Most of you know how much I love to help others out, it is where my passion lies. However, what you don’t know is that I have been struggling with some inner demons lately and I’ve recently learned that you have to take care of yourself first and foremost. You cannot take care of others if you can't take care of yourself. The most recent life lesson I learned was that you cannot bite off more than you can chew. I know that this is easier said than done. It is known that many online gamers battle some form of social anxiety or depression so this will hit close to home for a few of us.
One of my constant battles is how easily overwhelmed I get. When I began streaming I knew I wanted to accomplish many things, and over the course of the last two years I’ve been reaching most of the goals and milestones I’ve set for myself. What I keep getting caught up in though is all of the work that goes in to each endeavor. It’s an easy thing to do. Streaming, promotion, helping others, blog writing, building a large community, and most recently developing my dream of having a dedicated stream team -- I get lost in the details and lose sight of the big picture. When this happens, and I feel like I’m drowning, I toss my hands up, scream “screw it!”. I wash my hands of everything, try to start anew with another project, and then end up repeating the cycle over and over again. I’m not learning from my mistakes, just pushing them away to deal with when it comes up again.
I’ve recently reached this point again. Where I seriously thought about giving up streaming and everything that goes with it. I enjoy streaming immensely, it’s a deeply-rooted passion in my life. I love all the online friendships that I've made through it. I love being in the spotlight and mostly I love helping others and seeing them succeed with my help. What gets to me is all of the stress, all the responsibility, all of the trolls, and all of the drama. It takes a toll on me mentally, physically, and emotionally. It honestly felt like my closest friends we're all pulling away from me and slowly leaving. This made me feel even more alone than I typically do. Obviously this isn’t true but it’s how I felt; and I’ll explain why.
I have battled postpartum depression and anxiety for over 2 years. I recently won that battle with depression for a short period of time, but continued to struggle with anxiety. About a month ago the depression came back full force and I knew that I couldn’t beat it alone. Sure I was all smiles on the stream because I actually felt like I was with my friends and that is what really makes me happy. As soon as the cameras click off, as soon as I turn off my lights, and the stream is finished the darkness comes back and hovers over me until the next stream. I thought that maybe if I dove headfirst into helping others, focusing on the community, and the projects I have going I would feel better and distract myself. In all reality it has only pulled me further and further into this downward spiral.
Now why am I telling you all this? Open and honest communication is something I constantly talk about, and I want to make sure I'm being honest with you. What I really want for you to take away from this blog is that a lot of internet personalities battle the same darkness that I am currently dealing with. I want you to know that you are not alone. Many us fake the smile and say everything is fine when deep down inside we know it's not. Whether your rationalization is ‘I don't want to bring others down’ or ‘they won't understand’ or ‘I have a appearance to uphold’ or whatever else you may be telling yourself… please try to tell yourself this instead; “I am not alone”.
What has helped out the most, in my case, has been writing this blog. I was able to sort out all of my thoughts and feeling in one central location. When I read it outloud I was able to hear my own cries for help and I knew I needed to get help. I spoke to one of my mods about everything, it wasn’t easy, but it really took a weight off my shoulders. They helped me plan out what I should do next in baby steps so it didn’t seem so overwhelming. Please always remember that my mods and I are typically always available if you need someone to talk to, but we aren’t professionals who can help in every situation. If you need help that is more than we can provide, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Someone will be there to talk to you.
You Are Not Alone.
Until next time…