Why I Quit My Blog: 13 Months Later

This post is a long time over-due and one that I have re-drafted countless times. To tell you guys the truth, logging back onto Blogger has given me the creeps. This dashboard used to be the first thing I looked at in the morning and the last thing at night. I was so consumed by it all.

So why am I back here writing to you? I have no idea if any of you are still here, listening. But I want to tell you about the reasons why I quit my blog and why it has taken me so long to come back.

My last blog post was published in October 2015, after 2 years of writing LydiaRosexo on a daily basis. Propelled into the vortex of graduate life, I found myself just as I had expected; floundering, helpless, and unprepared. Despite getting a first in my degree, my graduation ceremony affirmed for me just how much I had fucked up and wasted my time at university. I had just ended a 3 year relationship and felt equal parts liberated and terrified. I had moved back to my parents’ house in the middle of nowhere, unable to drive and therefore do anything independently.

With no University work to occupy my mind, I found myself for the first time in my adult life, inexorably alone with my thoughts. OCD had been brewing inside of me for years, but I had become an expert in filling every waking moment of my life with just enough distractions to prevent it from boiling over.

From the outside, I had won the Company Magazine Newcomer blog award, scored a coveted internship and was receiving offers from all of my favourite brands to collaborate. I didn’t have to buy anything for myself, as everything from a new mascara to a holiday outfit could be covered with a swift PR e-mail. My local newspaper frequently featured me on the front page. I went to Fashion Week, interviewed celebrities and attended fancy events in London. I was constantly trying to climb the blogger ladder with the ultimate goal of making this my job.

 I was slowly paving my own way, with a strong following and a healthy number of monthly hits. I am by no means trying to paint myself as the epitome of success. I had no delusions about becoming the next Zoella. But I felt and believed in my bones that I was on my way somewhere. Blogging was my passion and my goal. I was going to make it work.

Then, in September 2015, my face broke out with a case of dermatitis that no doctor could understand. A prickly, hot rash raged across my face for 3 months, reacting to anything that came near. I couldn’t wear make-up. It constantly felt like my face was on fire, not just from the rash, but from the humiliation of it all.  As a girl whose entire existence had become centred around my appearance, I literally couldn’t cope. Why was this happening to me, now that I was free of my degree, and could finally pursue my blog?

I am fully aware that I sound like the definition of #firstworldproblems here – but this was my genuine thought process at the time. Without a security coating of foundation and false lashes, I didn’t have a clue how to exist. I really do believe that this rash was the universe saying to me, loudly and clearly, “Something has to give“.

Slaving over Uni work. Writing blog posts. Shooting the photos. Spending 3/4 of my day attached to my iPhone. Instagram, Instagram, Instagram. I realised that it had all been a distraction from the fact that my head was slowly becoming a minefield that I could no longer exist in. How many likes did my last photo get? How many retweets? How many comments?



I wanted everyone to believe that I had it covered. My friends didn’t really know much about me but they did know about the products I had been sent that week. I never really had anything to talk about because everyone had already read about it on my Twitter. The sad thing is, that was all fine by me. I didn’t crave friendships as much as I did someone to take my outfit photos at the weekend. I wasn’t living for the moment but for the selfie at the end of it. 

My obsession with social media, and vicariously living my life through a filtered version of it, had utterly consumed my life. Quitting it all allowed me to rediscover myself. I didn’t log onto Instagram for months. I gave the majority of my hoarded PR samples away. I stopped taking photos of everything. I started learning how to love myself without likes, comments and favourites.

Most importantly, I started CBT and have (mostly) overcome BDD, OCD, and depression. I gained back real confidence in myself, and finally passed my driving test, something that had been impossible when OCD ruled my life. Hell, some days I even forget to brush my hair.

So where am I now? I backpacked around Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore before moving to Hong Kong with only 7kgs of luggage. I’m currently teaching English to teenagers in a college. I’ve found a passion for helping other people and seeing my students’ faces light up. I’m working on writing poetry. You’re also more likely to find me in a sweaty thrift shop than Vivienne Westwood. Shocker, right?

I feel so much happier and at peace with myself. I am able to laugh freely even if that means looking ugly in a photo. I’ve learnt how not to care. I’ve learnt to live for right now; something that can so easily be lost in between the tweets and 24/7 real time updates of our lives.

If you got all the way to the end of this post, then phew, thank you! The final thing I want to say is that I by no means believe that blogging is all bad. I’m so proud of the girls who I used to follow who are now doing this for a career and making amazing content. I feel that so many good things can be accomplished through social media – but only after 13 months away am I able to see that.

But what I want you to consider is this; it really a coincidence that so many hugely influential bloggers talk about anxiety and depression? I think everyone should take a moment to consider the negative effects that social media can have on our lives. Are you posting about the real you, or what you want people to see?  I will never forget the time that my boyfriend said, “No wonder girls are so messed up about how they look. I mean, Lydia – even you don’t look like the girl on your blog'”.

In some ways, I miss the girl who I used to be. I really do. The one who had a goal and a passion and who was going to do everything in her power to reach it. Which is why I am coming back to blogging. I miss being creative and connecting with people. I miss writing. I have so much to tell you guys, and I hope some of you are still out there, and will be with me on the next stage of this blog.

Thank you for reading,

Lydia Rose

xoxo

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter!

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14 Comments

  1. November 19, 2016 / 12:04 pm

    This is a powerful post, that makes me think deeply about my own self-image and what I build my confidence (or lack thereof) around. Congratulations on living a healthier life! I hope to find my way there, too. It's good to see it's possible.

  2. November 19, 2016 / 10:39 pm

    I am so so excited that you're blogging again. I was a huge lover of your blog before and can't wait to see what you do with it now that you have a whole new perspective. Amazing that you're in Hong Kong too and what an experience you've had. Welcome back lovely 🙂 I think it's crazy how consumed we are by social media and it's definitely somehting I need to cut back on using. xx

    Jessie | allthingsbeautiful-x

  3. November 20, 2016 / 12:20 am

    Wow what an amazing story. I just stumbled across this via Twitter, but it was so interesting to read. Welcome back and I hope that this time around, blogging will be more fulfilling than it is draining!

  4. November 20, 2016 / 10:00 am

    Lydia this resonates with me hugely! Even people who don't blog now are caught up in it all on a smaller scale of curating the perfect Instagram and twitter feeds, it's all a facade, a sad world to live in on constant comparing and competing, but once you've taken a break and stepped back you can come back with a fresh perspective. I think you can come back and write and blog and not get too caught up in the analytics, it's a nice place for a creative outlet and not doing it feels like something is missing. Hope you're well xxx

  5. November 21, 2016 / 9:41 am

    This is such an inspiring post. After recently moving home to my parents and trying to figure out my life a little bit reading this has inspired me so much to just do me. I'm so happy that you're happy and excited to come back from blogging. We've missed you!!

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    Xx

  6. November 21, 2016 / 9:29 pm

    Sending an abundance of love, it's great that you are so happy now! <3

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