I haven’t posted in a long while, and there are several reasons why. First, I’ll admit that without extrinsic motivation I’m about as likely to shift myself off the couch and away from Netflix documentaries as I am to suddenly decide that running a marathon is a fun way to spend time (I will never decide this, by the way). Second, when not tuned in to the soothing narration of Sir David Attenborough, I’ve actually been really busy with college course work, as I now find myself living the student life again (but with less binge drinking and more actual reading of text books).
These are valid reasons to be a blog slacker (VALID REASONS, I SAY!), but it’s important to also note that writing a blog about social anxiety sent me into a downward spiral of mental health. Hurray for spirals?! It turns out that dwelling on your inadequacies and fears will do that to a person. Who knew? I think I’m in a healthy enough space to return to writing, though, and the idea for this piece has been waiting for almost two years. So, without further ado, here are eight stops on the emotional roller coaster of writing a blog about social anxiety:
1. I have a fantastic idea! If I type about it and share it with the world, I could gain renown as a funny and smart person and people will approve of my existence!
2. Are these words perfect? I really need these words to be perfect, or people are going to hate me and disapprove of my very existence. Let’s proofread them just once more. Just once more. Just once more. Just once more. Just once more… Okay. PUBLISH.
3. Oh, God. Oh, God. Oh, God. ohgodohgodohgod. I’m going to eat a 2 pizzas now.
4. People are reading my words! Not only are people reading my words, they’re also liking my words! Social validation!
5. Not enough people are reading my words. I know this because I’m obsessively refreshing the stats page to keep track of every reader. And why aren’t the people who are reading my words also commenting on my words? Everyone hates my words. Even the people who haven’t read them. Especially them.
6. I probably insulted someone. Someone is definitely mad at me. Or disgusted with me. Or feeling sorry for me. Someone probably disagrees with me, which is the same as them being insulted, mad, disgusted, and sorry. I wrote the wrong words.
7. Someone commented on my words! Someone said, “I feel you,” and that means they approve of me as a person! I put very little stock in my own opinion of myself and rely almost entirely on outside feedback, so this means I can feel like someone of worth for at least 5 minutes!
8. Someone commented on my words… and they probably only said nice things to make me feel better about myself. No one could like my stupid words for reals.
The roller coaster does a little loopedy-loop back to 4 through 8 a few times, until something else eventually pulls my interest away.
But that’s all in the past (she typed confidently). My plan after I publish this blog post is to stay off the roller coaster entirely and just hang out on the platform of “Hey, I had an idea and I typed about it!”