I haven’t been looking at the Daisies and Bruises reader statistics for a while. I’ve been feeling too rushed, too tired, and unworthy. My inner self-talk has said, “I’m so lucky to have the few readers that I have. I’d better not even look at the numbers so I don’t get depressed, because my writing isn’t good. Let’s get this pointless post over with.”
I think I’d started to believe that the number of comments equals the number of page views, and so I felt like, “Why bother writing at all?”
So I was totally surprised to see last night that my record page count per day had a recent date. My record day has stayed the same forever up until August 17, 2012 when the view count broke the record at 263 page views. Hmm.
My last post on allowing yourself to cry was fun to write, fun to edit, and fun to take pictures for. But since then I can’t look at it. My vulnerability is so obvious in that post – everyone knows how I’m doing since I’m getting writing a little more personally about what’s going on in my life.
I’ve been trying to promote my blog so it can grow and I can reach (and maybe help) as many people as possible. With the one-year-anniversary of my blog, I created a Facebook page and told almost every single person I’m friends with on Facebook to join the page and check out my blog. So now, almost everyone I know is aware that I write a mental health blog. BASED ON MY MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS.
Let me reiterate that: NEWSFLASH, ERIN! EVERYONE IN YOUR LIFE IS AWARE THAT YOU HAVE MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS.
This was something I’d pretty much forgotten until I posted my last entry where I look as vulnerable as a newborn chick without a mother. I’m all gross and can’t open my eyes yet and I don’t have any feathers and – okay, well, it wasn’t that bad. My big blue tears in those three photos, however, pretty much expose me to the world without my mask.
You know, the mask that I’ve worn every day of my life except when I slip up.
The one that says, “I’m feeling fantastic!” when it’s on good and tight.
The one that says, “I’m fine, don’t worry” when its ties start to loosen.
The one that says, “I’m strong, I can take care of myself. Leave me alone” in that chronic stage between my mask slipping off and crashing down on the floor that is my life of depression.
You know, the photo in my right sidebar, staring you in the face. Good-bye statuesque stone girl, hello big soggy tears and a pouty lip.
So last night I realized that my How to Have a Good Cry and Cover it Up (If You Need to) post wasn’t viewed by only 3 people, it was 109 people.
Cue words in my head like “drama queen, crybaby, and weakling.” Cue thoughts of “you’re just trying to make everyone feel sorry for you” and “grow up, your life isn’t that bad.” Cue “stop feeling sorry for yourself.”
And now I realize that since my last post, I’ve been in avoidance mode. I feel like I’m a burden to everyone, even my closest friends and family. I feel awkward when people want to hang out, I am apologetic and quiet. Because in revealing my weakness to the world online I traded in my self-value, composure, and sanity. I’ve avoided Facebook, my email inbox, and my phone messages become overwhelming. I haven’t avoided the human race entirely; I can handle being social for a few hours at most. But then the rest of the day is spent in captivity.
I am aware that this kind of fear is a normal response to risk-taking. Pushed outside of my comfort zone briefly, and I come running back to home base, diving under my bead while covering my head with my arms. PREPARE FOR ATTACK.
And for a few days, my conversations with others were a little painful to get through. I was scared shitless that everyone I know was going to cast me from their life forever after reading into my vulnerability.
But it hasn’t happened. My friends haven’t withdrawn, they’ve moved a little closer. They are messaging me more, checking in. It feels new and slightly intrusive, yet still okay. Tolerable.
I think that my mom is a little too worried, but she will be fine because it will be fine. I will be fine.
I will be fine?
All I know is that I haven’t taken my giant vulnerable post down. It’s still there and I’m actually ready to post this new post in a minute.
This land of moving forward is new, but the shoes fit. And I’m going to wear them. :)