Changing How I Do Mental Health Posts

Author’s Note: For the tl;dr of this post, scroll below the cat’s butt. Internet etiquette requires I put this notice up here, because summaries or pointers to summaries really belong at the top of a post.

For the past couple years or so, I’ve been struggling with how I do my mental health posts. I write them as an exercise that is encouraged by my therapist. They’re on public blog posts because it makes it harder for me to delete them and pretend they never existed. One of my biggest problems in life is that I’ve often deleted how I’ve expressed myself in writing. It makes it easier to give it all up.

They’re not invitations to conversation or dialogue.
The best, most accurate way I can describe them is taking a mental shit. My thoughts get pretty toxic when they build up, and I’ve never had a healthy outlet for getting rid of them. On good days, they manifest themselves in ideas for stories that I want to write. On days of anything less, they aren’t as healthy.

Sometimes – and I realize this can be the anxiety and depression talking – I feel like I’m just a specimen out there for public display. Sure, I recognize that some people might feel better after reading what’s going on in my mind. To those people, I do appreciate the sentiment that their lives are improved in any way through anything I’ve done. But the thought remains that sometimes I feel like I’m an oddity, some creature that people visit out of pity or curiosity.

Regardless of what goes on in my head, I realize that I’m not writing these things to talk to people about the most embarrassing and personal ideas that I have. Doing this doesn’t make me special, or brave, or some champion of typing words while battling suicidal delusions. I write my mental health posts out of self-preservation that I don’t fully have or even want.

I was trying to draw this rabbit, but I couldn’t get the ears just right.

And some people find this stuff scary.
Above all else, this is why depressed people might not talk about their condition, and it is most certainly why I have to use a pseudonym. If I had crisis calls to authorities because of every time I had suicidal thoughts, I’d perpetually be held in a psych ward. Chronic disorders exist over a long period of time, and I’m still unable to fully function in public. I can only put up a smiling face for a few hours every month; the rest of the time I’m at home trying to pretend I don’t hate my life.

And to be fair, I know it also sounds excessively melodramatic. It’s one of the benefits of writing my thoughts out. I get perspective on these absurd ideas that pop into my mind. Right now I don’t have enough perspective to stop them from rattling around in my skull.

Just because I occasionally write some scary things about how I really feel doesn’t mean I need commentary to pull me out of it. At the time of this writing, nothing actually stops this from happening. The episodes also end in their own time.

I also realized that I’ve become afraid of talking to people again.
Interacting with people serves as a constant reminder of how isolated I am. Even when I know I don’t have to defend my mental illness posts, I still feel like I have to defend them. Anxiety kicks in, and I get worked up over a bunch of different things all at once. The places my thinking takes me are places I don’t want to visit often. What this means in practice is that my mind is learning to dread the trigger of interacting with people.

Of course, I can’t isolate myself further. Nor do I fully want to (which is weird in itself). This is the compromise I have to come up with so I can post more often like I need to.

What this long post means.
I’m not disabling all comments everywhere on all posts. Rather, there are some posts I just can’t deal with the ensuing commentary. Those posts aren’t going to have comments on them. There will still be other buttons to click in case one feels the urge to do so. But when I get something negative out of my system, I find myself fatigued to the point of breaking if I have to discuss it with people. To make it clearer, I’ll try to use the category “Comment-Free Mind Dump.” That way, people should know I’m just clearing the crap out of my system.

That said, I still do appreciate the people that do decide to stop by or interact here in any way. If any reader still feels compelled to let me know directly how they feel about something I’ve written, my email is still up on my about page. But really, I don’t need comments on all of my posts. Hitting the like button or sharing it is sufficient enough to get any well-wishes across.