If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you came to look at one of my political blog posts and got redirected to this one instead. Hi!
I’ve taken the political posts down. I’d been thinking about it for a while, and in the end it seemed the best option. The truth is, it wasn’t doing me any good to be spending as much time as I was thinking about things that make me angry and that I can’t realistically have any influence over, so I’m going to try and stop.
I know a lot of people won’t agree with this. They’ll see it as pathetic, even childish to bury my head in the sand instead of facing reality. They would probably argue that if I strongly believe in what I was saying, I should try to do something about it, try to change people’s minds, campaign for things to be better, etc. It’s true, people can sometimes make a positive difference that way… but I haven’t been making a difference. I’ve just been getting myself worked up into a state of anger and stress over the news almost daily and occasionally venting on here in a way that was unlikely to convert anyone to my point of view.
Even if I was to direct my anger towards something a little more constructive, I have to be realistic and balance the very small positive difference I might be able to make against the considerable personal cost. I’m not particularly good at campaigning or persuading people and I find that sort of thing mentally draining, not to mention that it would take a lot of time I just don’t have these days. On the other hand my family need me to be good at being a husband and father, my employer needs me to be good at writing software, and I need myself to be in good enough mental shape to cope and actually enjoy life sometimes. Spending half my energy getting wound up by the political situation jeopardises all of that. And if the worst should happen and things in this country are potentially going to get really bad in a way that affects me personally, I need to be on top form to deal with it as best I can.
And some people would no doubt say it’s pathetic that I can’t control my thoughts and emotions sufficiently to stop that stuff from bothering me so much. I disagree. What I’m doing now is taking control over those effects, the only way I know how. I’ve made no secret of the fact that my mental health isn’t the best and I make no apology for that.
My views on the issues I wrote about haven’t actually changed. I’ll still be voting against the stuff that pisses me off any time I get the chance. I just don’t want half my life to be consumed by unproductive thoughts about it anymore.
But why not leave the old political posts up for people to read and just don’t write any more of them? Several reasons, really. Firstly in cases like this I find it easier to draw a line in the sand and try to make a clean break with the past. If I left the posts up I might decide not to write any more now, but then change my mind next week and go straight back to my old ways again. Secondly, whenever new comments come in on the old posts and I get notified about them, it drags all of these issues back into my awareness again and I’d rather avoid that as much as possible.
Thirdly, contrary to how it may have sounded at times, I actually don’t want to alienate all the people who disagree with me and cause further division. Some of them are people I need to be able to get on with, even people I care about. Their views don’t make them bad people and it does no good at all to introduce unneeded tensions into my relations with them.
And finally, those posts were just not really in the spirit of what this blog was supposed to be about. When I started it back in 2011 I just wanted somewhere to post about things that I found fun or interesting, and to talk a bit about my ongoing recovery from anxiety and depression related problems. It was never meant to be dominated by angry, divisive political rants and I’m hoping to take it back to its roots in the coming months.
Thanks for reading and, whether you’re of the same political persuasion as me or not, peace be with you 🙂 .