Since starting this blog, I have learned of the importance of support of friends and family. I won’t lie and say I am not disappointed at the lack of support I have received (shares, congratulatory messages, £2.00 donations) but I am becoming better at accepting that generally, people will only support you when it is convenient for them or when a story is directly related to or of interest to them.
This type of conditional support frustrates me greatly. It is also a symptom of our society so I shouldn’t take it to personally. I noticed that some friends and family only share my posts that directly relate to them, their struggle and identity. Whereas, I share most things that my family and friends put out simply because I want them to be successful. Since I began sharing my writing regularly, I have had to check myself regularly to stop comparing the level of effort I put into my relationships vs. the level of effort I am receiving. It is bad for my psyche and ultimately, bad for my relationships.
Now, my expectation of support is totally unrealistic. Why do I say this? Because we live in a society where, for the most part, people have categorised themselves and dedicated themselves to supporting those categories and causes they identify with. LGBTQ, black, Native American, Caribbean, African, family, disabled, friends, fashion, foodies, spiritualists, Christian, etc. And each of these groups are doing little to understand or support each other (“I’m not supporting Black Lives Matter because I am white and gay, what about me?”) . Struggle (and support) isn’t exclusive (as much as we want to believe it is). My point in bringing this up is that people focus so much on what they relate to that they don’t realise support doesn’t have to be exclusive to one focus/cause. (I know, I went off on a tangent but I think some of you will get it)
I have a very cut and dry view of things, which is based on reciprocation. I think that relationships should be 50/50 but reality just doesn’t support this. Most of my relationships (note, I said most. There are a handful of people in my life that are amazing and support me unconditionally) are more like 70/30 or 80/20. People have busy lives, they have specific interests and hobbies and more importantly, most of them are not reflective and self aware. Having the mental health issues that I have, I spent a great deal of time examining and cataloguing my behaviour, installing mental checks and balances to reduce selfish and strange behaviour and replacing with what I like to think are acceptable friendship attributes. My sometimes adolescent mind tells me that everyone else is doing this but that’s just not the case.
But what does support look like to me? Support is people sharing my content without being asked. Actually reading the blog and talking to me about what I’ve written, perhaps even commenting on the posts.
Please don’t mistake this post as a moan fest or a direct dig at you (statistics tell me I don’t even know you) . In my push towards transparency, I sometimes use this space to unpick my thoughts and rationalise them. I think that is part of the page’s appeal.
I’ve started to rely on the kindness of strangers (or acquaintances) who make up a majority of my slowly growing audience. I am no longer upset by this and view it more of a personal development challenge where if I conquer the world of strangers, my friends and family will follow.
My admiration goes out to those in my blogging community who are sharing their passion and lives with the world. I never realised how important it is to have the support of your loved ones before this endeavour.
Here are a few of the blogs I follow and I encourage you to do so:
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