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Anxiety regarding an old coping mechanism

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piggybugs

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Joined
Oct 28, 2020
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11
Location
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There's this manga with a very small yet very active fandom I'm apart of. When I was younger, a friend of mine who I was very close with had suddenly disappeared and everyone told me he killed himself. I was extremely depressed for so long afterwards and was continuously going in and out of toxic relationships to try to forget the grief. I ended leaving everyone in the end and joining new fandoms, making new friends and then leaving them again and so on,, I was basically going in and out of friend groups to try to feel something even if the people I met weren't the best.
Then I read these manga series and though they're not good in terms of story, I felt a huge connection and got into this tiny fandom regarding both of the series (since they go hand in hand). At this time, i ended up getting into yet another friend group and long story short, it was abusive on every end and I ended up being isolated.
After a lot of therapy, hard work, and coming to terms with the mistakes I've made, I'm suddenly getting popular within the fandom again and making a lot new friends. People are suddenly telling me they admire me and so on...I feel like I don't deserve this type of positive attention after just starting to work on bettering myself. My partner tells me I'm a good person and people like me because I'm nice to others. I do fanart, I make crappy memes, and I write fanfiction and someone huge in the fandom told me I'm one of their favorite blogs. I always left fandoms after leaving friend groups but this time I stayed to better myself and I learned to love myself after a ton of missteps.
All of this happened because I read these manga series as a coping mech...But due to the recent traumas I had with that old friend group (I blocked everyone and stopped associating), I feel super drained reading these manga series again even though I used to love them so much. I don't feel the rush of love and excitement I used to. Maybe it's because I've read it so much? I don't know. I'm popular in this fandom, and of course, I still love these manga...But trying to reread one of them just makes me feel strange. I don't want to leave at all, I love it for what it is and drawing fanart is something that just comes naturally for me. I feel very conflicted...I feel anxious over if I'm doing something wrong. Has anyone else experienced this? Sorry, this is just my word vomit haha
 
OmniscientNihilist

OmniscientNihilist

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
1,746
Location
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did u see the berserk anime movie trilogy? its very good but rated R i think
 
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LokiPokey75

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 1, 2020
Messages
613
Location
United States
Hi piggybugs,

I'm so sorry you're going through this. 😣 It sounds like a vicious cycle that leaves you drained and ultimately disappointed. I think when it comes to your new fandom, in order to prevent exhausting yourself, maybe limit your time with the fandom. Only do it on weekends or lessen the workload you take on.

This seems like something you love and you should stay a part of it. But to reinvigorate your love, you need to take a break and reassess your priorities. What's a schedule that would work for you when it comes to reading and doing fan art? Is this a need or just a want? How much of yourself can you give to this without giving up too much of yourself and your sanity?

It must feel nice to have others see your work and respect it. I'm a writer myself (though I write fantasy romance novels) and I would love to put my work out there more. That's one of my goals for the coming year. But your goals might be centered on doing less so you can preserve yourself.

I hope this is making sense. You deserve a life outside of your art, piggybugs. And even if that means disappointing others, you have to take time for yourself. Maybe that way, you won't have to completely disconnect from your fandom like the times before. It's unhealthy for you and leaves you isolated. Try to take some breaks every once in a while and determine what aspect of this fandom is most important to you - the community or the work itself? Then focus on improving that aspect in any way that fits your life.

Good luck to you. Stay safe!
 
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