays

  27. I’m sorry to read about what you’ve been through in the past and am pleased to read you are in a good place now. By sharing your story I’m sure you’ll help others. #dreamandsparkle

  28. What a brilliant post and you are so brave for sharing! I haven’t yet had the guts to go to a blogging conference on my own – it brings me out in a cold sweat just thinking about it – so well done for, what for me, is a HUGE achievement! It sounds like you are in such a great place right now! xx #marvmondays

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.