Thursday, January 10, 2019

Blogging With Anxiety

Hello everyone! If you’ve never been on my blog before then welcome. My name is Sharrice (Sha-Reese) and run Reese’s Reviews: My Addiction to Fiction. I’ve run my blog for a couple years now and couldn’t have even imagined it being something so fulfilling. The first couple of years were filled with lots of reviews and featured posts from other blogs. I spent a lot of time commenting on other blogs and buying loads of books I was exposed to through the blogger community. Then I found sites that did big promotions and sent out arcs to books I really wanted. The last couple years that’s all my blog has been filled with. Not a lot of my own content. I haven’t changed the look of my blog in a while either.

This was due to a lot of things going on in my life:

  • I got married
  • I got a dog
  • I started a graduate school program-more on this later
  • I moved to another state- from Illinois to North Carolina.
  • I got an internship an hour and a half away from my apartment
  • I got another dog
  • I bought a house- I legit own a freaking house
  • I graduated from graduate school
  • I now have a full-time job
  • I lost my grandmother after a year of her fighting an unknown disease


You can see I got a little busy right?

The biggest hardship on my blog though was graduate school.







Let me just tell you a lot of people will say graduate school is hard. For me, it was my own personal hell. I was dealing with a community of people who struggled with the fact that I didn’t fit the white, middle class, Christian model, that literally, every except one besides me was (and the other girl left the program). I didn’t have a problem with anyone in my cohort. Not really. A year later we still talk every day and make plans to hang out over the summers. Even the girl who called me a ‘monkey’ in class, during my presentation, I understood. She came from a different background than me and felt that it was acceptable to say that. Was it? No. Sadly, that comment set of a chain of events through the next three years that made me simply miserable. I won’t go into that, but needless to say, it’s one of the reasons I haven’t been able to post as much as I wanted.


I’m saying this because I want you to understand where I’m coming from as the person behind the posts. That I haven’t been neglecting my blog on purpose. Sadly, those three years set me back a lot in terms of more than just making my blog personal and fun. I’m severely behind on reading my own books.


Before I started blogging and even the first 3 or 4 years I felt I was pretty awesome at it, not to brag. Before blogging I would get 3 or 4 new books a week and finish them off in about that time. I loved reading. I still love reading. When I started my blog I got requests to review books and I couldn’t have been happier about it. Authors asking me to read their books? What?!?! I couldn’t have been more excited. I was good getting them out too.

My one problem? Saying no.
This was not me like at all.

As a matter of fact, I still struggle with saying no. Like at all. I’m getting better, but I mostly try and avoid it.

Now, I’m finally coming out of the dark hole that was grad school I look at my shelves and have 804 unread books that I own in some form or fashion; e-book, netgalley, edelwiess, actual books on my bookshelves, and received for review. Now when looking at that number my mind just blanks. I have no clue where to even start.

This is where my anxiety has since come into play since I’ve left grad school. I generally have a decent handle on my anxiety, and no I’m not just saying that I feel anxious sometimes. I have anxiety. It causes me to have very real problems in my life. Like not being able to function. Like sitting in the corner of my closet crying when I’m alone, problems. Like struggling to work at work problems. I sometimes look at just one of my books that I haven’t read any my mind just has a field day with my emotions. With my every thought. I can’t pick a book, I can’t look at my books, I can’t think about reading. I start crying and think that I’m a failure. That I should shut down my blog because I’ll never get caught up. That other bloggers look at mine and think it sucks.


To add another lovely cherry to my life I have undiagnosed (clinically diagnosed) Tourettes syndrome. Most of the time it’s self-diagnosable and I grew up with not a lot of money to go to the doctors. Now that I have a career coming out and getting a diagnosis could mean a lot of stigma towards how I do my job so I haven’t gotten it looked at. Besides that point, Tourettes includes motor and vocal tics, which are involuntary. My tics generally act up when I’m anxious, which guess what? Makes me more anxious.
Imagine you’re at work and the person next to you is working and then suddenly their head jerks to the side and a loud sound comes out of their mouth. What would you do? Probably look at them like WTF?!?!? It’s not a fun thing to have when your brain is feeling overwhelmed, I tic and then feel more overwhelmed. I’m constantly controlling my tics and anxiety makes that even harder.

This is my life. It sucks sometimes. Most days I’m good with where I’m at. I know that I was born with a TBR pile that I’ll never finish. I’m ok-ish with that. Truly I am. There are billions of books out there and it would be impossible to read all the books I want to read and will want to read. Again, when I’m in moments of clarity, I know this. I believe this.

But when I’m sucked into the vortex of the true impossibility of it all sometimes I can’t cope. It sometimes takes me days to get to a place I can read or think past where I’m at. I won’t go into my living room to look at my books, I’ll hide my kindle from myself. I turn off my blog email. I’m not in a good place. Which puts me even more behind, and believe me, in those very bad moments I know that too. It makes everything worse.

I’m posting this because I want you all to understand that I’m trying. I am trying to come back from the hell I was in for 3 years that has left me with nearly 1,000 books I have neglected to read since 2015. That’s not an easy thing to do. It’s not something I honestly think I’ll be able to do at all. Which really sucks. Reading used to be my escape and it has been turned into one of the triggers of stress in my life.


As of right now, I am trying to find a balance between what those three years did to me, and who I want to be. It’s a very long road trying to come back from where I’ve been. To be told and made to feel like you’re less than. I’m getting better and I’m learning to accept that those years hurt me, but are behind me. I can’t change them, only how they are affecting me now. I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that I am 3 years behind on reading and won’t be able to catch up. That seriously sucks too.


I know this was a tad long and maybe a wee bit repetitive and maybe a little vague or ranty in some parts. Thanks for sticking in there and reading this. I hope to those of you out there suffering from mental illness know you aren’t alone. To all those out there who are struggling with anything, I want you to know that you aren't alone. Be kind to yourself.

I hope everyone is having a good week and start to their new year. 

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