I will never forget the moment that I started blogging, a moment that would change my life forever . After graduating from university the month before, I felt empty and lost, like my life had no real purpose. It was nothing to do with ‘finding a career’ type hopelessness but the feeling of being alone. Despite living with friends, uni had come to an end and I knew that sooner or later we would love on with our lives and be connected only by a slim link, while being pulled into alternate worlds where education ceases to exist. We had officially become adults and for many it was a time of ‘excitement’ but for me I felt different, in fact I felt miserable. I was suffering from an acute form of depression, which unbeknownst to me I had since I was 16 as well as extreme anxiety disorder. Panic attacks were a daily occurrence and at the time I was extremely sick, unable to keep any food down and in constant pain. I felt like I was in a black hole, I was slowly discovering that many of my ‘so called friends’ were toxic and my friendship group seemed to be dwindling by the minute. I was sick, alone and afraid of what I might do if the pressure got too much. As bad as it sounds I used to have disturbing fantasies, imagining what would happen if I had died, would anyone care? At the time I thought not, I was so deeply depressed that forcing myself out of bed was an an internal struggle that I dealt with pretty much everyday. But then something changed and blogging changed my life…
I remember my first post, with photos taken on my friends phone. Looking back on early posts always makes me cringe but now I can truly appreciate how far I have come since August 16th 2015. I became a better writer, learnt skills that I would never have had the courage to learn otherwise and made friends who shared the same passion and love for blogging as I did. Most of all though I found you, my readers who taught me to be more compassionate and loving to myself. Reading your comments would make me both laugh and cry simultaneously and I am overwhelmed with gratitude that many of you are still here to share my journey with me. What started as a ‘journal’ became a full fledged business and eventually transformed into the community that it is today. Because you, my readers, are not random strangers but friends who have been with me through my journey of highs and lows. You taught me to be a better person, taught me how to appreciate the little things but most of all you readers have been with me when I needed you most. Never once despite my flaws and transgressions did you give up hope and abandon ship and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. When friends seemed to give up on me in my darkest times I thought I was alone but now I know that I wasn’t. Because although ‘virtual strangers’ may not be classified as ‘friends’ to me many of you readers are.
My readers have seen me witness births and deaths and taught me how to cope with grief, when it was threatening to drag me into murky waters. When I tried to jump into the deep end you pulled me up to the surface and showed me how I could survive, even in my darkest moments. You made me laugh when tears threatened to spill and made me cry with joy when you offered me a helping hand. Many of you readers would reach out to me personally and see if I was okay, always offering a virtual shoulder to cry on and in turn I did the same. If I saw a comment that particularly touched my heart I would reach out to my readers and tell them that we could be in it together, even if we had never even met. Despite the awards, despite the brands and despite all the ‘amenities’ that blogging can offer, my greatest achievement is finding loyal readers like yourself who have been with me every step of the way, because I know you will walk down any road, no matter how dark. I had found my tribe and for the first time in my life I don’t feel worthless or any of the negative emotions that the bullies and my abusers made me feel, instead I feel triumph. I feel triumphant because my readers showered me with praise and as someone who craves the approval that I missed out on when I was younger, hearing positive comments makes my heart swell with pride. I feel elated when I hear that my readers have won awards, have been offered exciting opportunities or achieved milestones, no matter how small. When readers are in pain, I feel pain alongside them but when I see them blossoming I feel like I am floating on air because readers, I feel what you feel.
I want to thank my readers for making me face reality; in times of darkness I would try and pull the wool over my own eyes and pretend that I was okay when I was not. I want my readers to know that I am grateful for every opportunity you have given me to become a better person and how you never gave up on me, even when I seemed to be drowning. I love my readers to the moon and back and I want you to understand how much you all mean to me. Without you, my blog would be a mere dot in the blogsphere, floating in intangible nothingness and without you my mental health issues would have remained unresolved. My readers, my dear friends, you gave me a safe space where I felt comfortable to share with you my deepest, darkest secrets and wiped my tears away with one swift click of a mouse. We may be separated by a computer screen but to me there is no divide and I know that a time will come where you will feel the same way as I do. But for now, I want to thank my readers for being the best god damn friends that a person could ever wish for because without you, I would be nothing.
Thank You x
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