I have been nominated for the Sunshine blogger award by Kacha (Food.For.Thoughts), who has a very interesting and educational blog about depression and burnout, which you should definitely check out. Thank you so much for the nomination, Kacha! Hope you like my answers to your questions.
Rules for the award
- Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
- Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
- Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
- Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
- List the rules and display a Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.
- If you could, would you turn back time?
I’m a very nostalgic person, so my first instinct is definitely to say yes! I always feel like time goes by too fast, and I certainly miss certain people and places from the past. However, I’ve come to realize that I tend to romanticize the past, and that it’s probably not as amazing as I remember. I feel like I’ve made a lot of personal progress recently, even if I’ve been going through some really hard times. So ultimately, I would not turn back time. I wouldn’t want to go through those hard times again without the knowledge and coping skills I have now. I may not be as happy as I was at certain moments in the past, but I’m more stable and wiser now.
- What is an expression you use quite often?
I have no idea, really. I asked my friends and they didn’t know either 😀 This is the only one I could think of: In Dutch we have an expression: “if you dig a hole for someone else, you’ll fall into it.” It’s supposed to mean that when you try to harm someone else you’ll only end up harming yourself. But I use it jokingly in a literal sense with my dad. He is very clumsy and more often than not, when he does yard work and digs a hole he ends up falling into it himself.
- What is your favorite fairy tale?
I’m not sure if you would consider this a fairy tale, but I like the Tortoise and the Hare. The tortoise is slower than the hare and seems to be losing the race at first. However, the hare gets tired faster and consequently falls asleep. Eventually, the tortoise overtakes him and wins the race. The tortoise has always been my favourite animal. In fact, I used to own several tortoises and turtles when I was little. They look so harmless and they’re so slow, yet they have a hard protective shell and can live to be a hundred years old. I think the fable teaches not to judge a book by its cover. I’ve often felt like a tortoise in comparison to other people my age, who are already married, have children and a steady job. I haven’t accomplished any of those things yet, and I often feel like I’m behind in life due to mental illness. But then I remember that everyone moves through life at their own pace. The hares will encounter obstacles eventually, and in the end the tortoises will reach their goals as well, as long as they keep going forward and keep their heads up.
- What is the trait you are most proud of?
I hate bragging about myself, but I’m working on my confidence, so here goes. I would say I’m a really good listener and I’m very empathetic. Friends tend to come to me when they need to talk about their feelings, and they trust me, so that must be a good thing. I don’t judge people quickly, especially not when it comes to mental health.
- Where do you find inspiration for your blog?
I don’t really have to find inspiration. I only blog when I feel like I need to vent, as a coping skill for my anxiety and depression. So the inspiration is my own life I guess. Sometimes music inspires me to write a post. When I hear someone singing about something I have been going through it sometimes prompts me to speak up about it as well.
- What languages do you speak?
I speak Dutch, English and French. I live in Belgium, Flemish Dutch is my mother tongue. I learned French in school and English mostly through tv and music, but in school as well. I also know a teeny tiny bit of German.
- What do you dislike most about blogging?
The fact that most likeminded people or people who are going through the same thing live so far away, so we can never have a real life conversation or become real life friends. There’s always a certain distance. Blogging creates a strange platform: my readers know more about me than my real life friends, but they’ll always be strangers on the internet, and vice versa for most anonymous bloggers I think.
- What subjects in a conversation are so boring to you that you could fall asleep standing?
Physics, cars… any scientific/mechanical/mathematical subject really. My father and brother-in-law tend to rant about those things and never seem to notice my complete disinterest. Also renovations. I couldn’t care less.
- What do you love to talk about?
I love to talk about music, as listening to music has always been my number one coping skill when things have been going really bad for me. I feel like a lot of musicians also benefit from the same distance between them and their audience that bloggers have. They are able to express themselves and open up in ways they wouldn’t be able to in real life. I often feel like I could be friends with a lot of the artists I listen to, that we have been going through the same things and have so much in common. It’s strange to realize I know so much about them while they don’t even know I exist. But yeah, music is therapeutic for me. I also love to talk about anything mental health and psychology related.
- Do you have habits that can be considered as a little out of the norm?
I probably have a lot of weird habits. When I’m really stressed I have this OCD-type compulsion of having to retrace my steps wherever I go so as not to tangle ‘the wire’ behind me. I think it’s hilarious that my brain came up with this as a way of coping. I also have the disgusting habit of sucking my toothpaste right out of the tube, instead of putting it on my toothbrush first. And I sleep better in uncomfortable places, like tents and couches and even on the ground than in my own bed. I think it’s because I associate my bed with anxiety and worrying.
- Which trend needs to stay in 2019?
Probably the boyband haircut for guys. It should have stayed in the 90’s.
Although I have to nominate 11 other bloggers, I discovered there are only 6 blogs which I regularly read. I’ve provided a short introduction to/appreciation for these blogs below. The other 5 are blogs I am less familiar with, but still curious about. Let’s get to know each other!
- Sour girl, The Diary of an Unwanted Existence
I love Sour girl’s raw honesty. Her blog shows the hardships that a person with multiple mental health issues goes through, and the unfairness of the system. I think this blog is a must read for ignorant people in order to gain insight into mental illness and to gain empathy for those who have to fight for basic rights every single day.
- Klodo, Death by Shyness?
Another very honest blog written from the perspective of a man who struggles with depression and social anxiety. He doesn’t sugarcoat anything and honestly it’s a welcome relief from all the toxic positivity of ‘you can do it if you only put in the effort’ blogs that don’t seem to understand anything about depression and other mental illnesses. Klodo is also a very talented photographer. I really enjoy looking at his photos, as they convey a sense of tranquility that a lot of socially anxious people find in nature. I too love being in nature more than being amongst people. It has a very calming effect.
- Luftmensch, Vision of the Night
I look up to this blogger a lot. I’m continuously in awe of how Luftmensch deals with depression, social anxiety, OCD and autism, and still manages to be so productive and to keep moving forward. I’ve also learnt so much about Judaism through this blog, so it’s educational as well.
- Nat, don’t mind me, I’m justanervous girl
Even though we live across the globe from each other, I feel like our lives are very similar in terms of social anxiety and living with our parents. Everything this blogger says is just so recognizable to me. It makes me feel less alone. I think she expresses what is going on in the brain of someone with social anxiety very eloquently. She is able to say what I can’t quite put into words.
- Tony “Tone” Vega, A Crazy Man With a Blog
The tone of this blog (get it?) is very different from the others, but I love it. This blogger is raw, honest, concise and quite frankly hilarious. No matter what Tony goes through, he is always able to see the silver lining. He continuously tries to work on his issues and never gives up. Whenever I’m down I read his blog, and it enables me to put things into perspective. Honestly, I wish he had been my dad growing up!
- Gemma, diary of a social phobic
Another blog that I resonate so much with I feel like I could’ve written it myself. I can identify with a lot of the struggles Gemma is going through. Her recent series of blatantly honest posts about the relationship between her parents and her mental illness are very interesting to me. I think it’s a pretty taboo subject in the mental health community, but it shouldn’t be underestimated.
7. Nick, The Social Phobic
8. Dana, Crowley’s Favourite Worrier
9. Ali Vee, Flight of the Wallflower
10. The Anxiety Chronicles
11. Undeniably Sara
- Why did you start blogging? Did it meet up to your initial expectations?
- If you could choose one song/piece of music that describes who you are as a person, or that describes some very important part of yourself, which one would it be and why?
- What musical instrument do you play/ do you wish you could play/ do you like to hear the most?
- What is something you wish was common knowledge about your mental illness(es)?
- Where in the world do you wish you would have grown up and why?
- What do you think is an essential quality in a good friend?
- What is your favourite way to relax?
- What funny thing happened to you/did you see happening recently?
- Name one realistic goal you want to achieve in the next 5 years.
- What colour/pattern is your bedroom wallpaper?
- What is your favourite dish? Do you like to make it yourself or do you like it best when someone in particular prepares it for you?
To my nominees, feel free to skip the questions you don’t feel like answering/sharing with the world, and of course feel free to deny the sunshine blogger award entirely. It’s completely up to you. To those of you that decided to answer the questions: I’m excited to read your answers!