Last Updated on December 11, 2023 by ThoughtsStained
Hello, lovely ones! It’s been a HOT minute since I’ve been active here on my blog! As you may have read, I ended up taking a hiatus from the blog, for various reason. Now, I’m hoping to make a return, while taking a hiatus from other things. Really, it’s an entire switch of hiatuses and returns that might be a little confusing, so I wanted to lay it all out really quick!
Hiatuses and Returns
So, I’m not going to dive into all the specifics today. Perhaps one day, I will. But, a short summary: my mental health has been less than great. It hasn’t been as dark as last year, while I was deep within a toxic job and struggling to escape. Yet I don’t think I anticipated what the recovery from that trauma was going to look like, i.e., how hard it would be. Starting year five of the pandemic and watching as my government supports, funds and advocates for a genocide certainly hasn’t helped.
(Please go here to continue to support a free Palestine).
Needless to say, after months of breakdowns and many therapy sessions, we’ve identified a few things that I really need to work on, to better support my mental health. Sorta surprisingly, a lot of it is going back to my roots, focusing on things I’ve been neglecting. In other ways, it looks like learning to set boundaries, set down others’ expectations and emotions regarding me and being kinder to myself.
Like I said, it’s not something I really want to dive into right now. But, I did want to explain some changes you can expect from how I engage online, going forward. So, let’s do that.
What’s Going on Hiatus?
So, the biggest thing that is spurring this post is how much I doom scroll and how much that has completely obliterated my mental health. I cannot continue that path and allow myself to spend hours every day scrolling and refreshing and physically feeling my emotions tank. I cannot afford it any longer.
Part of why I held on so long is because I do still have communities related to activism and pandemic safety that social media allowed me to stay connected to and informed by. It felt disingenuous to disengage.
But, I have ways to stay engaged without ruining my mental health. I subscribe to regular newsletters from trusted sources (like the ARD, Prism, The 19th, Truthout, as a few examples) that I can dedicate more time to. I’ve also began following some newsletters for COVID-19 data and safety recently, so I will have that information, too. Pulling away from social media will allow me to dedicate more specific, purposeful time to staying informed and taking action (something doomscrolling prevented me from doing, as I became too depressed to do anything about what I learned).
Guilt is trying to make me continue to doomscroll. At the same time, I am very privileged to be able to pull away and choose when I want to dive into different things, including staying up to date on the horrors of the world, like the genocide in Palestine or the pandemic. I don’t deny that. Yet I also can’t continue the way I have been, as I’m harming myself more than I am helping anyone.
So: I’m taking a break from social media for the rest of the year. This includes Twitter, Instagram and BlueSky. I won’t be engaging on any content and won’t actually be looking at any of it. I still might post on it (linking to things I’m working on, as detailed below). Potentially, I might even still share resources and things that I find or even just life updates. But, I won’t be consuming it/engaging with it through 2023. I hope you’ll understand.
In 2024, I’ll most likely do a slow return to it. I don’t think I’ll be able to abandon it entirely. (My freelance editing won’t survive not having a presence, even if Elongated Muskrat already fucked me there.) If/when I do return, it will look different than how I engage now.
I plan to put timers to limit how long I am on a platform per day. I don’t plan to check it daily. Most likely, it will be used less as a social connection and more as a promotional avenue (sorta like how an author will have an “updates only” account). Which I don’t love, but I’m not sure how to engage with it when so much of what I want to engage with is hidden, in favor of ads and shitty algorithms.
Honestly, I’m not sure what it will look like. All I know is it must change.
What Can You Expect A Return to?
So, if I’m giving up hours and hours of doomscrolling, what will I fill that time with? This is where I return to the roots that give me joy. Writing my novels. Reading books. Writing on this blog. Diving into fanfiction. Guilt-free gaming. Doing projects around my apartment. Writing letters to friends or doing Zoom calls to catch up.
I feel like I’ve been in survival mode since 2020, honestly. My creativity has tanked and my engagement in all of my hobbies have plummeted. The dreams I have of being published and creating a sustainable life for myself away from the chains of capitalistic 8-5 academia jobs have been tossed away. It was necessary. But, as I try to heal from various trauma and allow myself to show up as the person I want to be, I need that creative connection in my life.
So, starting at the end of December and into the new year, I plan to:
- Resurrect this blog (and blog hopping, gods I miss it)
- Continue posting on Patreon (something I have been able to keep up with, yay!)
- Revamp my newsletter
- Continue to grow my freelance editorial business
- Find ways to stay connected and updated about those I care about from my online communities
That’s just some outward facing stuff you all can get involved in/stay engaged with. If you haven’t already, I really hope you join me on one (or multiple) of the adventures linked above. I also plan to: write more books, begin my publishing journey and reignite my reading habit.
It’s a lot to bring back, but I need it. I need it so badly.
So, I hope that’s a quick rundown of the different hiatuses and returns you can expect, in regards to my presence online and my content. I’m not sure how it will go, but I’m already feeling hopeful, which feels…too new a feeling, by far.
I’m still not sure what this will all look like. But I really hope you’ll stick with me as I figure it out, wherever feels best for you. (And, if you have a blog, newsletter or something away from social media I can connect with you with, PLEASE let me know in the comments.) 🖤