Why I Took a Break From Blogging for My Mental Health

Published on 4/22/2024

I don’t think anyone really noticed, but I haven’t really been around on Medium for a while. It feels like when you were off school for a week with the flu, and then you return expecting everyone to gasp and rush over. I kind of disappeared from this corner of the internet. I went from writing about six articles a month to none. Well, writing none over here, I’ve been writing for my job, for publications like Marie Claire, Betches and Screenshot. But nothing as personal as the kind of articles I share in this little corner. I went from building my following to abandoning them without a word. That’s definitely not what the experts recommend.

The decision to go

In some ways, it was a very conscious decision to step back. I felt overwhelmed and I couldn’t juggle everything. My work was taking off, and I could barely find the time in the day for it all. I was writing so much that I didn’t have the energy to then come here and write some more.

My personal life also took some hits. My stepdad was diagnosed with glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer. I had moved back home with the intention of travelling for a year and using my mum’s spare bedroom as a home base. But suddenly, those plans were off the table, and my days turned into trying to make theirs easier. I was writing celebrity articles and then rushing to vacuum, cook, get groceries, and spend precious time with my stepdad.

It wasn’t just about time, it was about the mental space required to reveal yourself online. When I write here, I bare myself completely. Nothing is off the table, and I still tremble as I press publish. I discuss everything and strive to be honest. If I consider something to be a scary topic, then that’s exactly what I’ll write about. Because these topics shouldn’t be scary, and they’ll remain so until we discuss them more openly. But I couldn’t fathom this honesty anymore. I couldn’t open up about what was going on in my life because it all felt too huge. I didn’t know how to communicate the fear, anger, and loneliness that I was experiencing in this turbulent time. I wanted to only write if I could be honest, and I wasn’t ready to be honest, even with myself. I didn’t feel comfortable discussing my stepdad’s condition and everything around it, as it didn’t feel like my news to share. But it was my life changed as well, it was my heart breaking a little more each day as well.

The lack of a decision

So I put it off, a few days at a time. I usually find myself jotting down ideas all the time, and this time my notebook pages remained suspiciously empty. I kept putting it off, and eventually, I wondered if I would ever return. Had I spent years building a following and community only to abandon it? Did anyone even miss me?

I was home sick from school, thinking about exactly where my classmates would be at each moment. They’d be going to maths, they’d be eating lunch, they’d be changing into their P.E kits. But I was just home, and it may as well have been a different universe.

I tried not to think about it, even though I felt a pang of guilt each time a notification popped up. I didn’t feel like I deserved people reading my old articles and commenting on them. I briefly considered deleting it all. But I still received emails from people who had gained something from an article, and who had questions for me. Could I really just erase this entire journey I had taken with these people?

The answer would be clear to me. I’d return when I felt ready to do so. I’d write more when the urge rose. Until then, I’d focus on my paid work, as bills have to be paid, glioblastoma or no glioblastoma.

The decision to return

That decision hasn’t actually happened, at least not in the way I imagined. There was no epiphany like in the movies. There wasn’t a decision. But that’s kind of life, isn’t it? We don’t always make these choices outright, instead life falls into place, small decisions make up the bigger question of how we’ll live.

I missed it. I love writing for publications, but it involves a lot of rejected pitches, a lot of articles that never see the light of day, articles that I think still matter. Adopting the voice of other publications can be thrilling and creatively daunting, but it can also feel like a pair of shoes that don’t fit quite right.

I have put so much into my online presence. I’ve written through depressed episodes, breakups, loss, and all of the life that happened in between. I’ve written through hateful emails and comments that entirely missed the point of an article. I love my little corner of the internet, and I’m finding my way back to it.

I’m working on carving out the mental space I need to be myself here again. It won’t be with the same consistency, and I won’t fall into the trap of writing for the sake of it. Everything you read is something I want to share, and let’s hope people want to read it.

For now, check out my warning signs for my mental health, and why I have a love/hate relationship with people pleasing.



Welcome to Symptoms of Living! A place where I like to relieve myself of the barrage of thoughts and ideas filling my mind. Here I'll take a look at various topics, from books to BPD, series to self-harm, there's nothing that we can't, and shouldn't, talk about.

Having struggled with mental illness since the age of 15, one of the hardest parts was how alone I felt in it. While mental illness is beginning to be discussed more openly, and featured in the media, I still think there is room for improvement. So whether it is mental illness or merely mental health, a bad day or a bad year, let's make this a place to approach it and strip it back. Everyone has their own symptoms of living, and you certainly won't be the only one with it.

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