For once, I’ve finally taken the time away from all of my pre-planned posts just to check in with you all again. How are you? How is life? How is the situation with Covid-19 where you are? So many people seem to think and act as if this is all over, but we only need to look to the tragic situation in India to know that this can all go very bad, very quickly. Even if we have more freedoms here, I’m still washing my hands, I’m still wearing my mask and I’m still keeping my distance from people who aren’t my carers or aren’t in my bubble. It’s always better safe than sorry.
Today, I wanted to share with you a few things that have been going on this past week. Some of them are good, some of them are bad, but I feel it’s important to be honest about life when it comes to blogging. For whatever reason it seems, authenticity on WordPress will nearly always carry you far.
The Influencer That Didn’t Influence Me
I want to start off by sharing with you the Ebay message that I received from this cheeky chappy in the early hours of Saturday morning:
I want to say here that some influencers really get on my wick. Not ALL influencers, but the small-scale influencers that have the gall to ask for things for free in return for ‘exposure’. In fact, it was the very thing that led me to write our Fair Blogger Trade Pledge in the first place. Some influencers work hard and strike up reasonable business deals, but people like Dan? With ‘nearly 500’ followers, Dan, just like myself, is nowhere near influencer status. Sometimes I call myself an “accidental influencer”, but it’s tongue in cheek, and it’s because of my ability to make people realise that BDSM isn’t bad and can even have hidden benefits, but I’m still not an influencer! I would never approach anyone, no matter how big the business, and ask for free things. To me, it’s cheap, it’s tacky and it’s tactless. If you want real items, do what we do, suck it up and pay real money – real simple.
Secondly, let me just remind you about my ‘other business’, which I mentioned last week. As a side business to my blog, I also raise and sell tropical fish, and I have a few that are probably a week or two at most away from being sold as breeding pairs. I’ve kept them for so long because they are pure, rare fish, and the bigger and more colourful they are, the more they are worth – it’s smart business!
But what really infuriates me about Dan’s message is the idea that I was going to send him some live fish for him to ‘review’, for free. We’re not talking fish food or filter sponges or whatever, we’re talking fish, we’re talking real creatures with real feelings (regardless of how simple Endlers can sometimes be!). My fish are currently collection only and for one very simple reason – posting fish stresses them out. Bagging fish up stresses them out, shipping them in the same water for 24-48 hours stresses them out, acclimatising them in a new home stresses them out. If I can get them from their old home to their new one in 2-3 hours and in water that is still fairly warm, so much the better for everyone. Shipping live fish costs money, more money than, frankly, I’m charging for the fish themselves. I sell my fish for £3 per breeding pair, the cost of shipping these fish would be around £12-20 – and that’s without any packaging or heat packs! Regardless of how much I want to see my fish sell and my blog grow, the answer is no, I am not paying at least ten times the price of my fish to send my fish to anyone for them to review. Dan can take the short trip to Bristol and buy some from me in person, or he can’t have my fish at all. Actually, he can’t buy them anyway, because after his cheek, I blocked him from bidding on my fish to prevent any potential feedback exploitation. You’re welcome, Dan!
I Found A Lump…
No, not me, but on dear little Hugo. Oh how my heart broke. My cute, sweet, doting little puppy has a lump. He doesn’t seem phased about it in the slightest, but I can’t look beyond it, it’s just… there, on his shoulder. It’s not even large, which makes me feel like I’m being really dramatic, but it’s changed the way his fur lies and as a dog mom, I can’t not notice it. I’ve done a lot of research over the past few days, a lot of research, and I’m 99% it’s just a lipoma, or a fatty lump. The size, the location, the texture and the causes, it all matches up. Because of lockdown, he hasn’t been to the park with myself and my Mum for the exercise that he normally has and because of Matt working from home, exercising him at home can be challenging, too. I’ve fallen into a cycle of self-loathing and self-blaming and I’ve committed myself to even earlier starts to make sure he gets plenty of exercise. I’m upping the ante for the lot of us to help us lose the lockdown pounds anyway, but we’ll see where we’re at when we attend his next vet check-up in June. A more raw diet and exercise can prove beneficial to reducing and shrinking lipomas, so here’s hoping we can beat it naturally. It is very small (about the size of a blueberry), so I’m determined that I can get the fat back off of him without any surgery. Even if we can’t, he’ll just have to be our lumpy boi. As long as it’s not bothering him, we’ll go on loving him anyway.
My OCD Flared Up…
One of the worst things for my mental health, is stress and change. Once I noticed the lump, my mental health took a nosedive. The stabbing obsessions came back, and so as I tucked a kitchen knife firmly out of reach earlier, I knew that so too had the compulsions. This is my obsession and this is my compulsion, I have Harm OCD, a type of OCD that makes me fear snapping and causing harm to others or myself. Contrarily to a killer, I am not a risk to anyone, even if my mind tries to convince me otherwise. This too shall pass, I just need to write, cry, meditate, deep breathe, write a bit more qnd try to get back on top with a little bit of therapy. Stress management is vital in living with OCD, I’m just, umm… not really managing my stress lately. Gradually, I will get back to my old self again. Why am I saying this? I guess because with tears in my eyes, I want you to know that I’m not perfect, that I too am only human. Regardless of my fun and energetic self that you usually see, I have good and bad days, just like you. What we can all agree on though, is that it’s good to talk. A problem shared is a problem halved, so they say, so let’s make a commitment to make that a popular adage around here.
I just want to conclude this post by saying how fucking thankful I am for all of you, every single one of our readers, this is a huge THANKYOU! Due to some issues with Slowly, I made the transfer to Daily Postcard but, if I’m honest, it’s nowhere near as good. Why? For the same reasons as any other instant messaging application, mostly it’s full of young men all looking to rock their socks off.
But when one of them started getting a bit too demanding with me, I had the confidence to do something that I wouldn’t normally do.
No, not that.
Instead of ghosting him, I told him no, and when he asked why not, I gave him the straightforward answer that I would have never have had the confidence and self-worth to be able to give before:
Because I don’t want to.
As a blogger, I’m all too aware that the more successful I become, the more potential I have to become more public. The more public I become, naturally, the more parts of my body I don’t want plastered all over the internet. It’s because of my blog, because of my readers and followers, that I’m not desperate for the attention. Instead, I’m here just doing what I do, writing, sharing, educating, entertaining and just occasionally, even inspiring – that’s my favourite one.
As it was, shortly after realising that I’d pulled the plug on our conversation (Daily Postcard doesn’t allow you to actively block a user, which is annoying), he proceeded to respond by cancelling his ‘like’ on my very normal profile picture. I find going to such lengths to be very petty but hey, haters gonna hate.
Alright lovelies, that’s it from me for now. Again, I hope things are going well for you and thank you again for listening me whittle on.
Until next time,
Stay safe & have fun,