Sunday, May 31, 2015

That's What Chey Said: Maintaining a Blog While Struggling With Depression

I don't openly talk about this much, but I've been struggling with depression and anxiety since I was a teenager.  Sometimes it gets to be too much, and sometimes I have months where I feel completely fine.  In the past year or so, I've noticed that when I get down in the dumps, I get really down.  I wholeheartedly believe that part of the problem was that I wasn't reading much.  A good book can take your mind to a completely different place.  It can be a nice escape from reality.  

The problem do you maintain a blog when you don't feel like doing anything?  There are times where I can't even bring myself to get out of bed.  Blogging can be a lot of work, but normally, I enjoy it because it gives me a sense of accomplishment.  When I'm not reading, I'm not blogging,

Plan and schedule posts in advance
I never had a blog or reading schedule for the first three years that I was blogging.  Each month I would pick out a few books I knew I wanted to read or had to read for review, but that was it.  Now I mark on a calendar exactly when I want to have the book read by, which days I'm going to post reviews, and I try my best to stick to it without changing too much during the month.

I've also started writing and scheduling posts in advance.  It's not a foolproof method, as you've probably noticed, because I haven't really posted anything other than my May Wrap-Up in the past couple weeks.  Sometimes life gets in the way.  For the most part, scheduling can be so, so helpful.  Before April, I never bothered to schedule a post.  I would just press publish when I was done typing it up.  Now I can take a day, write out everything for the entire week, and worry less about that and more about doing the things I want or need to do.

Take some time for yourself 
No one is going to punish you for not posting every day, so you really shouldn't punish yourself, either.

Watch BookTubers
When I don't feel like reading, I watch bookshelf tours and hauls, tbr lists and video reviews on YouTube.  Seeing how excited these people can be makes me excited to read the same books.  This is how I've managed to keep reading, even when I don't feel like doing much else.

The anxiety part is a little more difficult to control, but it doesn't come as often.  For example, it's a real struggle to be able to convince myself to go to author events.  Once I'm actually at the event, things are fine.  I might be a little awkward, but I realize that I would rather be there than not.  

When I met Renee Ahdieh a few weeks ago, I went back and forth for days trying to decide what to do.  Finally, I made the decision to go and pre-ordered her book to keep myself from backing out.  Once I started actually reading The Wrath & The Dawn, I knew I had to meet her, and I'm so glad I had that opportunity. 

Another time that my anxiety might get the best of me is when I overload myself on review books.  Everything sounds so good, and they all tend to come out at once...but I try to remind myself that I don't have to read every book, especially if they're unsolicited.  When I request, I tend to stick to e-galleys, since I'm not wasting money by being sent a physical copy if I never get around to it.

Doing anything with depression and anxiety is difficult...and certain things can seem nearly impossible, but the only thing I can do is keep trying.

Do you struggle with similar issues?  How do you deal?


  1. I am right here with you... and honestly, it's just so nice to hear somebody able to vocalize some of this stuff! The next time I hit a patch of really bad days, I'm going to think of your tips, and of you. :) Thanks, Chey!

    1. You're a sweetheart. Thank you! I knew I couldn't be alone and I don't see this mentioned often. Since this past week was particularly rough for me, I felt that it was important to share what I've been going through lately.