Blogging, BetterHelp, and Surviving Bore-antine

Hello world! How are things going in all of your bubbles?

This is a truly strange time we’re living in. It’s uncertain, stressful, and at times just plain old boring.

It’s not to say that there isn’t a lot to do, and there have been plenty of posts encouraging us to use this gifted time to work on all the things we’ve been eager to do. But let’s be real. This isn’t exactly gifted time.

Many of us are facing this pandemic with an emotional response that we can’t quite name. We feel like we’re collectively holding our breath. We feel like we can’t move for fear of spreading this. We’re told to stay home.

And so we do, we stay home, we clean, only leave for necessary errands. And what do we do with our time at home? Maybe some challenges, some spring cleaning, some reading, or other projects we’ve wanted to do. But at some point we pause and wonder: will we even make it out of this? I mean, we must. At some point this will be over. Right?

It’s hard. It’s difficult to keep a spirited approach to our projects and chores when we don’t even know how many of us are going to see the other side of this. Many of us want to do our part in helping medical professionals on the frontlines and researchers behind the scenes to fight this thing. But what can we do? Some have made masks to give out, or face shields. Some have started neighborhood grocery buddy systems to help the vulnerable stay home. And we’re all (for the most part, I know there are some not pulling their weight) staying home to lower the curve of the spread.

But is that enough? It doesn’t feel like it. As an artist I’m trying to keep up content output and missing the mark. Part of what’s been holding me back is a recent commission that has required a lot of edits and nearly a whole redraw of the line work. But it’s beyond my to-do list. Because even before this pandemic I have been noticing my lows coming with more frequency and lasting longer. I haven’t had an appointment with my psychiatrist yet to discuss potentially adjusting my meds, but I think that’s good. Because I’ve been missing a very vital part of my mental health care: therapy.

I’ve wanted to do therapy for a long time, but couldn’t afford it. I found out about BetterHelp a while ago but couldn’t even afford that at the time. But now it’s become a necessity. So I started.

I only started a few days ago, so I don’t have much to report, but I’m excited about the potential for progress. There’s so much I’ve been wanting to work on for myself that I haven’t had the means to get started on. Now I finally have a place to work through my trauma and develop better ways to manage my illnesses.

The best part? The platform focuses on writing. You can of course schedule phone call or video chat sessions with your counselor, but your consistent form of communication is via messaging. So it’s like an ongoing conversation. Almost like a journal that writes back to you. And I feel like this is going to help me with my writing habits.

I know I said I would start posting weekly blogs. And I didn’t even force myself to making them all written. I can do video or art posts, too. And yet I haven’t. And the only reason I have for that is that I’ve been so spent during the week that when it comes to my Saturday blog post, I’m at a loss. I don’t know what to share. And so I don’t share anything.

I realize that what I share is not as important as just sharing. Having a blog is a way to stay disciplined with my creativity. I was using Patreon for that purpose, but burning myself out on a platform with a tiny audience. So I decided to refocus on the blog, and I just haven’t.

But I’m optimistic. Starting BetterHelp and pulling back from Patreon should really help me refocus my energy. But I’m also being kind to myself and understanding that I won’t be a perfect blogger or content creator, especially not at such a trying time.

I hope you all are being kind to yourselves, too. Know that whatever amount of work you’re getting done, even if it’s nothing, is okay. This isn’t a productivity contest. We’re all just trying to adapt to a scary and foreign reality.

And if anyone wants to talk or vent or anything, my message box is always open. I’d love to hear from you.

Stay home. Stay safe. And, most importantly, stay kind to yourselves.

Love always,

Aly

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