How It Feels Like Blogging With Social Anxiety

March 19, 2019With Love, From Sza

Disclaimer: This is a very personal post so if you don’t want to cringe, then… you know what to do.

I love writing. So much, which is why I made my blog. At first it’s supposed be an online journal or diary where I could write about my life and the hardships I’m going through motherhood, but then it became a “Mom-Blog” where I share something about my experience and thoughts about parenting and have inspired some people at some point.

I suffer from social anxiety that hurts my day to day life. I try to pose as this strong, young woman who seems to fight life’s battles as much as she can. While that’s true, behind the curtain, I’ve been crying and biting my lips because anxiety has taken its toll on me. I’m scared of people, of what they will say and what will they think about me.

I had panic attacks even when I was a little kid. In the Philippines, those kinds of panic attacks are often referred to as “kaartehan” because we don’t really give that much importance to our mental health. My tummy aches, I vomit a lot, I’m scared of people, really. It wasn’t until I studied Psychology that I got the answers from my questions a long long time ago.

Parenting & Social Pressure

So, I got bored and decided “Hey, why not have a baby?” So there goes pregnancy and sleepless nights. But really, they don’t tell you about a lot of things that go with it. Long story short, here comes motherhood and the never-ending pressure from society. Family members (not mine, oops!) saying, “Why is he still wearing diapers?” “Why don’t you do such and such?” “Why *** can do this and that when he was that age?”

Making you puke yet?

Mind you, the “Mom-Groups?” Ugggh... I opted out and left the Facebook groups because they make me sick and I sometimes hate those parents with “their way is the only way that works.” Right? I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of those.

Blogging as my Escape

As I said earlier, I started blogging as an avenue to express myself and my creativity and despite my fear of publishing my life online (though I’ve been microblogging ever since, you know, Tumblr days), I still tried to do it. I wanted to. It’s my escape to this very hard life of parenting. Hard is an understatement, srsly.

I was a writer and I thought I could put it to good use, for my own, specifically.  I badly needed something to do and someone to talk to. Little did I know, it grew, and same as everyone else, I opened myself up in social media, created a blog page and posted stuff there and it’s gaining tons of audience (on which I’m forever grateful).

Social Media & Social Anxiety

While I was trying to build an online presence because apparently, that’s where brands will see you and notice you, it’s not working well for me. While I was able to gain traffic from it, I don’t like the idea of people expecting you to be perfect and that your opinion will then reflect on you as a person or as a parent.

I am in no way a parenting expert or a coach, I am just a young mom hoping to encourage moms like me.

So when I was trying to grow my followers, I tried to post a parenting topic that I never thought would go viral. I am not a specialist, nor a coach, I was just speaking out of my own personal outburst of people telling me that my son is a “late talker.” I never thought it would go viral and gain more than 3,000 shares (and still counting) on a single post.

Then, I got feedback that it was incomplete and misleading and all that. I know it’s lacking some things but the things lacking are not really my point, so why would I include it? Those are topics for another day.

And guess what? Hello Social Anxiety!

I am a very sensitive person due to my anxiety and postpartum depression yet people actually expect you to be thick-skinned when you’re a blogger. I never thought it would affect me in a way that would scare me to open that post and read comments on it or even open my Facebook Page. I literally uninstalled my Facebook App the same day that post went viral.

Then I read this blog post from ForeverAmber on how life is so much better without social media and how she uses her Facebook Page just to share some blog posts and not really dwell on it.

Then I realized, I never wanted that FB post to trend. I never wanted to get that kind of attention.

I went back to my “why.” Why did I blog in the first place? It’s for me to have an avenue for my thoughts and opinions and to help me get over Postpartum Depression.

Blogging as an Escape from Motherhood

Motherhood hasn’t been the best time of my life. I have no “mom friends,” to say the least. We moved to a place where I know no one but my partner and my son. My son didn’t even have his first and second birthday party because who would even come? I have no one to invite to. (but that’s a story for another day). I’ve left my hometown for hopes of starting all over again and having a clean slate in this new stage of life. It was hard and it still is. It’s sad and lonely and I was so alone and the moment I started my blog, I felt like my blog was my friend and I wasn’t really thinking if people are reading it. Eventually, it grew and I know I have to grow too.

I am not a perfect person. I am NOT an expert in parenting and motherhood and life. I am not a “mommy blogger.” Tbh, I’m reading tons of parenting books to help me and teach me things that I don’t know. I LITERALLY HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO GROW A HUMAN BEING!

Wikihow and Pinterest has been my go-to for advice in this entire motherhood thing. I don’t have any idea how to wash clothes or clean my house. Who am I to teach people how to do stuff? All I wanted is to share my thoughts about things that inspire me or bothers me, what works for me and what doesn’t, and share it to people who need inspiration in hopes that I could encourage and help them too. I needed to remind myself of who I am, as a person, as Szarenne.

That maybe somewhere in the world there’s this mom, just like me, who has no one to hold on to, no one to talk to and maybe I could be that person that would inspire her to continue and keep on keeping on.

So have decided to move forward and take this as a positive lesson. I will continue blogging but will just use my Facebook to share my blog posts whenever I would publish a new one and use Instagram to share snippets of my life.

If I’m an expert on something then that’s not gonna be parenting or motherhood, that will be graphic designing and probably “how to nail your job interview” kind of expertise because I kind of know that stuff. Or maybe, customer support or technical support, or I don’t know. At this point in my life I don’t even know what I’m good at.

And I know this has been the most personal blog post I’ve ever published, I have learned my lesson and I will continue to move forward in my blog. Not my social media, but my blog and hoping to get friends, genuine ones in this journey.

My Social Anxiety to the Nth Level

Honestly, right now, I’m scared, really scared. I’m scared to continue, I’m anxious to even publish this. All I wanted is to curl up in my bed and cry. I uninstalled my Facebook App and hid my Facebook Page Manager App and turned off notifications. I even turned off my phone and hand wash clothes that I don’t normally do unless I need to switch my mind off of things.

Maybe I’m not one to share parenting tips and would probably never do it again. Maybe I’d just share what works for me and what doesn’t. Maybe I’m just good in writing comprehensive reviews. Or Maybe blogging just isn’t for me.

But where will that take me? If I won’t publish what’s gonna happen to my dream on being a blogger? If everyone surrendered because it wasn’t for them, where will we be? If I let my social anxiety get over my goals, what’s next? I don’t want the same thing that happened to me happen to someone else too. This path is hard and I brought this upon myself, but like a child will I stand up when I fall down, pick myself up and go on.

And I will continue to encourage, motivate and inspire young moms like me. I will continue to go to places and discover them for you. I will continue to test products so you don’t have to before you buy. All these things in blogging plus the support and confidence I can give young moms.

Here’s to hoping I’ll get over social anxiety soon …

XOXO,

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