Do You See What I See? (Thinking Back To My Shy Teens)

There have been times when I’ve thought back on my teens and 20s, and wondered:

Did my debilitating shyness and untreated social anxiety come across as me being unfriendly or thinking I was too good to make friends?



In high school, I was an anxious overachiever.

  • I always aimed for A+ and panicked if it didn’t happen (or seemed like it might not happen).
  • I memorized every detail I could before a test (but was too fretful to ever pause to digest the information).
  • I became editor-in-chief of the high school yearbook because I NEEDED TO MATTER.

Beneath the surface, hidden from even my own insight and self-awareness, I was riddled with anxiety, perfectionism, and rock-bottom self-esteem.

Years later, a former classmate made an offhand comment that I don’t remember verbatim, but it came down to “you were too good to hang out with us.”

My teenage self would have been mortified to hear this.

That shy, lost, neurotic 16-year-old who wanted nothing more than to stop feeling like she only mattered if she was perfect.

There is so much I would go back and tell that girl. So much pain and burden I would try to take off her shoulders.

I had no idea how I came across back then. All I wanted to know was, “Am I okay yet? Am I good enough now? Is this right?”



I’m 34 now

  • I still don’t have a good sense of how I come across to others.
  • I wonder if my “extra-ness” and nerdiness and perfectionism come across as stuck-up or goody-two-shoes.
  • I wonder if my empathy and vulnerability and people-pleasing nature peg me as an underdog, a sort of homely but hopeless puppy.
  • I wonder if my social anxiety and shyness make me seem flakey and cold and uninvested.

These worries are becoming easier to manage as I grow and heal.

Most of the time, they are background music that I can consciously tune out. The music takes over only in my hurting moments.

But I’ve come a long way. I’ve learned that imperfect is way more relatable.

And that it’s better to be the flawed, friendly person at the party than the aloof cool kid that everyone is afraid to approach. (Not that I was “cool” anyway.)

Is This a realistic goal?

I want to get to a solid place of not needing to care either way.

I want my sense of self and self-esteem to be so unshakable that I just do my thing, appearances and perceptions be damned.

But I’m prepared to accept that I still have a lot to learn about all this.

I Am Not Social Anxiety (And Neither Are You) โฃ

I am not social anxiety, but I accept it as part of my life.

I’m still working in the direction of “recovery,” but I’ve made space for a lot of nuance in what I think that looks like. โฃ

I think I used to equate recovery with “cure,” and I used to think “cured” meant no longer socially anxious or held back by “shyness” or “introversion” at all. โฃ

But that mindset came from a place of unnecessary and hurtful self-rejection. โฃ

Self-acceptance

I had to shift to a place of self-acceptance before any recovery could really take place. โฃAnd there have been some other changes, too:

  • I stopped viewing shyness or introversion negatively once I realized they weren’t the same thing as social anxiety (or as one another).
  • I’ve started to see social anxiety disorder as the thing that makes me censor myself from the world. โฃEven from myself sometimes. Recovery has meant learning to turn down the censor and let the real me emerge. โฃ
  • Perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned that self-shame is just not a useful tool for recovery.

Not broken

I’m learning to accept that who I am inside is ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต the problem. And that recovery doesn’t mean “fixing” the real me within.

I’m not broken.

Please don’t beat yourself up if you experience social anxiety. You’re not bad or weak or broken.

You are not social anxiety.

xoxo

I’m Not an Expert (Hello New Readers! + Mini Update)

โฃHello there, new readers (and oldie-but-goodies)!

โฃโฃโฃโฃโฃI’m Sadie.โฃโฃโฃโฃโฃ


โฃโฃโฃโฃโฃโฃI’ve had a bit of growth on my blog and Instagram account recently, so I wanted to take a quick moment of your precious time to re-state that ๐˜’๐˜ฎ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ข ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ญ.โฃโฃโฃโฃโฃโฃ

Just as a sort of disclaimer for my own peace of mind.


General update for readers old and new

I’m going to experiment with my posting schedule and post styles for the next couple of weeks. Jesse has been super helpful as a sounding board on all this. โค

I need something to help with my blogger’s block and blogging perfectionism that I’m struggling with since I decided to make my Monday posts “BIG DEAL POLISHED PIECES.” (Maybe I’ll do an actual post on THAT, too.)

Just as a heads-up if you start seeing me more often and/or more informally. I hope you’ll bear with me!


โฃโฃโฃโฃโฃโฃMy account has always been about sharing ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ข๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฌ๐จ๐œ๐ข๐š๐ฅ ๐š๐ง๐ฑ๐ข๐ž๐ญ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ข๐๐ž. โฃโฃโฃโฃโฃโฃ

โฃโฃโฃโฃโฃโฃI share my reflections on what I have learned (and am still learning) from therapy and beyond, but it always comes from a ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž. โฃโฃโฃโฃโฃโฃ

โฃโฃโฃโฃโฃโฃThere are some fabulous therapists and coaches out there. โฃโฃโฃโฃ

โฃโฃโฃโฃI’m neither of those things.

(๐˜ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ, ๐˜ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ด ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต’๐˜ด ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ต.)โฃโฃโฃโฃโฃโฃ

โฃโฃโฃโฃโฃโฃI want to share my own ๐ซ๐š๐ฐ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฅ ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž๐ฌ so that, hopefully, ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ž๐ฅ ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐š๐ฅ๐จ๐ง๐ž if you’re going through similar things or know someone who is. โฃโฃโฃโฃโฃโฃ

โฃโฃโฃโฃโฃโฃ๐˜ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜บ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ฑ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ซ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜บ.

โฃโฃโฃโฃโฃI’d love to have you follow along so we can learn from each other :)โฃโฃ

Now I’d love to hear from you!

What do you like to share on your own blog?

๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ‘‡โฃโฃโฃโฃโฃโฃ

10 Things You Might Not Know About Me

Due to a bad case of blogger’s block, none of my attempts at finishing my planned post drafts came to fruition.

Instead, here is a list of 10 things you might not know about me. In case you would like to know 10 more things about me.

The things

1. I speak French. I grew up in Wakefield, Quรฉbec, and went to school in French until grade 8.

2. I have a bachelor’s degree in translation (from French to English).

3. I freelance as a translator and editor.

4. I have a tattoo of a fairy kitten on my shoulder. I got it when I was 15 and plan to cover it up with a bigger, adorable-r creature.

5. As a teen, I worked as a babysitter and lifeguard. In retrospect, undiagnosed anxiety made lifeguarding very stressful.

6. I swam on a masters swim team for a couple of years, and competed in a national masters swim meet in Nanaimo, BC. (My favourite stroke is butterfly.)

7. I haven’t weighed myself at all in 2020.

8. I’m 5’4-5’5.

9. I suffer from scalp psoriasis and it is the bane of my existence when it flares up.

10. I hope plan to write a memoir someday.

That’s all for today! Thanks for reading. ๐Ÿ˜Š

What is something people might be surprised to know about you? ๐Ÿ‘‡

Weekly Update 11: Ten Things That Sum Up My Week


Hereโ€™s this weekโ€™s installment in my Weekly Update series!


#1: This week’s post

One post went out this week: I Took 4 Online Tests for Social Anxiety: Here Are My Results


#2: Jesse’s birthday

It was Jesse’s birthday yesterday (May 8)! We had a subdued celebration with chocolate cake, pizza, and The LEGO Movie 2.

When the world turns back on, we’ll go out and celebrate more excitingly.

View this post on Instagram

๐€ ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฉ๐ฉ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฉ๐š๐ซ๐ญ๐ง๐ž๐ซ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐›๐ž ๐š ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฌ๐š๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ. โฃโฃ โฃโฃ A supportive partner can be a ๐ฉ๐จ๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐š๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐๐จ๐ญ๐ž to the ๐ญ๐จ๐ฑ๐ข๐œ ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก๐ญ๐ฌ that run through the mind of someone who struggles with perfectionism, anxiety, and low self-esteem.โฃโฃ โฃโฃ ๐˜๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ฑ๐˜บ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜น๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜บ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ง๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ค๐˜ฌ, ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ด' ๐˜ซ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜จ๐˜บ๐˜ฎ.โฃโฃ โฃ

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#3: Cuticle Picking

I’ve fallen back to my old habit of tearing my cuticles apart. I’d been doing really well for months. My index finger is currently wearing a Frozen 2 bandaid.

That’s how I know I’m probably more stressed in my body than I realize in my mind. About…? Maybe it’s just week 8 of lockdown life.


#4: Hard week

Actually, it has been a very hard week emotionally.

In my daily mood tracker, I had to introduce a new colour/category for Thursday (May 7). Previously, my lowest mood was red and called “really struggling.”

On Thursday, I introduced black and called it “The Worst.”

This was the peak of the mess that was Thursday:

Thursday.

#5: Hubby pep talk

The way I act and talk with my kids when I’m anxious is just… so not at all how I see or saw myself as a mom, you know?

Jesse lifted my spirits later on Thursday night with one of his pep talks.

“You’re caring for tiny humans who adore and love you, but don’t have the ability to care or empathize for your needs yet. Anyone would get drained and struggle under those conditions.”

The part of his pep talk that stuck with me most.

The next day was the best day mood-wise I’d had all week. Even the kids were better behaved (probably because I was calmer).


#6: Educational content

I’ve started sharing some educational/informative content on Instagram after reviewing my therapy notes on social anxiety.

I feel nervous about sharing educational content (e.g. Common physical symptoms of social anxiety), because I’m not a doctor, and I don’t want to… overstep?

But it should be fine to just share what I’ve learned, right? Even if I’m not an authority on the subject.

I want my blog and Instagram to be a mix of useful information and relatable experiences.


#7: Avoiding video therapy

My psychiatrist has called to check in every week since lockdown began, and to see if I’m interested in trying a virtual therapy session with her.

She makes it clear there’s no pressure.

She leaves a voicemail (I never answer the phone…), and I return her call most weeks (during hours I’m sure she won’t be in the office).

I’ve passed on the offer every week so far.

And the thing is, I should take her up on it. My social anxiety symptoms are becoming more intense as isolation continues.

But that’s exactly the problem. I can’t bring myself to overcome the anxiety enough to get on the phone or video with her.

I can’t even bring myself to try to coordinate her schedule with our schedules (Jesse would have to take an hour off work to look after the kids).

I want to say I’ll try a virtual session next week. But I can’t make that promise in good faith.


#8: Mother’s day

Sunday is Mother’s Day, and I’ve been informed (by Jesse AND James) that I will get to sleep in and drink coffee in bed while I read.

So apparently you CAN win the lottery without buying a ticket.


#9: If I Had a million dollars…

…I would do a bunch of noble shit and then buy all the cute TeeTurtle shirts I’ve been eyeing for months.


#10: Upcoming blog post…?

I am having major writer’s block for my next Monday post.

I had thought it might be time to write about how social anxiety can impact a person’s sexuality and sex life, because the effects can be extremely challenging and I don’t see anyone else talking about it.

But when I tried to write that post, it became very hard to be candid in my usual way without being way too… detailed.

So I got way into my own head about how to approach the topic, and gave myself page fright.

My other draft is about how anxiety can turn into anger, from the mom perspective.

But I am still undecided.

It’s just been that kind of week.


Questions for Bloggers:

Do you ever go back through old blog posts to update them?

How do you handle old content on your blog?


That’s been my week!

How was yours?

What did you get up to?

Featured image is from Canva Pro.

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This week is ๐Œ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐Œ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐š๐ฅ ๐‡๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ญ๐ก ๐—ช๐ž๐ž๐ค, and today is ๐—ช๐จ๐ซ๐ฅ๐ ๐Œ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐Œ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐š๐ฅ ๐‡๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ญ๐ก ๐ƒ๐š๐ฒ.โฃโฃ โฃโฃ Iโ€™m participating in the #๐๐ž๐š๐ซ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฐ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐ฆ campaign organized by @lettersoflightproject and @perinatalmhpartnership to raise awareness of maternal mental health issues.โฃโฃ โฃโฃ ๐˜”๐˜บ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด:โฃโฃ โฃโฃ ๐˜๐Ž๐” ๐€๐‘๐„ ๐„๐๐Ž๐”๐†๐‡. โฃโฃ โฃโฃ I've struggled with "๐˜ˆ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜จ๐˜ฉ ๐˜บ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต?" since I became a mom (before that, really). โฃโฃ โฃโฃ But especially as a mom. โฃโฃ โฃโฃ Becoming a mom brought my anxiety and depression bubbling to the surface. โฃโฃ โฃโฃ It has been hard but also amazing because it's pushed me to work on my mental health and get to a stronger, healthier place. โฃโฃ โฃโฃ ๐ˆ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฐ๐š๐ง๐ญ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฃ๐จ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ ๐œ๐š๐ฆ๐ฉ๐š๐ข๐ ๐ง:โฃโฃ โฃโฃ Grab a pen and paper, write some encouraging words for other mamas, and post a photo with the hashtag #dearfellowmum. โฃโฃ โฃโฃ Be sure to tag @lettersoflightproject and @perinatalmhpartnership! :)โฃโฃ โฃโฃ ๐—ช๐ž ๐ ๐จ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ, ๐ฆ๐š๐ฆ๐š๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฆ๐š๐ฆ๐š๐ฌ-๐ญ๐จ-๐›๐ž! โฃโฃ โฃโฃ ๐˜š๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜บ ๐˜ฃ๐˜บ @lapapierre

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online test for social anxiety reviews

I Took 4 Online Tests for Social Anxiety: Here Are My Results

In 2018, I did a 12-week group therapy program for social anxiety (I talk about some aspects of the program in this post).

As part of the program, we were regularly asked to complete a questionnaire to track our level of social anxiety.

At the beginning of the program, my score was at the highest end of Severe, on a scale of Mild, Moderate, Severe, and Very Severe.

At the end of the program, it was at the lowest end of Severe. (Progress!)

During the program, I briefly went into the Very Severe range (it was around the time we started doing exposure therapy). But I also dipped down to the lowest end of Moderate during the program as well.

Anxiety levels vary with time and circumstances and many other factors. That’s why they scored us weekly — to see the overall picture.

It’s been a while since I had a formal assessment, so I was curious to see where I might fall on some online tests.

I included some screenshots of my answers and scores.

Read on, friends! I hope you find the post interesting. ๐Ÿ™‚


Test 1:

PSYCOM Social Anxiety Test

My score on this test:

“Strong indication of social anxiety disorder (social phobia).”

Question example:

“Are you extremely conscious of your actions when in social settings because you fear they might offend someone or you could be rejected?”

My answer: Very often.

Thoughts:

I like the way the score is phrased here: “Strong indication of.” It makes it extra clear that this is not a diagnostic tool.

They include an image of where your score falls on anxiety-ometer (what would you call this?), but I’m not sure how meaningful it is, especially compared to, say, the ranges included in the results for Test 3 below.


Test 2:

Psychology Today Social Anxiety Test

My score on this test:

“No strengths.” (Fabulous.)

Question example:

“I blush frequently when talking to others.”

My answer: Completely true. (Hence the title of my blog.)

THOUGHTS:

You have to pay $6.95 to see the full tests results (which I guess is fair? the other sites don’t charge though), and they do tell you about the fee before you start the test.

The results they give you for free are not terribly insightful — they are more of a categorization of things you may already know about yourself. I read it and thought, “Well, yeah. Obviously.”

I wouldn’t recommend this test, unless maybe you want to buy the full report, but I can’t actually speak to the contents of the reports they give.


Test 3:

MIND DIAGNOSTICS

Social Anxiety Disorder Test

My score on this test:

“Extreme Social Anxiety (49/72).”

Question example:

“How often do you avoid expressing disagreement or disapproval to someone you don’t know well?”

My answer: Usually.

THOUGHTS:

My answer to that question above would actually be “always,” but that was not a choice.

They give you your full results, and the option of either signing up with your email address or skipping to results.

I like the language they use: “may be experiencing extreme social anxiety.” Not “you may HAVE extreme social anxiety” or “you may be SUFFERING FROM extreme social anxiety.”

I don’t personally mind if people use words like have or suffer from conversationally, but in the context of a test like this, I think neutral language is valuable.

I also like that they show you the score ranges.


Test 4:

Social Anxiety Institute

Test for Social Anxiety Disorder

My score on this test:

“71/90: High amount of social anxiety.”

Question example:

“Answering your phone without looking at who’s calling.”

My answer: High.

THOUGHTS:

The questions were straightforward, and I liked the colour-coded answers.

I did find myself wishing there was an option for “very high,” because there were a lot of situations where I would feel more anxiety than the situations where I said “high.”

For example, I would say “high” to a statement like, “answering the phone,” period. If you add “without looking at who’s calling,” then my anxiety level becomes “very high.”

(As in, I would absolutely never do that. That’s why we have voicemail. And google. For number checking.)

Oh and you do have to give your email address to access the results.


Final thoughts

Honestly, I really enjoy taking tests, whether they’re for mental health or personality or “What Kind of Pusheen Are You?

(I’m a Classic Pusheen at the moment, apparently.)

But that’s for another post.

In terms of my results on these four social anxiety tests, I have a few thoughts:

A little surprised

On the one hand, I’m a little surprised that I scored so high on the social anxiety scales, considering the therapy I’ve done and the fact that I’m showing up candidly and somewhat confidently on my blog and Instagram.

(It helps that there aren’t any non-child-non-husband humans around when I write.)

Lockdown effects?

On the other hand, the results are perhaps being skewed by the effects of the lengthy lockdown (entering week 8 as I write this).

I’m not seeing anyone but family, and tensions are just generally high in public. And, you know, globally.

Change how you look at progress

Even with therapy, I haven’t “erased” social anxiety from my life. I get anxious about many of the same things, to varying degrees.

The difference is that I’ve learned to better tolerate the anxiety.

Maybe if there was a test that measured “ability to function with/tolerate social anxiety,” those results would reflect my progress.

That’s a takeaway I’m pretty happy with, actually.


Three more tests

I was concerned about making the post too long, so I’m just going to list these here in case you want to take them yourself:


Disclaimer

This post is entirely for information/entertainment purposes, and not meant to provide instructions on treating or diagnosing any mental health concerns. Doctors first, always. xox


Have you taken any of these tests?

Feel free to talk about your results or thoughts in the comments!

I always enjoy your lovely comments. ๐Ÿ™‚

Weekly Update 10: Ten Things That Sum Up My Week

I joined Bloglovin’! Apparently I have to post this link at the top of a new post to be able to “claim my blog”: Follow my blog with Bloglovin. Fingers crossed I did that properly.


Hereโ€™s this weekโ€™s installment in my Weekly Update series!

The reality of trying to take a great selfie with two little ones.

Success! I resorted to making a toot joke right before taking the shot. And I am not sorry.

#1: This week’s post

One post went out this week: How I Deal with Self-Doubt as a Shy Blogger (6 Tips).


#2: Reality vs. social anxiety brain

Jesse and I have been chatting about writing a humourous post together on “What he says to me VS What my socially anxious brain hears.” Things like:

He says:

“Oh, all the spoons are dirty.”

I hear:

“WE NEED TO TALK. You’re really being slobby and it’s inconsiderate of you to dirty spoons and leave them in the sink for a few hours.”

What he actually meant:

“Oh, all the spoons are dirty. I’ll just wash one.”

The truth, of course, is that what I hear comes from MY brain and my inner bully.

We’re still chatting about how to make it funny in the right way.


#3: Video chat

Video chatted with a friend this week! Felt nervous and awkward. Was assured it went just fine. Friend remains friend and wishes to video chat again.

Terrified/relieved.

Thank you, friend.


#4: New-New blog look

Designed using Canva!

In other news… ugh, I know I JUST announced a revamped blog look and tagline last week… but I revamped it again.

I went fully hands-on and creative, focusing on what felt most “me when I’m being my real self.”

So that’s why you’ll see a fun new header, logo, and updates throughout.

I even chose little characters for each of my family members (Jesse, James, Olivia, and of course me!). I’m using them on Instagram and also included a photo on my right sidebar here under “Cast of Characters.”

Anyway I love the new look, and I’m still learning how the new theme works. Yay!


#5: Go give Ali some love!

Clickable image!

Another blogger who is in the process of updating her blog is Ali from The Crazy Life.

I don’t think the changes will be live by the time I post this, but she has vulnerable, sweet, and real posts on her blog and I’m sure she would love your support if you don’t follow her already!

She writes about “Momming, anxiety, and life.” So, clearly super relatable for me.

Ali is also on Instagram as @the.crazylife10.


#6: Playlist!

I made a cute-fun playlist on Spotify called “Kid songs that boost my mood.” It’s here if you want to have a listen!

I also could have named it “songs I hear over and over in kids’ movies that we watch 20 times a day (slight exaggeration) but that somehow still manage to validate my existence and make me feel like a better adult.”

But that was a LITTLE too… much.


#7: Check out this memoir!

I’m reading the brand new memoir of a friend I’ve made on Instagram:

Clicking on the cover image will take you to links to buy the Kindle or paperback version of the book!

She wants to “give mental illness a voice.”

Her Instagram handle is @solveitbywalking and she is so insightful and supportive on the platform.

I plan to do an actual post on the book when I’m done, but I’m a very slow reader, so I wanted to share one of my favourite passages so far.

The context is that Lia is discussing the “grand divide” between those who are experiencing mental illness and those who have recovered from it and “no longer have the same level of insight into [their] former condition.”

Perhaps being on the edge, looking over it, and seeing both sides at the same time has put me in a unique position to build a bridge.

Lia Colibri, Solve It By Walking

I just love how Lia articulates this divide.

I wholeheartedly recommend supporting this lovely new mental health memoir writer!!!


#8: V Wars

Image from Wikipedia

I finished V Wars. It is unclear whether there will be a season 2.

I mourn.

But only mild-to-moderate mourning.

Not, like, the level of mourning called for if they cancelled You or The Walking Dead, or when I finished the last episode of the original Veronica Mars.

Obviously.


#9: I don’t even know what to call what happens in this section

I made a kittycorn for Olivia, and it looks HILARIOUS and derpy* but also somehow adorable.**

1. “Make me a cat head, Mommy.”
Here you go!
2. “It needs to be a unicorn.”
Here you go!
3. “It needs a body.”
Here. This is the best I can do, girl.

*I am having socially anxious feelings about using the word derpy. Usually I try to be as inoffensive as possible in EVERYTHING I do, because backlash would liquefy my soul (what, souls can totally liquefy).

And I know that there was a character in My Little Pony that was introduced as Derpy Hooves, but there was backlash, so they changed her name to Muffins (I think? the story there is a bit muddled), and since then I have not been able to say derpy in public or online.

And, yes, I could just delete the word here and go with, “The kittycorn looks HILARIOUS and muffins but also somehow adorable,” but that would require an entirely DIFFERENT lengthy explanation and wouldn’t give me the chance to give you THIS explanation while also facing my (derpy) fear.

(I didn’t use the word derpy much before, to be fair. But now it’s one of those words I CAN’T say, ร  la Austin Powers being awkward when talking to a mole with a mole.)

**Incidentally, “HILARIOUS and derpy but also somehow adorable” is how I hope to be described after I die.

“Muffins.”
Yes, I really want this shirt.

#10: Bluuuuue Haiiiiiiir

Clickable image (not an affiliate link — haven’t tried that sort of thing out yet)
  • I ordered a shampoo/conditioner that is supposed to tint my hair blue. I’ve only dyed my hair once before, and that was when my hairdresser added purple streaks.
    • Normally I’d be too self-conscious to dye my hair completely, and I also have a mental block after DECADES of being told not to dye my hair because “people PAY to have ginger hair, you know.” (Said by all humans ever.)
      • So there’s this GUILT whenever I want to dye my hair, where I feel like I’m betraying everyone, especially my redhead-folk, and rejecting my true self simultaneously.
        • Now that I’ve articulated this, I realize it might be SLIGHTLY neurotic.
          • All the more reason to change those beliefs.
            • Plus I’m feeling adventurous and not seeing many people right now, so it’s a nice time to experiment and challenge my anxiety.

I will share photos when it’s done!

(That is why there is a photo of a blue-haired Barbie in the featured image.

Even though I think Barbies are not great for girls’ body image, this particular picture was too funny to pass up.

When else would I get to use a picture of a blue-haired, nude Barbie lying in a shopping cart brandishing a huge fork?)

I mean she’s BRANDISHING A BIG-ASS FORK while sitting naked in a shopping cart. The story you’d have to concoct to make this situation make sense would be AMAZING to hear.

Monday’s upcoming post is called

I Took 4 Online Tests for Social Anxiety: Here Are My Results”


That’s been my week!

How was yours?

What did you get up to?

Featured image is from Canva Pro.