Well, that was tough.
Just one month ago, I wrote my last blog post. I announced my break from blogging. Because I didn’t feel I was in the right place at that time to project the positivity I had been projecting on this platform without feeling disingenuous, I decided it was the best thing to do.
After writing that post, it barely took three days before the withdrawal symptoms kicked in (yes, I’d actually equate the experience to giving up something like coffee, if not worse 😛 ). By day three, I had logged back into Instagram and going past day five without posting a photo was just going to drive me up the wall. For somebody who wanted to step back and refresh before a charged reappearance, my gut feeling was having none of it.
Over the past month, I’ve realised that this blog came with an automatic filter. All the good stuff, food and my chirpy mood included, have so far been the main ones making the cut for my blog posts – all the bad has been thrown to the side-lines without the opportunity of being shared. However, despite whether my food progress or mood is going well or badly, I’ve never wanted to stop posting.
I’m now in the place to admit that the break I thought I needed, and the desperation that accumulated when it ended up being something that I, in fact, didn’t want to do, was a product of me wanting to post and post on here, but having no positive stuff and too much of the ‘bad’ stuff, which I didn’t allow myself to post. I was in a bad place, and I didn’t feel like I was allowed to share it with you all. I felt slightly ashamed of myself for having so much bad stuff in the line-up. But that’s not what being a real blogger is, is it? No. Sharing what you want, when you want and not feeling reluctant about anything is what being a real blogger must be.
When I first thought out the idea for Endorphin Stew, I originally wanted it’s content to be fifty percent around mental health/emotional wellbeing, and fifty percent around healthy recipes that contribute to that again. Eating well has always helped boost my spirits, but I guess a bit of shame and fear made the blog more about the food and less about the reason why I loved it so much in the first place.
In the past few months, my culinary skills have developed immensely. I’m no nutritionist or dietician yet, but I do have a huge affinity and interest in food and I am loving every bit of this learning and sharing. However, I also have a love for writing, and especially around topics that interest me and hit close to home, like mental health, and the past while has made me realise that, from now, I want it to become just as much a part of this blog.
Over the past month, I’ve met some life challenges that really affected me, but I’m so lucky with how things turned out for me in the end. I’ve also gotten a few weeks of counselling which really really helped me through things and put a lot into perspective for me (which I’m in no way ashamed of admitting as a strong advocate for the term ‘listening is helping’). This tough time in my life was further compounded by my college exams, but I’m now at the other side of them (for the meantime anyway 😛 ), and I’m so ready to get back to my old routines and get motivated again.
What I realised in coming out of a dark place, is that I don’t need to project only positivity on here and I most certainly do not need to mask the hard times. I became tired of wearing a mask throughout a lot of my teenage years, and when I admitted to my feelings a few years ago, I told myself that I’d never wear one again. I feel as though that mask fell back on as I developed my ‘virtual personality.’ However, since blogging is now becoming a part of my life, both on and off the net, I think it’s important to align the two personalities together.
I’ve looked around at some other blogs recently, and some depict such perfect lives a lot of the time. Some bloggers may have perfect lives, but the chances are very slim. It’s hard not to want to project a perfect, happy life online, and I have been guilty of trying to do that myself, but I don’t want to be anymore. I think that, if I’m honest and post unquestionably about what I believe in, I’ll filter out the close-minded people I was once afraid of losing. Do I really want them anyway? Nah.
Before writing this post, I made the move of posting about my mental health on Instagram, and I so soon discovered that it was the right thing to do:
Over the past month, I was shortlisted for an Aussie Blog Award. This was a pretty big deal since my blog, along with others, was chosen out of thousands of nominations. I also spotted that Stellar magazine had highlighted my Instagram account on their website, and I also had so much continued support on my posts from you guys over on Instagram and Facebook. As a blogger who hasn’t been the most genuine about how I’ve felt before, I have been very privileged. Endorphin Stew means so much to me, and because I have the time now, I’m going to really step up to the mark for everybody who has supported me.
This blog may be mine, but without any of ye, I may as well just use a diary. 😉