Bringing this to the attention of others probably makes some of the points I’m about to make rather hypocritical, but I thought it needed to be explained.
At the very least, I’m going to take a break from running this blog. Maybe a permanent one. The break is something I want, and probably need, but equally I guess it’s an experiment to see whether I’m better with or without it.
I make no secret of my poor mental health. Crippling to the point where I don’t really have a ‘proper’ life. I haven’t mentioned explicitly on here that I attempted to take my own life in November (the ‘story’ is here if you want to read it – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1u7KAwL8p_xv_njIMHydbmSGb9HkaqOj1AvYDVkqm4TM/edit?usp=sharing), and I’ve not at all recovered mentally from that experience.
My mental state is making running this blog an uncomfortable experience. Equally, running the blog is worsening my mental state. Unnaturally intense anxiety on both counts.
I seem to be hiding from anything at the moment that brings on bursts of intense anxiety. I’ve escaped most social media for the time being, which was a huge cause of anxiety and panic despite having benefits. I’m not sure if it’s really working, I guess you could say it isn’t given that I’m getting nowhere, but it’s more complex than that.
On the one hand, I feel like admitting something that has been important in my life for several years, a huge distraction that gives me a sense of purpose, has become a hindrance is a brave call. On the other, I feel incredibly weak. Just another show that I’m not doing enough to improve my position and hoping that hiding from everything that creates any sort of anxiety will help.
But I just need to be away from it. It’s not a rash decision, particularly as it’s been causing sickening anxiety at an increasing level for some time. I’ve thought it through with consideration.
I think the main thing, the main producer of anxiety at least, is that I can’t handle the attention at the moment. It might be attention that isn’t there, but it’s attention I certainly feel that gives me great anxiety. I’d rather just hide, be anonymous.
I spend my day-to-day life being anxious around people, fearing their views of me, believing them to be negative and subsequently doing all I can to hide. There’s a relatively similar fear that comes from sharing pieces that I write on here. Worries about how my writing will be examined, who will see it, the judgements of my opinions – things that are created by drawing attention to myself, and can be paused by hiding.
I feel sick every time I see a comment has been left on one of my posts. I feel even more sick believing that people are reading it and judging it, judging me. The constant anxiety – I can’t get away from what I’ve posted on my blog because the fear of judgement is always there – makes this stressful and painful rather than enjoyable.
Despite coming away from Twitter, I saw that a piece I wrote was shared by CARD on there. I immediately felt an overwhelming sense of anxiety, and expressed this with aggressiveness as I so often do when irrational anxiety overwhelms. Something that would have been avoided if I just hadn’t produced the piece.
Equally, I’m really having difficulty with simply being at and attempting to enjoy Charlton games, for reasons totally unrelated to the club’s position. In fact, it’s when victories occur that cause the most damage. I feel a pressure to be happy, or at least distracted, which I can neither fulfil or deal with, and suffer huge bouts of depression thereafter.
I feel anxiety in being in the crowd, with people around me. Anxiety from what they might be saying, anxiety caused by what they might think of me. They don’t care, they have a game to watch, but I don’t deal in rational thought.
Even things like getting my camera out at away games, which I used to lose myself in, and quite enjoy attempting to use it for as long as possible before a steward attacked me, has become terrifying. The anxiety of what people think of me. The anxiety of knowing that stewards and such like will be looking on.
Away games are draining, demoralising, and anxiety-creating whatever the result. I’m too scared to break the mould and trend, though. I feel I have to continue this run of unbroken games, and I’m not really sure why.
Maybe it’s to impress other people, who don’t care for a second. Maybe it’s to feel I have a sense of purpose, and to try to distract myself with the only thing that might work. Maybe it’s because if I didn’t go to Charlton games home and away, I would leave the house even less.
Maybe going, watching the game, and going home without anything else to worry about will help. Just take in 90 minutes, and that’s all that matters for football for that week. I need to escape the anxiety it causes, and maybe I need to actually escape going to every game if that’s half the problem.
Ultimately, I’m just not getting the enjoyment out of this that I should be. It should be at the very top of the lists of my hobbies. Instead it finds itself among the things that make me most anxious.
I will, for as long as the club are willing to waste a press pass on me, continue taking photos at Charlton. It’s got to the point where I feel so uncomfortable being in the stands, home and away, that what I can make to be the rather isolated experience of photography is better for me. They’ll be going on here – https://www.flickr.com/photos/sportkyle/albums.
But for all the reasons above, doing this is just too much at the moment. I do hope it will just be a break, that there will be a lust to return if I can make improvements with my mental health. Either way, sorry.
If you want to say something in response, I’d much rather you emailed than commented. I’m unlikely to reply if you comment. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org – may not reply immediately but will certainly read and get round to replying at some point.
My apologies once more.