Misc.

Life Update | My Struggles with Mental Health and Feeling Safe in the Book Community

I feel almost foolish that I have to post something like this on my blog, but I always like to be open with all of you, as open as I can be. And as of recently, I’ve realized that keeping this secret and not saying anything is doing more harm than good especially to my mental health and my mindset. March is becoming the month where I’m taking a step back to feel safe again and find my happiness once more.

The start of 2020 just hit in the worst way possible. It started with my rapist trying to re-friend me on my social media. Every three years this person has tried to come in contact with me by making new accounts and re-adding me on my social media platforms. While it has been years since that time of my life happened, this person has continued to try to enter my space and my brain has kind of flipped a switch of survival mode to protect the people I care about most and who I allow in my inner circle. Blocking them, reporting them, etc… It got to a point that at the first last week of January I kind of snapped and sent this person a message telling them to leave me alone or I would be forced to get the police and my lawyer involved. The last few days of January I wasn’t sleeping and I was having traumatic flashbacks.

Then we moved into February and this was the month that kind of broke a piece of me. It felt like someone had taken a piece of my soul and broke it in half. And I know that sounds a little absurd because there’s so many people in my life especially from the book community who support me, love me, see how hard I work, and truly value the content I put out. But February truly was the first time I truly didn’t feel safe in a long, long time. The first week of February I posted a photo of an arc I had received by a publishing company. This is an arc of one of my anticipated reads for 2020. When I posted this photo I received a lot of love in the book community and then the next day on all of my social medias platforms I was receiving messages by a group of people in the book community. These people were saying how I didn’t deserve the arc, how there were better people out there to review the book, that my content wasn’t good enough, how a small reviewer shouldn’t be allowed to get arcs, and many cruel things that I don’t even want to repeat on here. They were blowing up my Instagram, my Twitter, my GoodReads, and even on this blog (thankfully, comments have to be approved by me before they can be posted to my articles) with terrible things. And I know it’s silly to let these people have such an affect on me, but the things they were saying found their way inside my head and it hit a certain way with me. I became so filled with guilt, self-doubt, and a swelling sadness every time I looked at this arc. It hit my mental health so badly that I cancelled my preorder of this book and I hid the arc away. I almost deleted my photo of this arc because I didn’t want to be harassed about it anymore. These people have since been blocked and reported because no one should feel backed into a corner and harassed about things they love.

Two weeks after the events of the incident with that arc, my abusive ex-fiance had tracked me down while I was out with friends. It was very clear that this person was stalking my spouse and I, from their appearance to the very place we chose to eat at, they had been watching us for a long time. A lot of things happened that day and I’m very grateful that a few close friends were there to make sure I was able to leave as quickly and as safely as possible. This person also chose to blow up my social media, harassing me and trying to mentally manipulate me into meeting one on one. After all the events of this day, that night I called my childhood best friend and told him about what had happened, that I wasn’t okay, and he booked tickets to leave from Japan to be in my state the next day. He rallied his family and his brothers flew down from New York so we could all go out to get coffee and go get sushi together. After I told them what was happening, they were very supportive and willing to offer whatever help they could. For the first time since the year has started, it felt like I could take a moment to come up for air because it felt like I was suffocating. I wasn’t sleeping well, I was barely eating, and it was to the point that I got really, really sick.

The end of February came and things finally felt like things are finally settling, the chaos has passed, but the aftermath of everything back to back has left me feeling drained emotionally, mentally, even physically. The things I love like reading and playing video games, they just feel so unsafe and bring me so much sadness right now. These are spaces I have carved out with my heart and soul, hard work and dedication, and it feels like it’s not enough. I feel like I’m not good enough, that my productivity is lacking, and my head keeps thinking maybe, just maybe if I push myself harder then things will be perfect. I’m human, I’m a perfectionist at heart and devote my all to the things I really love, even though I know I will never be perfect. I love the book community with my whole heart, I have met some amazing friends, but I think many people forget that everyone who is a content creator is a human being and that they have feelings, emotions, they struggle with mental health and things happening in the offline world.

The truth is I’m barely sleeping, I’m still hardly eating, I’m behind in my reading schedule, behind in taking photos… I’m just behind in so many things. I don’t know how to move forward because all of these spaces feel tainted and unsafe. From anticipated books, to favorite artists, to favorite places, to favorite games. I keep putting this wall up of “I’m okay,” all the while I’m falling down a rabbit hole with this crack in my soul that keeps getting bigger and bigger.

I love everyone who supports me, I love this community, I love the friends that I have made. I always hear those voices of love and support, I feel that constantly encompassing my heart and myself. I know I’m very privileged, very blessed for many, many things that happen to me. I’m always eternally grateful for everything I get to be a part of and the things that happen to me. However, the fact is these things don’t stop me from being heartbroken over the many things I love and enjoy while putting on a happy face to constantly say “I’m here,” “I’m okay,” “I’m fine, everything is fine.” I’m truly sorry if this wasn’t the kind of update you were expecting. But the weight of the first two months of this year are so heavy that I can’t keep up with the charade that everything is fine. I promise I will get better, and I promise that when April comes around I will be in a clearer, healthier, happier head space. March is the month where I will be taking the time to catch my breath, find joy in the things I love, and finally get to the point where I can honestly say, “I’m okay.” I’m taking a step back to reignite and relearn my passions. Don’t worry, I will still be active on my platforms, but there are personal platforms that I’m locking down with privacy and cleansing of negative sources that I don’t need in my life. Hopefully this month I will be able to be kinder to myself and feel safe in my space once again.

Also, thank you for sticking around through this chaotic life update. I know this wasn’t the update many of you were expecting. Since writing this post, I have talked with my spouse, my inner circle, and this whole process has been very cathartic for me. My hope is that by April, I will be stronger, happier, healthier, and fuller with life. I love you all so much and I’m very grateful for the continued love and support you provided me. Thank you so much! I love you! ๐Ÿ’œ

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6 thoughts on “Life Update | My Struggles with Mental Health and Feeling Safe in the Book Community

  1. Autumn my sweet friend, I have no words. All that you have been through… I have tears falling down my face as I type this. I am so sorry that life has been so cruel and that you are struggling so deeply. You have my love my dear friend. I truly hope that this time away will be nourishing to your soul and will help you feel safe again. Sending you all the love and peaceful vibes <33333

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  2. Ahhh, i wanna jump through this screen and give you the biggest hug you need!!! i love you and am here for you my dear friend. You deserve more then that what you have been through and i am so sorry you had to be put through this all. Sending some virtual hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  3. Pingback: April 2020 TBR

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