Diffusing the Tension: Question & Answer Session

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If you could ask me anything, what would it be? Since I have been blogging for several months now, I decided to do a question and answer post, in the hopes that you will get to know me a little better. I asked my Twitter followers to submit questions, and I will answer them below.

If you have any questions, feel free to put them in the comments. You can also read a little more about me here: https://diffusingthetensioncom.wpcomstaging.com/all-about-me-vogue-parody-survey/

Questions & Answers

You may have talked about this before, but I would like to know how your mental health impacts your day to day life. I know you have wee ones, and it can’t be easy balancing both parenting and mental illness. @nyxiesnook

Thanks for the question! I hope I can answer it effectively. It definitely is not easy balancing both. You are right about that. As far as how my mental health impacts my day to day life, first of all, it makes me very tired. I’m still trying to figure out if it’s my actual depression making me tired or my medication. Whatever the case, I am fatigued all day long.

Also, my depression makes me irritable. The littlest thing can make me cranky, and most days I feel like I have no sense of humor. So, I’m super fun at parties! This makes it a challenge to deal with life’s stresses, when you are easily irritated.

As far as balancing these struggles with parenting, I have to take my day literally an hour, or even a minute, at a time. My kids are at an age where they are very rambunctious, they talk non-stop, and they have frequent time outs. I find myself having to take a lot of deep breaths and keep in mind that they are learning from me. They are always watching me, and their behaviors as adults will be modeled after how they see me act.

That has the biggest impact on me, knowing that they are learning from my behavior, and I think that helps me in my journey to find balance.

It may be you don’t have an answer for this, but I’d like to know what lesser-known symptoms you experience from MH (mental health) issues and how you deal with them (e.g. My partner gets memory loss from his, so those sorts of things) @PagePlacePlate

This is a really tough question! There are a few lesser-known symptoms that I get, either from my actual illness or from my medication. I get a bit of restless leg syndrome at night. That is super annoying when you are trying to fall asleep!

I also get a lack of motivation, and I find myself not enjoying things I used to enjoy. This makes it tough to be productive during the day. I have to drag myself to the gym, instead of going happily, and even reading books can be a chore. That is the best way to describe it. Everything feels like a chore, like running a marathon.

Another symptom I get is spacing out a lot. I find myself getting lost in thought in the middle of what I’m doing. I’m not sure how common this is, but especially in times of stress, it happens to me quite a bit.

I always love to know, what keeps you blogging? (what is your drive?) @AshNExplained

It can definitely be hard, especially when battling a mental illness. In my niche, mental health blogging, it is hard to sort of “break through” and find success. I think it is much easier for, say, a lifestyle blogger to get traffic to their site. For that reason, it is easy to become discouraged, and feel like nobody is reading what you write.

I am very motivated by every comment I receive on a post. Every time someone takes the time to tell me that something I wrote resonated with them, it gives me the motivation to keep writing.

I’m also motivated by my children. I don’t want them to see me as someone who gives up on something that they enjoy. I truly enjoy blogging, and that makes it a lot easier to keep going!

What are some #mentalhealth tips to keep in mind for someone venturing into the world of #blogging, particularly around the #selfcare and #stressmanagement? @StephACoaching

This is a really good question! I would say, get really good at making to-do lists. There is so much that goes into blogging (creating content, promotion, SEO, making graphics, etc.), that it can be overwhelming at times. Make a list of everything you want to accomplish and take it one step at a time. Prioritize your list in order of most important to least important and take it from there.

I would also say not necessarily to give up on your dreams, but to have realistic expectations. You are not going to rank #1 on Google overnight. It takes time and effort to be a successful blogger. Don’t stress yourself out, and remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day.

How do you deal with trolls? If you were not blogging about mental health, would you still be blogging? @DragonsCodex

Ooh, tough ones! I am lucky that so far, I have not had to deal with trolls! But if I did, I would keep in mind that there is a human being behind the comment. Most of the time, internet trolls are people who are genuinely in pain. Instead of getting help, they take it out on people using their keyboard. It is easy to feel hurt, but at the end of the day, they don’t really know you. They are just a person, the same as you are. I would just ignore it, probably not address it, and move on.

To answer your other question, I think I would still blog. I actually started this blog as more of a lifestyle blog, and it became about mental health without me even realizing it. It sort of took on a life of its own and now that is exclusively what I blog about. If not mental health, though, I would probably post a lot about parenting, recipes I like, and book reviews.

Why start blogging, how does your mental state affect those around you, how do you put all that aside and stay strong? (Anonymous)

These questions are so great. Well, I started blogging because I wanted to connect with those around me in a different way. I wanted to share my ideas with more people than just those in my immediate circle. Blogging is a great way to get your thoughts out. It’s been very therapeutic!

As far as how my mental state affects those around me, I would say, I am not an easy person to love. That sounds really negative, but the truth is, it is not easy to live with a person with bipolar disorder. My loved ones have to make a lot of sacrifices when I am not stable. I know that my moods rub off on my spouse and my children, and that is something I have to live with.

How do I stay strong? It is a conscious choice mostly. I have to take each day one hour at a time. If I can make it through one hour, that gives me the strength to make it through the next hour, and so on. I know that I need to stay strong for those around me and it is something that I am not always good at.

This might be a little too broad for a Q and A. I’m curious to read about how your relationship with mental health challenges has evolved over time; from the early stages to today, and what sort of behaviors or choices led to the evolution. @mindandlove1

Hmm, this is a difficult question. I will try to answer it well. If I am interpreting your question right, you want to know how I have adapted to the challenges of mental health issues over time, and what choices I have made that led to those adaptations.

It has not been an easy journey. The challenges themselves have changed over the years. When I first began my mental health journey, I was a teen and still living at home. I had my parents to rely on day in and day out to help me cope. Now, I am the adult, and I am married with two children. Not only do I have to be strong for myself but I have to be strong for my children.

I learned to not let my illness make me so… selfish isn’t really the right word. I’m not sure the word I’m looking for. But depression has a way of making the world revolve around you, and I have had to fight against that impulse as the years go on. I have children that require a lot of attention now. It can’t be just all about me.

Over the years, I have had to make the choice to be strong when it seems impossible and never stop looking for answers. I hope that answers your question!

I would love to know what inspired you to be a #mentalhealth blogger? Is there any story or person or incident? @chand_alpana

I love this question! To answer it, I started writing about mental health because I realized I had a story that needed to be told. I have a story that has the potential to impact others, as does everyone who battles with mental health issues. By writing about it, I am not only reaching others who might need to hear my message, but I am releasing myself of the burden I feel. Being depressed is a huge cross to bear, and talking about it makes the burden feel a little bit lighter.

I wouldn’t say there is any particular incident, but everyone who reads my posts helps me to keep going. I keep fighting because of every person who comments, “Yes, me too.” Every day, I have to fight for their happiness. I fight for their health. Also, I fight so that I can continue to share my journey. It is my deepest hope that I inspire others to come forward and speak up. That is the only way to break the stigma.

Thank you to everyone who submitted questions! I hope you enjoy my answers. If you have any other questions, submit them in the comments below and I will make another post in the future. Thanks, as always, for reading.

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7 thoughts on “Diffusing the Tension: Question & Answer Session”

  1. I have lived with anxiety my whole life….this anxiety gets triggered by constant criticisms from people around me. It’s difficult to not listen to them….any other suggestions?

  2. I loved this Q & A! It really gave me an insight into your everyday life and your life as a kick*ass mental health blogger! Thank you so much for being open about why you’re a blogger, your struggles, and for just being honest. It really helps the rest of us who struggles with mental illness as well to know we’re not alone 🙂

    Emily | https://www.thatweirdgirllife.com

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