stepping back ..

I had a setback yesterday. Put simply, I woke up feeling down about the social situation from Monday, but instead of trying to deal with those feelings, I went right to my obsessive behaviors.

I’m obsessed over how many people read and comment on my blog. So, I shelved my feelings and went right to looking at my blog, and then I read and commented on someone else’s blog (with the hope that they will respond by checking my blog), and then I checked my blog’s stats (and felt disappointed), and then I commented on a message forum (with the hope that people would make their way to my blog), and then I checked my blog’s stats (again, dissapointed), etc. etc. This lasted for about an hour.

Afterward, I had to go back to my feelings, and, by that point, they had grown. That, coupled with my disappointments with my blog (which I can probably never satisfy), I fell into a depression, and I made a conscious decision to binge after my g/f left for work. So .. she left, and I binged.

Now, I haven’t binged in almost a month, and I thought I didn’t need to eat as much to get the desired effects (pushing the negative feelings back down in my body). Well, I was right and wrong–I got a terrible stomach ache (which I don’t normally get) and the feelings only grew along with my depression. As the hours progressed my actions grew more and more erratic. By the end of the night, my g/f was rubbing my forehead while I laid in our empty bathtub with all my clothes on, turning the water on and then back off again (just enough to get my back wet). I wish I could explain, I guess I just find comfort in the bathtub but I didn’t want to take a bath, I don’t know.

***

Anyway, my original intent for this post was to focus on the scope of this blog. I waver between thinking I can truly help people with social anxiety and thinking I can’t help a soul because I can’t even help myself. I’ve talked a lot about the healing process as of late, abstractly–I haven’t really thought about what it means to me, that is.

There’s always going to be setbacks. Two steps forward, one step back. Forward, forward, back. Forward, forward, back. It’s not quite that simple, either: there’s ups and downs, and yesterday I just felt like I was spinning around and around. But in the most general sense, yesterday was a setback.

This past month I’ve been trying to focus more on my steps forward. I want this blog to be positive. I want to provide support for people going through the same things I am. I want to be a leader. But I guess I’ve only been sharing one side to the healing process: my successes. Healing is also about failing. It’s about setbacks and destructive behaviors and hopeless, suicidal feelings. Having those feelings is good every now and then, because they are proof that I am healing.

So, I just want you–and I–to know that I am going to do my best to show this process more completely. To show the darker sides even if that’s not what you want to hear or what I really want to write about.

***

Finally, I’ve been taking care of myself today. I just got back from a run, and I’m going to eat a healthy breakfast. My g/f made pumpkin soup for lunch. I’m going to try to not stress about schoolwork. Maybe I’ll take it easy and watch a movie or go to a gentle yoga class or something. Or maybe I’ll just write a few posts. Or maybe I’ll take a bath (with water this time). Or read things like this. We’ll see.

Also, I’ve noticed that my obsessions with my blog only come out when I’m feeling depressed and/or anxious. They help to mask my feelings. I’m going to try to take it easy and just let things play out the way they should, but it’s hard. I know there will be a setback or two .. and that’s okay!

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10 responses to “stepping back ..

  1. Hey Mike,

    I’m sorry to hear that you have to go through some setbacks. I was feeling quite depressed yesterday myself, and it felt like such an demanding job for me to update my blog, which I normally enjoy unless my depression attacks me so severely. I can relate to your obsessions with the stats of your blog – I know my blog should be an outlet for my feelings, but I often worry if I bore my readers if I can’t write something intereting enough for them to read.

    You’ve just helped me with this post. Reading about people who go through what I go through does certainly help greatly. I tend to get trapped in a bout of my depression once I start thinking about my career. I know I should never go back to my current job where I got so severely depressed, but I still haven’t figured out what kind of job I want to or can do with my depression attacking me day in, day out. Still, I’m not giving up, and that’s possible all thanks to people like you who are brave enough to share their struggles on their blogs.

    I really enjoy your blog. I hope you remember there are and will always be people out there who care about you and enjoy your company. This is your blog, so you can write whatever you like – I really enjoy it, you know. I always appreciate honesty when it comes to communication whether it be offline or online. How are you feeling now? I hope you feel better soon.

    • Hey,

      Yes, when I first started the blog, I just wrote exactly what was on my mind, totally for me. Then once I realized people were ACTUALLY reading it, I started thinking more about them, instead of just me. I think part of that is true–blogs are different than journals; they are meant for an audience. But I think that can be taken too far.

      I’m glad my writing inspired your post, and thanks for the kind comments. I hope I can continue writing with such honesty, it’s hard sometimes.

      Oh and I am feeling better. I woke up today feeling better. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Hi Mike! I am very sorry about the trobles you are having, though I may not be able to understand you completely I have a trouble with binging myself and know what a struggle that can be. I as well appreciate your honesty in your blog and you have helped me just by reading the different things. I turned down a job today due to my physical and emotinal disabilities, I know what the little steps back feel like and it can be such a struggle. Thinking about you. Feel better.

    • Thanks! I do feel better. Turning down a job isn’t the worst thing in the world, especially if you’re not in a place right now to do it, emotionally and physically. You’ve got to take care of yourself first.

  3. I just wanted to let you know that it’s okay that you’re obsessive about your blog. When I got my first email address from hotmail, I was obsessed with checking it to see if anyone had emailed me. Blogging can be the same way too. Did my post have any meaning for someone else? Can anyone else relate to what I’m going through? Does anyone else have insight that I’m missing? I think blogging, like texting, or any social event, is just another way for us to connect with other people. When that connection doesn’t happen, of course it’s a letdown. The good think about blogging is that there is always another post to write and another day to share it – and the internet is an endless space of people looking for someone like them.

    In short, you’re not alone, even if no one checks your blog.

    • Hey- Thanks for the comment! You’re right. Sometimes I forget that others out there are like me. I feel like I’m the only one obsessing over such stuff, and then I put myself down because I feel like it’s so trivial. My g/f recently had to get off of Facebook because of her obsessions.

      I guess I’m just worried that my obsessions are keeping me from actually dealing with my emotions. It’s just another form of suppression.

  4. I get obsessive about blog stats too, Mike. I think it’s because it’s still fairly new. I really didn’t think anyone would ever end up reading the crap I write, which is why it is usually unedited and rambly (even though the numbers are rising eep!). I think you should just write what you want and not care whether it is suitable or refined enough for an audience, as long as it serves to suit your needs. There’s too much worry already about appearances and pleasing others in the real world. Oh and that said, I read all your posts but I don’t always comment because I get the anxiety thing about sounding stupid.
    I enjoy your comments and they help by reassuring me and also reminding me that I’m not alone in my suffering.
    I’m glad you had a better day today. Keep it up ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hey. Yeah, I am still feeling better mentally, but I think I’ve got myself a cold–it’s always something. ๐Ÿ™‚

      In the “real world” I’ve very dependent on external validation; I have very little internal worth–even though I do believe, logically, that all humans have innate worth. Deep down, I believe something different, though. Anyway, it’s interesting how those beliefs extend into the blogging world. I still need that external validation, and when I get it, it lasts only for a few hours at the most. It doesn’t matter if I got 100 comments on a post, I’d still probably be disappointed. It’s not really about whether people comment or not, it’s about me.

      Anyway, I really appreciate your comments. They are always insightful and prop me up. Thanks!

  5. Yes, I start to really obsess about the stats when I am in a low or mixed mood. The trouble is when my cunning ploy works – for example, someone follows a link back from a comment I left – and I start getting paranoid about WHO is reading the blog and WHY haven’t they said anything and CLEARLY it’s because I’m the world’s most boring human being and should die.

    The amount of self-generated drama my mind produces is just ridiculous.

    • Yup, whenever I look at the stats and see that I had XX amount of people in one day, I’m like why didn’t I get XX amount of comments too–which is obviously because I’m a terrible writer and no one can relate to what I’m going through. I am clearly my own worst enemy.

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