25 ♀ ♍ Lit Major
Webcomicker (Earthbound) Blogs and reblogs about anything & everything • Welcome to my tumblr ♥
I came on tumblr for a moment because I kind of missed it, in a brief moment of boredom at work.
Within two minutes of scrolling I was confronted with something that is problematic for my OCD.
On a positive note for my slow recovery, I didn’t immediately sink into a spiral of anxiety and panic, though my heart started racing and now I don’t feel particularly good.
Note to anyone suffering with OCD and/or anxiety issues: CBT and ERT, though scary, are really the way to go. Maybe one day I’ll write an account of my process, but I have to actually get through it first, and I’m only barely in the thick of it right now.
I can’t say I’m really planning on “coming back” to tumblr. I have to say that leaving tumblr was an avoidance tactic that was ultimately feeding into my anxiety’s desire to be “safe”— I was (and still somewhat do) experience a great deal of anxiety even just seeing the familiar color scheme and page layout of the dashboard. I’m afraid of seeing things (words, gifs, images, videos) that will trigger my OCD, and considering that the things my fears revolve around (religiosity, scrupulosity, and the like) pretty much dominate tumblr because of certain sayings and certain fandoms —even fandoms I used to be a part of—, I’m not really wrong about that likelihood.
But having faced that and accepted that my initial avoidance was really just prompted by my fear, it doesn’t change the fact that I think leaving was a good decision. Tumblr started taking up DAYS of my life. Some days I would get on at 10 in the morning and not get off until 3AM that night. Scrolling wasn’t just to pass time, it became obsessive. I would close out of tumblr out of boredom only to open another window and go to tumblr to…solve that boredom. I would decide “I’m going to draw” or “I’m going to do homework” and then five hours later I’d still be scrolling, reblogging, and replying.
It was not just a way to avoid the things I needed to do, or the things I didn’t want to think about, but became a source of anxiety and compulsion in its own right. Sometimes I miss the in-jokes and wildfire access to information that tumblr affords, I miss the quick accessibility to friends and blogging about things that mean something to me knowing there was an easy audience available to find it. But I don’t miss the bad feelings. I don’t miss the anxiety, drama, and hours and hours of my life spent in and around tumblr.
And it’s really been eye-opening. Leaving the mainstream of internet nerd culture has made me have to reexamine the way that I communicate with people I know, both online and off, as well as people I don’t know, and with the world around me. Tumblr-speak, fandoms, memes, and talking about recent popular posts became ingrained in my communication so much that once I disengaged from that, I was at a loss for how to talk with people, even people I’ve known for a fairly long time. Though I’ve since rebuilt my general vocabulary and found new topics to talk about, I still frequently feel out of place with people that are still deeply involved in fandom culture and tumblr.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think tumblr is bad, and I don’t think that people who spend a lot of time on tumblr are wrong. People should do what they enjoy. But I do think that the narrow confines of tumblr has an extremely limiting effect for some people. It did for me. I found it extremely hard to relate with “normal” people when I was constantly on tumblr, and nearly everything I encountered became about tumblr or about fandom. Leaving forced me to reopen communication with people that I had pretty much shut out of my social circle because tumblr and tumblrites had take precedent, and to approach things for what they really were, not for what fandom narrative I could relate them to.
Letting go of fandoms, too, has been… interesting. I never could have imagined a life where I wasn’t heavily involved in fandom, until I simply couldn’t be involved anymore. I’m starting to get to a point in my mental health where I can start to rebuild my relationship with media again, though the process is slow and sometimes painful, and honestly I don’t think it will ever be quite as intense or involved as it once was (which has been causing quite a career crisis for me, considering that I’m a Literature major). The only thing I really miss on here is the Homestuck fandom, which is pretty quiet right now, so there’s no real sense that I’m missing much at this point in time.
Anyway, that’s kind of a somewhat update on my life. Like I said, I’m not ruling out the possibility of one day returning somewhat to tumblr, but not right now, and never in the way that I was involved before.
Except maybe with Homestuck. Gosh ilu Homestuck <3
1.) I just unfollowed over 300+ blogs. If I unfollowed you (or, if I was following more than one of your blogs and unfollowed one of them) please don’t think it’s personal. I’m simply trying to maintain more control on the content to which I am exposed to unexpectedly. I unfollowed people I’m close to in real life as well as people I only know on tumblr. It’s not because I’ve stopped caring or anything, I’m simply in a process of getting better and one of the ways I can do that is controlling where and when I am exposed to triggers, rather than letting myself get overwhelmed or surprised.
2.) I’m not really “back”. I’m kind of taking steps toward that but I don’t think tumblr is ever going to be quite the same place for me, at least not until I get a better handle on my OCD and other problems. I’m working on it. I’m better than where I was a month ago, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. One day when I’ve gotten over the biggest part of this hill I will make a video about my experiences so I can tell you guys what’s been happening as well as share with people so that maybe someone in the future will feel less alone in a similar situation, but I’m not quite at that place yet either.
3.) Thanks to everyone who sent me really lovely messages in my inbox, I really appreciate your kindnesses. I’m sorry I haven’t responded to them yet, I’m still not quite in the mental place to do so yet. But I really do appreciate the kind words. Again, if you’re one of the people I unfollowed, please don’t take it as a reflection on my feelings about you, I’m just trying to minimize chances of being exposed to things that affect me badly.
Lots of love for you guys! <3
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