Being vulnerable online and remembering the start

A pretty cool date slipped under the radar yesterday, it was this blogs second birthday. It’s been two whole years since I published my very first post ‘Breaking it down’

I did start writing a post to reflect on two years of blogging however, if you’ve been keeping up to date with my posts then you’ll know that I’ve been letting myself relax more with my blog for my own health. I used to keep to a weekly schedule with my posts but as my physical and me natal health took a turn for the worst, I made the decision to relax my grip on myself regarding my blog and only post when I feel up to it (hopefully by doing this you guys will also benefit from better content to). So yes, there’s a partial post in my drafts pile reflecting on two years of blogging, but I was in no shape to finish it… sorry.

Today however, I’m feeling a bit more up to writing so I’m thinking I want to draw on some of the points from reflecting on my blog’s second birthday and some more recent events and do a bit of a Q&A. 

What was the most surprising thing I have learned about myself through blogging?

This was such an easy one to think of an answer for, I never want to be famous.

It’s true, I never want to ever be famous. I didn’t walk into the blogging world wanting that, this blog was just an emotional outlet that I was in desperate need of. But some how, overtime,  I’ve grown a small following from you guys.

For a while I thought that’s what I wanted from my blog, to grow to a larger platform and maybe make it into something sustainable that I could maybe live off. From that I made more of an effort to grown my social media presence (especially on Twitter). I started connecting more with the blogging community, meeting some pretty epic people along the way and I took my Twitter number of followers from just under 50 to over 150 in a short period of time, but then I stopped.

I know 150 followers is a tiny amount in comparison to the bloggers I know and talk to (most of them are over 1,500) but I found it just too much and I didn’t tweet anything for a while.

You see guys, I’ve lived under the radar for most, if not all, my life. I’ve never been popular and I embraced it overtime. I found comfort in being able to slip away, to work behind the scenes and disappear when I needed to. Especially with being an introvert, not being seen meant less pressure for social situations. But now I have thousands of views on my blog, and it makes my brain short circuit.

Not wanting to be famous isn’t going to impact my blog, I’ve taken to ignoring my subscriber number and imagine that I’m back two years ago with only 5 people following my rambles. However, I’ve always wanted to an author and that poses a few issues.

To be a successful author you have to have a book that thousands upon thousands will read. In order to do that, you need a good sized author platform, you need subscribers and people who are invested in your work. You have to do book tours and readings in book shops in front of people. Maybe famous is the wrong word to use, but you most certainly need to be in the spot light a few times… what may be an issue for this introvert.

So that’s something I need to mull over and come to terms with if being an author is something I still want to do. But I never expected to come to that realization through my blog.

Do I ever feel self conscious about sharing my past of anorexia online?

Yes, all the time but it might not be for the reasons you might think of. I’ll have to break that question down a little and rephrase it to explain why though.

Am I bothered by strangers online judging me for having suffered from anorexia? The answer would be no. It sounds weird, but if I don’t know you then you don’t hold any power over me, feel free to judge me as you like. But am I bothered about people who know me in real life potentially judging me for the eating disorder? Yeah, I’m terrified of it.

Most people in my life know I’m a blogger but they haven’t ever read it or even know it’s name and that’s done on purpose. When I had anorexia I’d say the only people who knew were 3 family members, my book thief of a boyfriend (who does read my blog… sometimes), one tutor at college, and 3 very close friends/ people I trusted. Could other people see that something was wrong? Yeah they might have if I look off my baggy clothes or watched me very closely when I was eating, but they didn’t know that I suffered from a diagnosed eating disorder.

I made the decision to keep my eating disorder as quiet as possible for several reasons. One of them was to reduce the amount of opinions I’d get on the matter, I only wanted to be getting advise from my doctor and counselor as they were professionals who knew the illness well enough to educate me on it. If everyone in my life knew then I knew I’d be getting some very well intentioned but unhelpful comments on how to get better and I simply didn’t want that. The second biggest reason was that I was deeply ashamed of it. I was also so, so ashamed of developing anorexia as a Christian. I was so scared of someone turning round to me one day and saying “If you claim God loves you, why do you starve yourself”, to this day I still fear that question.

Anorexia made me feel dirty and I didn’t want people to see just how screwed up I was. 

So I made a separate social media accounts for my blog, for a long time I went under the name Ella and not my full name, Arabella, just encase someone came across it. It was a long time before I had any sort of photos of myself on there like my about me photo, so I couldn’t be recognized if my blog was found my someone I knew.

Being vulnerable online doesn’t scare me, but being vulnerable to the people who know me if a complealy different and that’s my own issue to come to terms with. So yes, I feel self conscious about sharing my past online but it’s only because I’m still worried about the people in my life discovering the anorexia and what their responses will be.

Who/ what got you into blogging?

I’ve said from the off that my blog was an outlet for me when I was going through a rough time with the eating disorder, but that’s not how I got into blogging and it might come to a surprise to hear that this isn’t my first blog either.

Lost In The Story has existed for just over 3 years, yet I consider yesterday to be it’s second birthday. About three years ago I was in my first year at college doing forensic science and I wouldn’t say I was unhappy with my course, more I was unsettled with it. I was slowly understanding that this wasn’t a career path I wanted for myself.

I ended up talking to my dad about my concerns over my course and that deep down I’d always wanted to be a writer. I’m a very academic person and have always been an over achiever in subjects like science so I know deep down that my dad would have been a tad concerned over me wanting to peruse a job that wouldn’t be as successful and in a weaker subject for me. But despite that, he tried to help and without knowing it he set me on the path for the blog you read today.

I remember him getting his Ipad and pulling up a website. It wasn’t the most professional looking thing that I was used to but he explained that it was called a blog… can you see where this is going? He suggested that if I was serious about becoming a writer, that I should start a blog and starting doing exactly that, write.

Part of me is unsure if he was secretly hoping that I would become disinterested in writing through a blog and that I’d fall back on science and a good job that came with that career path. But weather it was intentional or not, I fell in love with blogging and my passion for writing grew all the more.

So how come this blog is over three years old and why do I consider it’s second birthday to be yesterday?

Lost In The Story was my first blog but it wasn’t where I shared my recovery of anorexia, no it was where I shared poetry and my short stories. I didn’t even have an eating disorder when this blog was made. But do you want me to let me into a little secret? WordPress is such a difficult platform for a new blogger. Like it’s so hard to build a blog from scratch when you have no idea how to code or make a website and it was so frustrating. I only managed two moths on this blog before I’d had enough, I wanted something easier… so I switched to Blogger. I created my second blog on the Blogger platform and boy was it so much easier.

I’ll be the first person to admit that my second blog was a bit rubbish, it had an awful design, I was a much worse writer than I am now ( I’m not the best now but I was just the wort then) and my blog was just all over the place. I’d say I didn’t have my weird teenage years in real life, I had them later on with that second blog. It was just full of cheesy quotes, and digital bad fashion choices. This being said, I’m forever grateful for the skills I leaned on it because it allowed me to create the blog you see today.

Eventually I outgrew the blogger platform and my blog itself, so I made the decision on the 14th July 2017 to move back over to Lost In The Story where I’d be able to make my work more sophisticated.

I hope you enjoyed that little Q&A, I have a habit of rambling too much so you’ll always get less questions but longer answers.

Before I sign off this post I though it’d be nice to give you guys a quick catch up on where I’m at. I’m very much aware that there are a lot of changes coming up for me and my life and I want to try and keep you guys in the loop as much as possible.

A few times I’ve mentioned on there that I have long term issues with my feet. Well those issues have been going on for a year and whilst we only have a rough idea whats wrong with them, we know know that it’s classes as chronic pain. I shared a photo in my post English Afternoons of me using my crutch, something I wasn’t all that found of at the time. Well my crutches (yes there’s two of them now), have become a more regular occurrence in my life to help me keep mobile and reduce pain. But even with the crutches, I’m in a lot of pain all the time. 

The reason I’m telling you this is because with the levels of pain I’m in, I often find it difficult to think properly. Things like sitting at my desk to blog is an activity for good days where I have the head space to think about what I’m doing and I’m not on ridiculously strong painkillers what make me a bit spaced out. So I’m asking for your continued patience with me and this blog and try not to be worried if I have longer periods of no posts. I have no intentions of stopping blogging, it’s just a tad harder for me to write at the moment.

I’m always active on Twitter, so come say hi there and if you’re after new content from me please check out my KO-FI page as that’s my platform where I regularly share my other hobbie that is art. I also post exclusive blog content on there.

I hope you’re all well, I’ve missed chatting to you all over the past few weeks.

Until next time guys, take care of yourselves.

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If you like my work and want to support me further please check out my Ko-fi page and consider donating a coffee. 

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