I’m doing something scary.
(Technically, living with anxiety makes lots of things scary, I guess. BUT this is actually terrifying.)
[post status: a brief life update]
When Walking on Custard came out in 2015 (aside: I cannot believe that was three years ago! What on EARTH is happening to the flow of time?!), I needed some sort of online home.
I considered all kinds of wild, imaginative ideas, like interactive websites which would act as companions to the book, somehow procedurally generating both entertainment and life advice…
… but in the end I realised that simplicity was definitely the best option in this case. So I set up this basic WordPress site, and voila: a place where I can muse about anxiety and life without having to put in much effort.
A simple blog that exists is better than an all-singing, all-dancing web experience that doesn’t.
And this place has served its purpose well!
I’m constantly surprised at how many people manage to stumble into my little corner of the internet, AND at how many of those people bother to send me lovely emails about articles which resonated with them. (They can’t ALL secretly be my mum, right?!)
Anyway… Continue reading
[This post was originally written for puttylike.com]
Today: some thoughts about life decisions.
[WARNING: THIS SECTION CONTAINS MATHS! (It’s optional, so skip it, if you like.)]
A few months ago, I was making a decision, and every time I thought about it, a mathematical analogy sprung to mind.
“The unexamined life is not worth living” – Socrates
THOUGHT: The over-examined life isn’t exactly worth living, either.
Where the thing on fire is a cow dressed as clown.
(Of course, it’s possible that ridiculous events are attracted to me, and not the other way around. I’ve never been able to figure this out.)
Occasionally I attempt to resist and be sensible for a while, but no matter what I try, silliness seems to follow me.
A couple of months ago, during one of these “attempts to be sensible”, I booked onto a conference being held in Berlin at the end of May: Alive in Berlin.
I didn’t know much about it, but figured it would provide a nice celebration after releasing my first book and a chance to do a bit of travelling while I make my next plan.
But then, a couple of days after I booked on, this post popped up on my facebook:
This is a global project for raising awareness of mental health issues.
Inner critic: Thanks, Mr. Obvious. I think we all figured that out just from the name. No need to assume everybody is stupid just because you are.
Not now, please, inner critic, we’re doing an Official Thing today. In a minute I have to write the actual Blog for Mental Health pledge so I can officially join.
Inner critic: Try not to screw it up, idiot.
Okay, and –
Inner critic: Especially don’t try to ‘hilariously’ screw it up on purpose so you can write a “funny” story about it later!
How very cynical. Thanks, inner critic.
Anyway, as you may know if you’ve visited this site before, I’ve always been anxious, with occasional dips into more extreme and crippling anxiety.
While this is obviously preferable to constantly living in extreme anxiety, for many years I still spent time fearing those extreme moments even when I felt otherwise okay.
I could never truly relax, even when I felt better.
This is the really pernicious aspect of anxiety I’d love to help others with: the way it intrudes on everything else, so you become anxious even when you’re not feeling that anxious!
I feel good! That makes me… suspicious…
… and now I feel anxious again. Great.
I plan to keep blogging here, so this site can be a helpful resource for the anxious (and a hopefully entertaining read for all), so joining a campaign like Blog for Mental Health feels like an obvious move.
So, without further ado, I shall now make the Official Blog for Mental Health pledge, in accordance with Ancient Prophecy:
(or the requirements of the project, anyway)
I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2015 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.
And there we go.
Stick around as we continue to unpick anxiety, and eventually – hopefully – discover together what it means to be not only ‘not-anxious’, but happy too.
Only 7 days until Walking on Custard & the Meaning of Life is released!