Hi everyone! It’s been quite a while since I’ve even attempted to write a blog post. I hope you’re all doing well, and that you’ve been able to read some great books lately.
I personally haven’t been doing my best and I’m going to try to be very open and honest about that (please be kind to be, being vulnerable isn’t something that’s easy for me), so I do want to preface this post by saying that, if you need trigger warnings, this post needs them for anxiety, OCD and depression. Please take good care of yourself, and if you don’t feel like reading something that has anything to do with any of those topics then that’s 100% okay. Be safe 💜.
So yes, as far as I can remember I’ve always struggled with anxiety and, when I wasn’t doing well, depression. But these past few years I’ve also noticed that OCD started creeping its way into my life. Whenever I felt really unsafe and wanted a way to make myself feel a little more safe and secure I’d give in to a very nonsensical action. Always putting my left shoe on before my right one. Always having to fill the entire page whenever I’m journaling. Etc. Annoying, but do-able and manageable.
But when the pandemic started, everything got a lot worse. I (like a lot of other people, I think) felt incredibly scared and like I was losing control over everything. I’m usually already not great at adjusting to the most minor changes of plans, like my mom suddenly not having to work, and now everything was changing all the time and my day to day routine was just… gone. I didn’t know what to expect or what to do, and because of this my anxiety just started spiraling. And in order to cope my OCD got a lot worse.
I don’t really want to go into details, just that it happened because this somehow made me feel in control of something. If I just did this OCD compulsion right, things would go right. And the few extra OCD things I started doing quickly became more until it progressed into every single thing I did, and I spend most of my time just sitting on the couch doing nothing because I knew that the moment I stood up or I’d start scrolling through social media I’d have to do one of my compulsions again. Every single thing I did became a struggle, and I was so tired.
Luckily things did start getting better after I became so frustrated and annoyed with myself that I just stopped giving into a lot of the compulsions, but it’s definitely still here. There’s still a lot of things I have to stop doing, stop thinking about (seriously, the way I tie my shoes doesn’t have any effect on whether a certain thing is going to go right. I know that.) (it’s so incredibly exhausting going through life thinking “did I do this right?” with every single thing you do, even when you know there’s no right way but desperately trying to find one) and keeping the things I already stopped doing away is a constant fight, but I’m already really happy with how much better I’m doing. I mean, I’m writing again, and that’s already a huge thing for me.
However, reading and the things attached to reading (blogging, being a part of the book community, etc.) still scare me. I’m currently slowly making my way through The Sound of Stars by Alechia Bow with my friend Sara and it’s going okay so far, but other than that I haven’t picked up a book in quite some time. And with all of the books that have released in the past couple of months that I missed out on I’m just feeling incredibly overwhelmed and I don’t know where to start. Besides that, the last book that I physically read (Ways to Make Sunshine by Renée Watson) was a real struggle because of my compulsions while reading (like “read this sentence again”, etc.). What if I pick up a new book and it’s a giant struggle again? The fact that the things I used to use as a distraction from my anxiety and a way to make me feel better have now also transformed into this anxiety battleground is so frustrating and sad and it’s so scary to face that head-on.
And then the blogging and overall book community thing. I’ve always been really shy and struggled with finding a place where I felt like I fit in, and after years of being in the book community I finally felt comfortable but now… I don’t. I feel like I missed out on so much, and what do I even have to add? Especially blogging wise, what can I say when I haven’t read a thing in quite some time? When I have no idea what books are coming out when? When I haven’t written a thing in months and don’t really know how to anymore? I’m currently staring at this lap of text like “how am I even going to format this?” and doubting whether I should even post this.
So yes, I just hope you’ve all been doing well and that you’re okay with me peeking my head into this space again, even if it might be a bit messy at first, because I do think it’d be good for me to go back to doing the things I used to do. Reading, blogging, journaling, playing music, etc. I was a lot happier when I did, and my therapist did say it’d probably be best if I kept my mind occupied so that I don’t start thinking too much again. And I do agree with that.
But I’d love for you all to let me know what I’ve missed out on. What books have you been reading lately? What upcoming releases are you anticipating? Have you published any posts that you’re really proud of? I’d love to know. And thank you so much for reading this, I really appreciate it.