First off, a big thank you to Me and My Mental Health Matters for nominating me for the Liebster Award. I truly admire them and their blog for speaking so openly about mental health from a personal perspective, especially since mental health is a topic that is very close to my heart indeed!
The general gist of this award is to help promote ‘smaller’ blogs (under 200 followers) and also discover new ones. Once you are nominated, answer the 11 questions that your nominator has set for you and then tag 11 other bloggers to take part, providing them with 11 new questions to answer (I probably got that completely wrong so take a look at the official rules here).
Onto the questions…
What inspired you to start blogging?
I initially started my previous blog ‘Above Anxiety’ because I wanted to share my experiences with mental illness, and reach out to people who were struggling in the same way that I was. I had also just finished sixth form and so had a long summer ahead of me – I needed a hobby to occupy my time with. I felt alone, isolated and cut-off from others my age and starting a blog was a way to find my own voice.
In the last month or so, I started ‘Lisa’s Reality’ because I would now like to venture into a more diverse range of topics. Mental health remains a main focus of mine but I also want to express my identity beyond my mental illness. I particularly want to share my passion for arts and crafts, as well as talking about my laughable attempt at being a university student!
How would you describe your blog in 3 words?
Relatable (I hope), light-hearted and humorous (that last one is debatable).
What do you like about blogging?
It gives me the ability to express myself. I really struggle to be myself around others and I’m always terrified of what people are going to think of me. A screen provides me with a sense of detachment from that. I can be completely myself without feeling as though somebody is judging me right then and there, and not once in my life have I felt able to do that (until I started blogging, of course!).
What do you dislike about blogging?
UGH, where do I start?! (I joke, I joke). I hate hate HATE that it’s such a numbers game. I often feel ‘inferior’ and ‘unsuccessful’ because I don’t have a massive following – it can really grate on your self-worth.
What’s your wish for the future?
Honestly? It sounds so cliche, but I just want to feel content with myself and my life. I’m not talking a massive house with an expensive car and rolling in cash (although if you’re offering…). But being able to say ‘I am proud of my accomplishments’ and to have a job which gives me a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction, those two things are extremely important to me.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Stop comparing yourself to other people. Stop worrying that you’re ‘behind’ because you aren’t doing what other people your age are doing. You’re your own person and you do things at your own pace, when YOU feel ready. No, that girl isn’t ‘prettier’ than you and you don’t want to look like her, because you look like you and you’re pretty in your own way. And stop caring what others think so much, because their opinion really doesn’t matter. Your opinion of yourself on the other hand, that’s extremely important.
What advice would you give to someone new to blogging?
Write about what interest YOU, not what you think you should write about or what you think will get you more views. You will produce your best work when talking about what you truly love, and that passion will shine through in your writing. Try not to get too hung up on numbers and followers because building an audience takes time. As long as you’re enjoying blogging, that’s all that matters.
What’s your favourite blog post you’ve written so far?
I think my post on ‘Creating a Distraction Box‘ would have to be my favourite, just because it was really fun to do (not only making the box, but also writing about making the box!). I also love that it inspired a few others to make one for themselves.
Why do you keep blogging?
For me, the positives of blogging far outweigh the negatives (and the fact that it sometimes makes me feel a bit shit about myself). I’ve met some really awesome people online through my blog and Twitter, connected with people who share my experience with mental illness (something which I hadn’t done before) and I absolutely love having a space where I feel confident to be myself. Plus, the positive comments and messages I do get from my blog posts make it all the more worthwhile.
What’s your favourite quote?
It feels impossible to pick just one (I’m a sucker for cheesy quotes!) but one that I keep coming back to is:
‘If we wait until we are ready, we will be waiting for the rest of our lives’
This quote rings true to me because I’m always waiting for everything in my life to be ‘just right’ before I do anything (even if it’s going to have potentially positive outcomes). I need the conditions to be ‘perfect’ else I don’t think it’s worth my time, but then I never end up doing it! Yet, what I’m beginning to realise is there is no such thing as a ‘perfect time’ – there’s just now.
Of course, it’s no good overwhelming yourself and it’s important to go at your own pace, but I often find myself using ‘I’m not ready’ as an excuse to avoid the things I’m really scared of in life. Whether it’s the big things – recovery, getting a job, learning to drive – or the smaller, everyday challenges such as taking a train or making a phone call. I’ll convince myself that ‘I’m not strong enough’ to do it yet or ‘the timing isn’t right’ out of fear.
Before I know it, I’ll be 80 years old and wishing that I had just taken the opportunities presented to me when I had the chance!
How much would you say blogging has helped you?
So much! It’s allowed me to accept me for me – my hobbies, my interests, my illness. No longer do I feel ashamed for these things because through blogging, I can find people just like me, and that is really refreshing. I spent the majority of my teens feeling as though I had to be the same as everyone else, but I have since learnt that being unique and expressing yourself is actually a really brave thing.
My nominations are:
- Anxiety Erica
- Shining Star Recovery
- It’s Me, Colin
- Thoughts From ’94
- 365 Days of Char
- Jack Jacobs
- Tales of a Lost Explorer
- Liam and His Anxiety
- No Light Without Darkness
- Stumbling Mind
- Rolene Esteley
And my questions for you are…
- When and why did you start your blog?
- Is there any aspect of blogging which has surprised you – something you didn’t expect?
- Do you think you will keep blogging well into the future?
- If you could have one wish granted right now, what would it be?
- What aspirations do you have for your blog?
- What is your main aspiration in life?
- What’s your biggest pet peeve?
- Which accomplishment in life are you most proud of?
- If you could hop on a plane to anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?
- If you could go back in time and relive one event in your life, what would it be and why?
- What are you most looking forward to in the future?
Thanks again to Me and My Mental Health Matters for nominating me and thank you for reading.
– Lisa x