I’m having social anxiety about my social anxiety blog.

I’m thinking things like:

  • You’ve embarrassed yourself by oversharing.
  • You’ve done your readers a disservice by not sharing more, or sharing the right stuff.
  • Your posts are way too casual and informal. No one wants to read that. You should be doing things like “10 Ways to Overcome Social Anxiety” and “Day in the Life of a Mom with Social Anxiety.”
  • But don’t do posts like that either, because they are way too commercial and it’ll look like you’re trying too hard to grow your readership with “clickable” titles.
  • Stop talking about social anxiety so much. It sounds like that’s all you think about.
  • But don’t talk about anything else either, because you need to stay in your niche, otherwise people won’t know what to expect from you.
  • You should take more time to write thoughtful, articulate pieces.
  • But don’t look like you’re trying to sound smarter than you are.
  • Share more. Your experiences can help people.
  • You share too much. You’re not an expert. No one wants to read about another’s person’s challenges. They have enough of their own.
  • How can you be inspiring if you continue to struggle?
  • How can you be consistent if your mood fluctuates and you can’t follow a plan unless it “feels” right in the moment?
  • You should write more about mom life and parenting.
  • But you don’t know anything about that either.
  • You share too much about your kids.
  • You take too long to reply to comments.
  • You’ve fallen out of the habit of commenting on other blogs. People have noticed and they feel like you don’t care about them. Why would they read you if they think you don’t read them?
  • You need to show up on your blog even when it’s hard.
  • But it’s hard every day right now.
  • Don’t be too depressing or you’ll make things worse for your readers instead of helping them.
  • You’re trying too hard to make “perfect” and polished posts. This is not a magazine. Just post what’s on your mind.
  • But you’re embarrassed about what’s on your mind and if you’re honest about how insecure you feel about everything, then everyone will know how vulnerable you are, and no one will come to you for encouragement or advice.

Mental health check-in

My mental health and mood are a jumbled mess right now. We’re happy and healthy and safe, and I am grateful for that.

The “permission to hermit” of this pandemic appeals to my social anxiety and introversion.

But that means being in mom mode 24/7, which means very little time alone to think… and that is clashing with my introvert needs for extensive periods of solitude.

Happiness set point

I heard a term years ago that stuck with me. It’s called hedonic adaptation, or the hedonic treadmill. According to Wikipedia, it “involves a happiness “set point”, whereby humans generally maintain a constant level of happiness throughout their lives, despite events that occur in their environment.”

I feel like my happiness set point is fixed at around “pretty happy but often quite anxious and irritable.” Or, in meteorological terms, “cloudy with brief moments of sunshine.”

And no matter how hard I try, how much I work on my personal development and mental health, I will inevitably re-calibrate to my set point as soon as I let my guard down or life throws me a curve ball.

I feel like no matter how good I have it, I’ll always find a way to feel like I’m struggling at least a bit. And the guilt from this realization makes everything worse.

Break time is over

And that’s pretty much all I’ve got today, because the kiddos’ screen time has ended, and I need to pee, and make coffee, and pretend to be a baby chameleon.

I have an amazing life and a wonderful family.

And yet.

I curse my hedonic treadmill. And myself, too, for not being strong enough to change my set point.

Thanks for reading, you guys.

P.S. In the feature photo above, I am lying on a stuffed stegosaurus. Because of course I am.

36 thoughts on “I’m having social anxiety about my social anxiety blog.

  1. Oh my goodness. Your list of thoughts on writing blog posts is spot on to how I feel when I try to write. It’s paralyzing! I’m glad I’m not the only one. Thanks for continuing to write.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One of your points above is: “How can you be inspiring if you continue to struggle?” That’s exactly the point. By continuing to struggle, but continuing to continue, you are inspiring people. You are leading by example.

    Also, no one would expect things to keep going along on same path during the current situation that we all find ourselves living in. So you don’t respond right away, or all the time, or at all. People will cut you some slack in that department. We’re all just doing what we can to get through to the next day. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

    You are gathering a following, so you are obviously touching a few nerves and inspiring more than a few people. Just keep on keeping on.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We hear you!

    We think the best leaders empower others. The best followers become empowered. So something about empowerment…

    What is β€œhappy” anyway? Is it safety? Is it purpose? Is it joy? It’s definitely fleeting. An emotion (pretty sure Animotion was an β€˜80’s band: β€œObsession”?), which means it is temporary and one of many.

    Expectations get us either what we expect or disappointed we didn’t get what we expected. Wethinks the practice would be what you’re doing: living. Maybe try it with less judgment/evaluation for even 1 decision as a start to see if it’s liberating?

    We feel you on needing alone time to recharge. Younger Child asks us all to leave the house. And we do. Hooray for self-care! πŸ’•β€οΈπŸ’•β€οΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸ€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK YOU πŸ’™ Your point about what happy “is” totally resonated and reminded me that I had put a pin in brain musings on happiness vs contentment. I had wanted to reflect on that, then forgot.

      Also a super good point about expectations. I think expectations get me every time 😦

      I think I’m just terrified that I’m going to mess up — my family, my kids, my marriage, my life — if I don’t keep myself “in check” all the time.

      It’s nice that you are still able to leave the house πŸ™‚ I don’t remember what area you live in, if you have said it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. β€œI think I’m just terrified that I’m going to mess up β€” my family, my kids, my marriage, my life β€” if I don’t keep myself β€œin check” all the time.”

        We have been letting fear lead us, so we relate. When we let love lead, we feel more connected to pretty much everything. πŸ’•

        Like

  4. I like your blog a lot! And there seem to be fewer social anxiety blogs than those for some other mental health issues. I seem to write less about my social anxiety than my other issues, which may be fear of being judged.

    The happiness set point concept is pretty scary, given that I’ve been depressed since my teens. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!!! It’s possible I’m misunderstanding hedonic adaptation — I saw a comment by Ashley come in that looks like it clarifies something. I saw the preview of her comment and will be clicking on it next!

      I, too, have been struggling with low mood since my teens. :/

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That should monster you’re carrying around sounds rather exhausting!

    I took a look at the happiness set point article on Wikipedia, and my take on it is that it refers to adaptability to external events, and that’s not the only factor at play in someone’s emotional state. Mental illness is treatable, at least to some extent, so I don’t think illness-related emotional states are necessarily a set long-term thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Ashley, the perfect blend of empathy and critical thinking πŸ’™

      It IS an exhausting monster. Every time I think I’ve excised it, eventually it sneaks back inside and the reactivates the internal battle to exist without hating myself for it.

      I can’t tell you how touched I am that you took the time to read the article and then come back to comment on how I interpreted it.

      I’m definitely not the most adaptable to external events… I seem to be at the surface but it affects the inner emotional workings in dark ways that surface later. I know that’s not the main point you were making though.

      I like the thought that there isn’t a set point for illness-related emotional states. That’s oddly comforting.

      I feel like this reply is not as delightful as it could be but my wee brain is rather mushy at the moment.

      Thank you πŸ’™

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I can relate! The best thing that happened to me was coming across a mindset blogger who has helped me to keep all those thoughts in check. If it weren’t for her, I might have given up by now because of my own fears and doubts. I think you’re doing a great job!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Getting rid of guilt, especially mum guilt is a very freeing thing! You are handling all the facets of your life beautifully. Do the best you can and let the rest go. ( easier said than done I know) I miss you!! Stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is so relatable I overthink everything like that all the time (isn’t social anxiety great?) and I used to do that a lot when I first started blogging. I edited every post like a million times and was so anxious about posting it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Omg thank you so much! I used to over edit until I got to my first year of university and was like okay this needs to stop I don’t have time for this anymore and so now I just edit it once and post it and try my best not to overthink it. I’m sure you’ll get there too!

        Liked by 1 person

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