What I’ve Been Up To & Why I’ve Been Quiet

Hey you guys!

…you’re still here, right? My silence hasn’t scared you away?

Oh good.

Hi. ๐Ÿ™‚


I suppose I would summarize it as:

ANXIETY

+

[parenting, freelancing, blogging, body, social media presence]

=

What I’ve been up to & why I’ve been quiet


So yeah.

The kids were away for a week a couple of week ago, visiting Jesse’s mom and stepdad. The break let us rest and reset our routines and priorities.

I introspected (as I do). I realized that the more burnt out I had been feeling as a mom in lockdown, the harder I was leaning into my Instagram account and, especially, leaning on my community there for support and company.

Which is good…

But the more I leaned into my Blushy Ginger-ing, the more I was feeling disconnected from the kiddos, and it wasn’t helping my burnout on the mom front.

So when they got home, I became very quiet online, left my phone in other rooms of the house (gasp!), and just focused on spending time with them.

Which Is good…

But the more I leaned into “being the best mom I can be,” the more I was feeling disconnected from my support system online. It might be hard to believe if you don’t do the online thing, but the friendships I’ve made online with other mental health and motherhood writers and creators have been huge sources of comfort and encouragement.

So… I’ve been having kind of a crisis of clarity and balance.

Obviously the kids are my world, my priority, my snuggly little cupcakes of cuddles and giggles. But I do still need my own time to use my brain and work on my mental health.

I’ve been having trouble finding balance.

So, I went quiet online, especially on my blog.


I’ll save the freelancing and body parts of the equation for another post.

I just wanted to give a little update.

Oh, and I redesigned my site, yet again. This time, it’s to bring my freelancing services under the same umbrella as my mental health blogging. I’ll chat about that soon too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for still being here.

Blast From The Past: I Used To Blog About Freelance Translation and Editing

So, this isn’t something I’ve talked about much on here, but when I’m not blushing gingerly or being a wife and mom, I do freelance translation and editing.

Before the kids were born, this was my full-time job. Over time, it moved to part-time, and the flexibility to be able to do this is exactly why I chose freelancing.

Since lockdown started, I have hit pause and I’m not taking on work (with one possible exception upcoming). It’ll continue like this for the summer since school is over now. I know this is a privilege not all families have, and I’m grateful that we have the option to have one of us pause work.

Aaaanyway, this is all a long preface to say that, years ago, I wrote a blog on being a freelance translator and editor. And this post that I’m reblogging is from the blog. (Unfortunately, I am not able to get back into the site as an admin. I tried but it says the blog is deleted… which it clearly isn’t.)

I had a bit of a worlds colliding moment (to quote my friend Liz) this week when someone approached me about possibly discussing translation and anxiety.

And it made me realize that I have never really talked about how severely my freelancing growth has been affected by social anxiety.

So I wanted to share this post. I’m contemplating whether or not this is a topic worth spending some time on going forward. Social anxiety as an entrepreneur must surely affect lots of people, right?

Here’s the post! I hope you enjoy. ๐Ÿ™‚ It feels like revisiting a past life, for me.

Sadie

Cibliste

Iโ€™m a little ashamed to admit that I have been unfairly interpreting my catโ€™s refusal to spend time with me as targeted rejection on a very personal level.ย Heโ€™s a recent rescue cat, you see, and very timid. He spends most of his day behind the washer, and hisses when heโ€™s afraid (which is always).

This weekend, I had an Aha! moment that has already helped me not take my catโ€™s behaviour to heartโ€”and I think itโ€™s a lesson that can help us freelancers deal with rejection from prospective clients as well.

My moment of clarity occurred thanks to an excellent event this past Saturday called โ€œBuilding Your Freelance Business: A One-Day Seminar for Writers and Editors.โ€ For me, one of the quotes of the day came from Diane Davy (Work in Culture) during her presentation โ€œRunning Your Business Better.โ€ Iโ€™m paraphrasing a little from memory, butโ€ฆ

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

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‘‡

How I Deal With Self-Doubt as a Shy Blogger (6 tips)

I wrote a post in January where I shared the inherent challenge in blogging about what it’s like to be shy or have social anxiety.

Basically, the thing you’re blogging about is also the thing that makes you feel like you should hold back from blogging at all. Here’s that post:

Today I wanted to share some ideas on how to shift your mindset away from self-doubt, self-consciousness, and imposter syndrome, so that you can calm some of that creative anxiety.

I hope you enjoy!

Related post: I’m Having Social Anxiety About My Social Anxiety Blog


#1. Trust that your REAL is better than your “perfect.”

Photo from Canva Pro

Don’t wait to share your thoughts until that fantasy moment when you finally achieve perfection…

… because that moment will never come.

Even if you get to the place you currently think of as “perfect,” your inner perfectionist will just try to move the bar higher and tell you that you’re still not good enough to relax and feel confident.

Your inner perfectionist is wrong: you are already good enough! Share your voice.


#2. Realize that other people don’t see you the way you see yourself.

Photo from Canva Pro

I’ve had so many people tell me how shocked they were to find out I have severe social anxiety.

They always thought I was confident and had my shit together. (HA!)

No matter how “honest” we think we are being with ourselves, there’s a very good chance we’re magnifying our own shortcomings and minimizing our strengths.

No one is tracking your ups and downs as closely as you are.

(Have you kept track of every time I’ve made a typo on this blog or shared a thought that wasn’t earth-shatteringly insightful? Almost certainly not.)

Related reading: Ashley from Mental Health @ Home recently did a post called Do Your Blog Posts Say What You Think They Do? on the potential disconnect between what we put out there and how others interpret it. Definitely worth a read!


#3. Keep in mind that you may help people without ever finding out about it.

Photo from Canva Pro

How often do you read a blog post without leaving a comment, even if you enjoyed the content?

That’s okay! There’s no obligation to engage with a blogger, Instagrammer, YouTuber, or any other kind of content creator. (Although it is usually appreciated!)

So if you’re ever feeling like you aren’t having an impact, just consider that for every person who does like or comment, there could be 10 more who also enjoy your post but (for whatever harmless reason) don’t interact with you.

You won’t always get to know the impact of what you put out there, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t creating value for others.


#4. Accept that you will feel self-doubt.

Photo from Canva Pro

Fear can co-exist with creativity and expression.

It takes courage to put yourself out there as an imperfect person. It takes strength to show vulnerability. It’s easier to conceal our soft spots, including from ourselves.

If you can learn to accept that you will feel self-doubt and stop trying to fight it, you can redirect that energy toward creating and sharing content even while feeling unsure.


#5. Think of it as joining the conversation.

Photo from Canva Pro

Not every post has to be epic.

You don’t have to save the world with every piece of content.

Try to create some mental space between your content and yourself. That way, you can think of creating content as contributing your thoughts to the ongoing conversation rather than baring your very soul and deepest self to the world.

Which sounds TERRIFYING even in the hypothetical.


#6. Take your own advice.

Photo from Canva Pro

Think of what you might tell your best friend if they confided in you and said, “My ideas are garbage. I can’t do this.”

Now tell those things to yourself, because the shy writer inside you needs a best friend, and that best friend is you.


Those are my 6 tips for putting your thoughts into the world even if you struggle with self-doubt! I hope you found them relatable.

These ideas are not (sadly) magic pills that I can just take and then go create content fearlessly. I have to work through shyness and self-doubt every day.

Some days I’m not in the right head space to even want to feel more confident (the self-sabotage struggle is real).

But they do help me: I’ve managed to put out 47 blog posts and 140+ Instagram posts since rebooting my blog and account in November 2019 (aaaaah!!!).

So, from one self-conscious creator to another: YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!!!

You don’t have to be perfect to bring value to others.

Besides. Has holding yourself back made you doubt yourself LESS? I say we might as well put ourselves out there.


What are some ways you deal with imposter syndrome and that niggling inner voice of self-doubt?

22 Anxious Thoughts About My Social Anxiety Blog

Here are 22 anxious thoughts I’ve had as a social anxiety blogger (yep, I get social anxiety about my social anxiety blog):

  1. You’ve embarrassed yourself by oversharing.
  2. You’ve done your readers a disservice by not sharing more, or sharing the right stuff.
  3. 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.”
  4. 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.
  5. Stop talking about social anxiety so much. It sounds like that’s all you think about.
  6. 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.
  7. You should take more time to write thoughtful, articulate pieces.
  8. But don’t look like you’re trying to sound smarter than you are.
  9. Share more. Your experiences can help people.
  10. 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.
  11. How can you be inspiring if you continue to struggle?
  12. How can you be consistent if your mood fluctuates and you can’t follow a plan unless it “feels” right in the moment?
  13. You should write more about mom life and parenting.
  14. But you don’t know anything about that either.
  15. You share too much about your kids.
  16. You take too long to reply to comments.
  17. 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?
  18. You need to show up on your blog even when it’s hard.
  19. But it’s hard every day right now.
  20. Don’t be too depressing or you’ll make things worse for your readers instead of helping them.
  21. You’re trying too hard to make “perfect” and polished posts. This is not a magazine. Just post what’s on your mind.
  22. 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.

I think we all struggle with some form of imposter syndrome and self-doubt, right?

Note: This post was updated to its current form on July 9, 2020.

Reconnecting With My “Why” as a Mental Health Blogger

When my grandmother passed away in August 2018, I wrote a post about her for my old blog. In that post, I mentioned that I think she experienced anxiety. The way she wrote about interactions with others makes me think it may have been social anxiety to some extent.

I’ll never know first-hand what it was like to experience anxiety or depression in generations past. I can speculate that it was a lonely, confusing road.

It wasn’t until I was in my late 20s that I even learned there was condition known as social anxiety disorder. As for “depression,” it was a term I was vaguely aware of, but I assumed it was the kind of thing that happened to other people, and that I was far too resilient for such things.

I was probably depressed at the time.

I was definitely anxious.

I definitely suffered from low self-esteem and rock-bottom self-worth.

But I am so lucky.

I am so lucky to be a young(ish) adult(ish) in 2020, to be part of the movement away from bottling up feelings and keeping a stiff upper-lip. To be part of breaking down mental health stigma. To be going through my own recovery amidst mental health advocacy, eating disorder awareness, and basically a collective cry to stop beating ourselves up about EVERYTHING.

It’s only a start; voices are joining the chorus but for many, still, mental health is an obscure topic, and personal challenges are secret and shameful.

But even as I recognize how lucky I am, I hurt as I wonder… What about my grandmother? What about other family members who have also suffered from mental health challenges that went undiagnosed, unvalidated, and most importantly, untreated?

I’m generally a mental health optimist, but when I think about how many people have lost so much from untreated, and sometimes self-medicated, disorders… it’s hard.

At the end of my blog post about my grandmother, I wrote:

I will help tear down the walls of stigma and ignorance so that my childrenโ€”your greatgrandchildrenโ€”have access to even more resources and support than I do now, and you ever did.

This was written before I felt the need to have an explicit “purpose” for my writing or for sharing my journey.

But when I came across it in my drafts a little while ago, it stuck with me. Just a little niggle in the back of my mind.

This week and last, I’ve been struggling a lot with what I’ve started calling “purpose anxiety.” I’ve been wrestling with the question of “why” I’m putting myself out there and whether it “matters.”

Today, finally, it hit me that I’ve had a “why” this whole time, without consciously realizing it.

That statement was my why, before I really knew it.

  • I’m writing for my grandmother.
  • I’m writing for my daughter and my son.
  • I’m writing for me.
  • And I’m writing for you.

Even though I may never know that “you” have read this. All I can hope is that some parts of my words impact some of the many people who need to feel less alone.

Is it too grandiose to hope that today’s voices can empower the voices of tomorrow?

I guess I don’t need a specific path plotted out. I don’t need to worry so much about how to make the perfect impact all the time. I can’t save the world with every post — and probably not with all my posts combined, either.

And that’s okay, in the end. This is a group effort, right?

I just need to show up and let my voice join the chorus of mental health and self-compassion advocates out there today who are saying:

  • It’s okay to not be okay.
  • Check on your friends.
  • Give yourself some grace.
  • You are not bad.
  • You deserve to heal.
  • Recovery is possible.
  • You are not alone.

I think that’s a pretty good “why.” ๐Ÿ™‚

Interview: Talking About Social Anxiety on W. Wang’s World Commentary

Thank you so much for your thoughtful questions, and for giving me a chance to talk about my blog in a new way! ๐Ÿ™‚

W. Wang's World Commentary

SadieSadie Hall

(NOTE:ย This is a continuation from my post yesterday about social anxiety. Read my commentary here: wworldcommentary.wordpress.com/2020/03/08/in-my-own-words-social-anxiety/)

This is an interview with Sadie Hall, which is her FIRST INTERVIEW EVER (yes, Iโ€™m serious about this). Sheโ€™s a 34-year-old married mom of two living in Canada. Freelancing as a translator and editor, she blogs (wish her anxious little heart out) over at Blushy Ginger (https://blushyginger.com/) And she identifies herself as having social anxiety. Here below is my interview with her:

W.: In your profile, you consider yourself as โ€œcrippling shyโ€ and your dream is to become โ€œfunctionally shy.โ€ Why do you want to be this way?

Sadie Hall: I recognized that shyness itself was probably never going away (nor does it need to go away, I would later realize), but that I needed to find a way to be my shy self without being held back by itโ€ฆ

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Why It’s So Empowering To Blog About Mental Health

I’m just going to come right out and say it:

Me, coming right out and saying it with my eyes through the magic of the selfie.

You guys are amazing.

You, my dear sweet readers.

Whether you’re a WordPress follower, email subscriber, or free-range reader, I appreciate the time you take to read my stuff.

I’ve been getting love and support and encouragement in the comments here and on Instagram, Facebook, and by email.

Having real conversations. Getting and giving advice. And so many heart and smiley emojis.

And not to get all sad puppy on you…

(He might not actually be sad. I don’t speak puppy. I assume he would say roooof roooof.)

…but for someone who is essentially insecure about her permission to exist in this world, and certainly about her “right” to have an opinion that she repeatedly launches into the unknown abyss of the internet like an uninvited word missile…

Well let’s just say you soothe this gentle soul’s uncertain heart.

(I do realize there’s a dangerous flipside to caring so much, and that is how vulnerable it leaves me to any eventual negative responses — and it’s the internet, so there will be blood — but I’m trying to avoid any catastrophic thinking and just bask in the virtual love.)

You guys make me feel like the emotional equivalent of this GIF:

Just kidding. That’s my face when my husband says he’s taking the kids to the park for a couple of hours and then bringing home Dairy Queen and coffee.

Which has totally happened countable times.

Okay, okay, park AND Dairy Queen AND coffee didn’t all happen at the SAME TIME. But if they DID, that’s what my face would look like.

This is how you actually make me feel:

Okay lady, what’s with all the mushiness today

I’m writing this post because Blushy Ginger hit a mini-milestone last night. With WordPress followers and email subscribers combined, we’ve hit 100 subscribed readers.

I’m starting to feel like this blog may actually be a thing.

I may actually be able to help people with my words. And maybe even make them laugh along the way.

This would be the realization of a long-held, long-hidden, long-held-back dream.

And that brings me to some questions about what kind of content to zoom in on going forward.

Tell me what you want, what you really really want

A successful blog (I have been told) balances the writer’s creativity and personal message with the actual needs and wants of readers.

Because without you, this blog would just be a very fancy and colourful diary. (Which is fine if that’s the blogger’s goal, but I want to write to connect with others after a life of avoiding connection and engagement.)

I’ll obviously keep writing about social anxiety.

But there are so many ways to narrow down that theme:

  • Would it be valuable to focus on social anxiety as a mom/parent specifically?
  • Or social anxiety as it affects a marriage?
  • Social anxiety and freelancing/entrepreneurship?
  • Social anxiety and creativity?
  • Social anxiety and sexual health and wellness?
  • Disorders/conditions related to social anxiety, such as perfectionism, depression, body focused repetitive behaviours, eating disorders and body dysmorphia, and more?
  • Social anxiety versus shyness (versus introversion, versus high sensitivity)?
  • Social anxiety as it affects hermit crabs, possums, and sloths? (I don’t think it affects them much, but hey, who am I to say what torments the souls of crustaceans, marsupials, or… wait, what IS a sloth anyway? Is it a marsupial? [Hold please…] It’s a…  what the shit is this word: Xenarthran mammal… Okay… I guess that’s fine. Way to ruin my punchline though,  Xenarthran.)
  • Anxiety and high sensitivity in children?

And just how much of myself should I share?

There’s a lot to consider here, too:

  • I’m getting a lot out of the “dare to share” approach I’ve been following.
  • It’s exhilarating to remove the shackles, untie the arm behind my back, and just see what it would be like to be Very Me for a change.
  • But just how Very Me should I be? (I mistyped that as “But just how Very Me should I pee” the first time, and obviously we have to have SOME boundaries, people.)
  • At what point does reading diary-style, lay-it-all-out posts become old hat?
Old. Hat.
Photo by Immortal shots from Pexels

Here’s my vision for this blog

Connection. Comfort. Relatability. Humour.

I want the time you spend here to benefit you just as much as it benefits me.

I would truly love to hear what kind of content you would enjoy reading as I build this cozy little online hermit cave for us to meet up in from time to time.

There are lots of ways to reach me:

  • In the comments
  • By email me (blushygingersadie [at] gmail.com) — I’m a little slower with email but I’ll always reply
  • On Instagram (@blushyginger) — I’m very active on Instagram; it’s where I post less polished stuff and interact with lots of like-minded folks ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Through my Facebook page or on Twitter (@blushyginger) — I’m not sure I’ll keep these two accounts long-term, since I don’t really know what I’m doing on there and it seems a little overkill to have all of these accounts, but they’re both contact options for now

That’s it for today, you lovely blogophiles!

(Yep, still need to work on pet names.)

The most excited wave in the world, coming to your face.

Thank you for reading!

IS Being Candid the Same as Being Vulnerable?

Happy Wednesday, everyone! ๐Ÿ™‚

I wanted to start with a quick little thank-you note to a fellow blogging family (www.ourdidjourney.com) that I met recently online, who wrote a really, really, really generous and validating post about my blog and my writing. You can check out the post here: Up and coming; The anxious powerliftinโ€™ Sadie. (Blushy Ginger). Thank you guys — for seeing what I am trying to do, and in some ways articulating it more clearly than I have been able to myself. And for just being fun and friendly generally.

For the past week or so, I’ve been mulling over the difference between candidness and vulnerability.

I realized that while I don’t balk at candidly sharing the details of my social anxiety journey, that’s not exactly the same thing as being truly vulnerable.

This is true for me in real life, too. I’m candid in conversations about so many things. I’m not afraid to talk openly about mental health or sexuality or the weird things our bodies do. (Provided the person I’m talking to is not put off by those topics.)

But to be truly vulnerable? To share my unfiltered, un-curated thoughts in real time? To show raw, messy, potentially unpalatable FEELINGS and reactions?

I think it’s rooted in fear. Fear of rejection, fear of conflict, fear of disapproval. Fear of losing control over myself. Fear of what others might think if they meet the Unfiltered Me — because I don’t even know who that is.

Social anxiety is so, so much more than “shyness.” It’s a barrier between me and the world. Between me and YOU.

And the barrier has been there for so long that it has been internalized. It’s become an internal barrier between me and myself.

And I’m tired. Tired of the constant tug-of-war between my true desires and the disorder that stifles them.

Maybe it wouldn’t matter if I didn’t crave connection with others. If I didn’t yearn for creative expression. If I didn’t still have a feisty little redhead trapped somewhere inside me.

But I do. I do.

I want those things.

I hesitated to write such a heavy post. I like to be positive and encouraging. But I should probably be real, too, right? Vulnerable.

And so, the journey continues. My weapons of choice against my struggles are insight, resilience, and hope — but the proactive kind of hope.

(Ah, there’s the happy ending I was looking for. Hope.)