Okay, so now I’m wondering, have I fucked up? Am I not writing enough? Am I not engaging with my readers? How the fuck am I ever going to get anything done? It seems like I spend all my waking hours on the computer. Well, I actually DO spend virtually all my waking hours on my laptop, iPhone, or iPad. Still, I don’t feel like I’m accomplishing what I want. I’m not writing enough. I feel like a hamster on a wheel. At what point do I simply cut back? What do I cut back? What do I continue to do? Help!
Have I Fucked Up?
Kitt O'Malley2015-08-04T23:04:12-07:00August 4th, 2015|Categories: Blogging, Hypomania, Writing|Tags: productivity, social media, social media addiction|48 Comments
About the Author: Kitt O'Malley
Bipolar Writer & Mental Health Advocate
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Makes sense to me. It feels like bad news, sometimes, though.
My wife and I are survivors of abuse- sexual, emotional, physical. We have two children. I am the one that doesn’t have AD(H)D. (Do the math!)
I’m still using it. Something of an addict, I’m afraid.
It’s fun and it’s reaffirming, to get social media “right”, it’s also never ending. I used to make my living doing it, and have always done it for myself too. Roughly 20 years of that, not knowing it was triggering me wildly, and I made some changes. Twitter was my favourite thing, I gave it up cold turkey and I still miss it, but I don’t regret it at all. I hated giving up instagram, but once I had, I realised that life was less stressful without my brain framing everything around me square shaped. Etc. My shrink told me that the shrinks in her practice don’t touch social media at all, because of its negative effects.
Thank you, Diane, and God bless you.
It looks like you’ve received lots of advice… but I would simply add, you do what you have to of course first and foremost… and then you do what gives you the most pleasure, even if it is something that for a time just distracts you from thoughts that are worrisome…. even if it seemingly accomplishes nothing more than that!…. Diane
I have recently been researching about Executive Function. This is the part of the brain that coordinates your abilities relating to getting things done.
If your Executive Function is not working properly it will cause you to have difficulty with…
Figuring out the steps needed to achieve a goal
Self motivating to do the steps
Focus and concentration
Executive Function can be damaged from any king of trauma. It can be affected by mood disorders. And it can be affected by ADHD.
I think if you do some reading about it then you might at least have something tangible ….well kind of tangible….
It is something to bring up with a therapist anyway. And it may allow you to be able to be more forgiving and patient with yourself
If Executive Function is inhibited or malfunctioning due to mood disorder then it is not your fault or due to laziness or anyhting.
It can get complex when you have all these different social media outlets that you are utilizing. I think that is why I choose to simply have WordPress, it allows my time to be more focused.
Oh so glad u feel a bit better Kitt x thanks for sharing my blog! Hope you have a great day 😊
I understand. We can only handle so much of what everyone else has to say when WE OURSELVES still need to Write and Write and Write. More creating for you than for me . I just wanted you to know I read what you wrote . 🙂
Me, too! We went out of town recently and the hotel was noisy all three nights; it took me a week to recover from my disrupted sleep schedule.
Time management is hard as hell!!! 😉
I’ve declared today to be “Sitting On My Ass Day”. I’m watching “Lark Rise to Candleford” DVD’s and possibly “Silicon Valley” which is arriving in today’s mail. The girls are doing art projects & Animal Jam on the laptop (don’t ask) and I spent the morning with them, so now it’s me time. Fck dirty dishes, fck dirty laundry, F*ck disgusting rat droppings that need to be picked up in various corners of the room. II’m appreciating every drop of my indulgence and by golly, I deserve it! p.s. I just started following that new blog you tweeted about – the gal in Melbourne – she seems cool and I told her you referred me!
That’s when you/we all really need to step away. Time to select some other reading material when that happens, Kitt. We all fear returning there, there’s no reason to dwell on it…just a thought. ☺
no doubt the social media can generate stimulation and lead to hypomania. on the depression side of things, there can be similar results. decent doses of fear come with depression. often times, the fear can be overwhelming especially with someone in the weakened state of depression. instead of facing those fears, it is easier to run to anything including social media. every minute of fear induced social media simply postpones a return to mental wellness. approaching mental wellness can only be achieved by learning to face those fears instead of running from them.
I want to write more and read less, but feel like I would be letting our community down if I didn’t read my readers. I need to reign in my use of other social media, too. For some reason, I’ve been on a mission to increase LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook followers. I’ve also been trying out new apps and tools.
Van, honestly, I even got triggered just reading an autobiography by a woman with bipolar. Reading symptomatic behavior triggers me, brings me back to those days, to my fear of returning there.
My routine involved waking up, taking my son to school, and picking him up. Not having that regular sleep schedule messes me up.
Time management plan sounds like a good idea.
I was ranting. I just know that I’m WAY overdoing social media. Acknowledging that I have a problem.
Thank you, Arya. I actually think I need to write more and read and share less, but feel guilty when I don’t keep up with reading my readers.
I accept your challenge and commend you on challenging yourself as well. One difference between depression and bipolar disorder, at least for me, is that social media stimulation, all social stimulation for that matter, stimulates hypomania. It then feeds itself, growing, until I break and fall into a depression. I try to catch it before it gets to that point. But that is the risk.
Without doubt. I just adjusted my email notification settings on Linkedin. I do not like to get notifications. They overwhelm me. I prefer to pop in and out of apps or websites, address my notifications via the app or website, then leave.
I do believe in prayer. I personally think Jesus and his message rock. I love Jesus, and I know God loves me, but I’m open to God’s manifestations everywhere. For me that means I can feel God’s presence in my life (at times). Contemplative, meditative prayer helps to allow God in, to allow God to ease my burdens. My “fucked up” statement was simply me frustrated that I’m too entangled in social media networking right now.
I knew exactly what I was doing by sharing this. I wrote it as a brief journal rant in Word and then copied and pasted it into WordPress and made a quick graphic heading using Canva. But, taking time to think about what my actual goal is or goals are makes sense. Otherwise, I spend too much energy treading water.
I pulled my journal out for just that purpose, but haven’t gotten around to using it. Instead, I’ve taken to writing in Word rather than directly in WordPress. There are pros and cons to both. My problem is my aggressive social media marketing, which really there is no need for. Why? Who cares who and how many people read my stuff? Isn’t it more important to create quality content than to endlessly connect over the Internet? How much of other content must I read and share? The questions go on from there…
My thoughts exactly.
Brake and break, no doubt.
Yes! There is a seeming endless number of EXCELLENT blogs out there. There is absolutely no way you can keep up with them all. I feel bad, for I’m not able to read people who read me. I’m overextended as it is, and I need to create, not just consume.
I think the bottom line is we SHOULD take time off of social media and enjoy the beauty of our surroundings and the people in our daily physical lives. Take care of yourself. Enjoy your summer. Hope you are feeling better.
Thank you. Today after I had my labs done, I treated myself to breakfast out and sat outside. Lovely. I have therapy today, which should be nice, and volunteer at NAMI tomorrow and Friday. Thank you again for your support. Visited your blog and shared your Chapter 1 post:
B for Bipolar
A for Anxiety
D for Depression
I think you need to write at the pace that makes you happy. If that pace requires a break, then take it. If that pace means only writing once or twice a week, than do that. Ultimately your mental and physical needs have to be the primary consideration.
It is so easy to get lost here on these interwebs, Kitt. I often wake up with an idea. If I stop to read my e mail, WP comments, etc., I lose something. So..I go right to the piece I want to write, then take a walk, eat, cook, do chores, etc., returning later to catch up on the reading.
If I don’t have that early a.m. idea, I go to the reading effort first…there are so many ideas triggered by others works on all social media, sometimes even from the morning news programs.
It has worked for me for a while now. But to answer your question…no, you have not.
There are no assignments, deadlines, pressures here on WP…at least there should not be. Take your time, set your own pace, and take breaks often. Your brain, your body, your energy level will all be the better for it.
Wishing you all the best. Try not to be too hard on yourself. 💕 Van
What Zoe said
I’ve been the same way, Dyane. It’s really, really hard to write with the kids at home. I have to have my routine, and kids disrupt routines. (Except when they were young enough to nap. Then nap-time was my writing time!) I don’t tend to be stable if I don’t have a routine.
p.s.my dear…you wrote “I’m not writing enough” and I wanted to respond to that.
I have barely been able to write anything this summer (book or blog) and after being so upset/obsessive about this “failure”, I finally gave myself permission to take a break until school starts up again for my girls.
Everyone is different, but I can only write when I have an almost totally quiet house with only Lucy and the hamters around. I wish I could write with distractions but I can’t seem to do it.
I committed to a weekday writing routine. Mind you, I had no volunteer obligations so this will seem so “do-able” yet it was hard for me despite that fact.
I dropped the girls off, came home & allowed myself up to an hour to check Twitter/email/former Facebook account (of course the time flew by) and then I opened my holy Word file to pick up where I left off. A good writer friend of mine advised me to “start at 10AM” which I liked because I was more awake by then.
I didn’t have an exact ftime limit for writing, but my goal was to try for at least an hour.Some days were better than others, of course. My girls had a LOT of colds & other illnesses which foiled my plans, but that’s what generally worked for me last year. These are just suggestions of course! I don’t mean to sound pedantic. You’ll find a way that works for you – I know it.
It’s so hard, Kitt. As you know what worked for me to reduce my hamster wheel net time was being forced off the internet cold-turkey-style while at that remote cabin without internet or neighbors’ unlocked WiFi to tap into.
When I returned to “anytime internet access” it was been easier to pare back. Having two girls to deal with is forcing me out of the house to do activities with them.
I wish I had good advice for you but it looks like you’re getting some. detailed comments which I’ll go read while Avi & Rilla are asleep. Love you — you’re always in my thoughts!!!!!!
p.s. YOU never fuck up! Life is hard, that is all! What matters is that you’re aware of a need to change your lifestyle/perspective. I’m so proud of you for being open about your vulnerabilities!
Take a well earned break. I often feel like this and it just means that I need a break from blogging. You will have plenty of things to blog about after to break that will hook your reader and make you feel great! Good LuckXXX
i honor for recognizing the importance of connections and making the effort to make it. i understand how difficult that can be in the face of depression.
you’ve run into one of the unexplained “miracles” of modern depression. most of us recognize the importance of connection as an integral part of our mental wellness. we’d give our eye tooth for it. yet for me, in the depth of depression connections become a sheer impossibility. voice mails aren’t even listened to, much less answer, setting up to do things with my friends dwindles to zero, even when they try to set things up, communications with my wife becomes difficult, even interacting on blogs becomes a struggle.
it is not fair that depressions robs from one of the key parts to our mental wellness. try as we may, depression seems to take away connections from us. that sucks!
it makes me angry and frustrated. the anger and frustration tells me i consider connection important and yet it’s not happening. in that place, i have two choices to make; either fight through it and make connections or be more accepting of my depression induced lack of connection. only when i do one of those two things do i have a chance to fight through the anger and frustration that haunts me. often times, neither one of those seems possible so I stay stuck in my anger and frustration.
my challenge to you, like you did here, is to continue to makes connections, no matter how difficult they are, or secondly, find acceptance that depression burgles connections from you. neither one is favorable, yet they can help you through.
Hi K, it was a few weeks ago that I realized I needed to set limits on email and all social media. I do think our blogging actually does get stuff done.
I often feel this way until I pray. (I’ve read your thoughts on God and I respect your opinion. I don’t want to offend you but Jesus is the only way to God. John 14:6). The only time I experience real peace, it is supernatural – the peace that passes understanding, from the Holy Spirit. Honestly, we’ve all “fucked up” but reconciliation is always available (2 Cor 5:17-18). I pray you’ll receive that and experience peace today!
Bit difficult to say if you’ve fucked up when you haven’t actually said what you were trying to achieve? If you were running a race and didn’t train enough or chose the wrong coach and came last then you could quite rightly say you ‘fucked up”. However if you didn’t have a specific goal then you can’t possibly have “fucked up”. What’s your bench-mark for qualifying success? My goal (short-term) is to write every day. I’m achieving this (so far) so I haven’t “fucked up”. Even writing this qualifies. I blog every day and do a bit of my novel every day. That helps improve my writing and gets me a little bit closer to achieving my long-term goal of writing a successful book. I learn something new each time I put something down – even if it’s just the right place to put a comma. I would count this blog piece you’ve just written as a success. You’ve articulated your thoughts and exposed a little bit of yourself in the public domain. That takes courage and actually proves that you have confidence in yourself even if you don’t think so at the moment. Every cloud…?
I’m not sure what your goals are for your blog. I want to tell you not to worry about it. Not to feel obligated or pressured to write. If you’re spending all day on the computer, not writing but wanting to write, maybe you could try writing away from the computer, longhand in a notebook or journal. I like those black &I white cover composition books. I’ve been working on a novel for years now, but I haven’t been able to write for a couple months. I don’t want to stress out over not getting anything done. But if I write something down in my notebook, I feel like I’m getting something done, even if it’s just an idea or a sentence or an image, even if it doesn’t turn into something I can use. It’s better than nothing. So even this one paragraph post you blogged is you saying something that matters and comes from your heart.
Put the brakes on for a break?
Sounds like you need a bit of a brake! I know the feeling, been there … sit back, like away for a bit, recharge & come back. Best wishes!
Kitt, I’ve been feeling that way also. I’ve only been blogging for a few months. Once I got started, I couldn’t stop. I am still at that point. Blogging and learning have consumed me. I wake up and if I want to DO anything , then it is coming here to WordPress or my email accounts…..which at the moment actually mean the same things. Most of my mail, other that Park (work) related stuff, is from Bloggers. I took the last Blogging 201 course. I couldn’t stop reading comments in The Commons No sooner had that ended and Blogging 101 started. I haven’t let myself get as INVOLVED this time.
That said, I still am on here way too much…….Not getting what is already on my list done…because I keep reading more post and finding more to do.
I keep liking Blogs and have no time to read them all.
I am loving it. Yet, I can’t physically handle it. I am not getting ANYTHING else done…..
Health wise, I am not able to do much right now. I still need to do what I can. Not just here.
I also read the comments. I agree with them.
Take a break if you can. Refresh. Rejuvenate. Recharge.
Kitt, I have wondered the same about my blog but I HAVEN’T been writing enough. I have been out ill so I haven’t been writing or reading enough. But I love your blog and want to read it! Remember, also, it is summer. Even in the electronic age people do take time away. Keep doing just what you are doing and don’t fret! I will be here and I know others will be too!
No u haven’t fucked up Kitt. I’m reading! I have the same probs with my blog.. I don’t have many followers and only get comments from ppl I know personally. It’s impossible to knowing what we’re writing is being read, processed, talked about or whether we are just writing for ourselves. Writing can be incredibly lonely and isolating. I like Eric’s advice … Go get some fresh air and disconnect for a little while. Even half an hour should recharge u a little. Take care hon xx
Sometimes disconnection is needed to see things from a new angle and remember what you’re here for. It’s so easy to get caught up with social media! Back when I used to do fashion blogging, in happier days, I lost sight many times of what I wanted and intended for my blog because I was so connected to keeping up with everything and everyone on social networks.
Most importantly you have to ask yourself — what exactly is it that YOU are not satisfied with? Do you feel like you’re writing too much for us and not enough “for yourself?” Do you feel like you’re deviating from your original blogging goals? What were those blogging goals? Where have you failed in accomplishing that? Is it failure or simply fate that you should walk down this path? Have you held back from sharing or saying or writing about things in fear of how your readers would respond? Are you interested in exploring other topics beyond this blog?
Ultimately, Kitt, we all want you to write what makes you feel accomplished and satisfied. We want to read what you’re willing to share with us. Whether it’s new research facts, your experiences, or sharing resources. Find the reason you started all this to begin with again and I’m sure everything will start falling into place!
Kitt “Hampsters” O’Malley. It’s okay to take a break and recharge your batteries, unless your writing is charged by a USB connection. Take the time to relax, go for a walk, do something you have never done before.