I'm Tired of Being Afraid
Before we get started, let’s talk about this blog real quick. This is blog #2, and you might be asking, “What the hell is this blog about?”. Well, it’s going to be similar to the YouTube channel but a different outlet for me to get out some thoughts, and as always, hopefully to help you with your mental and emotional well-being as well. I’ll be talking about a wide range of subjects, but sometimes, like my videos, I may discuss some of my own personal experience as well.
Despite what a select few may believe, I share my experience as well as discuss the experience of others so you can ask, “How does this relate to my life? And what can I do about it?” I think this is something we should be asking ourselves constantly. So, as you read these blogs, ask yourself if you can relate to anything I’m discussing and maybe some of the things I’m doing can help you as well. This blog is about something many of us struggle with, which is fear.
WTF Am I Afraid of?
It’s no secret that I’ve been getting attacked for the last month now. While I definitely made some missteps and reacted to some situations poorly, it got out of hand really quick. Yesterday’s blog discussed using our values as our guiding light, and my values were constantly being questioned. People were coming at me from all directions calling me a liar, a manipulator, a fraud, a scammer and anything else they could think up.
For weeks, every move I made was being highly scrutinized. Hell, even my mental health break was under attack. After a week of being off of social media, people attacked me for not taking longer. When I came back, everything I said was being picked apart and everyone had an opinion on it. Even when I returned to YouTube after two weeks, people were waiting to pounce on my return videos to judge me and tell me what they thought about me.
Not only that, during this time, other things were happening that I was being accused of, that I took no part in such as wellness checks and swatting. Some said that even if I wasn’t directly involved, that I was responsible for it, and all I was trying to do was take a mental health break.
Dealing with the Trauma of it All
Alright alright alright. I know what most of you are thinking right now. “Really, Chris? You were traumatized by the drama? You’re being a little extra right now.”
I wish I were. This is an experience that I never could have prepared for and trauma is different for everyone (by the way, quit judging peoples’ trauma. It’s not cool). After multiple sessions with my therapist, we discussed how there’s nothing that could have prepared me for thousands upon thousands of people spewing pure hatred towards me after videos about me were getting 10s of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of views.
It made me literally question everything I was going to do or say out of pure fear of the mob. The worst part is that when I started making content again, I knew that my confidence was gone. It’s like someone took my confidence out of my body, dragged it outside and beat the living hell out of it and left it to rot and die.
What’s interesting is I don’t think any of you noticed my lack of confidence when I returned to YouTube after two weeks, but I did. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t who I am, and it felt empty. With every video I made and every word that came out of my mouth, my mind was racing with fear saying things like:
“What if this video loses more subscribers?”
“What if someone makes a video about something I said?”
“What if I get a bunch of hate comments?”
It’s an absolutely terrible way to live. Aside from that, this is my job. Imagine going into work every day and being scared of every move you make, but you have to show up because you have bills to pay. While everyone is telling you that your mental health break is long enough, you wish you could take more time off, but you need to pay rent. Hell, some of you might know exactly what I’m talking about and don’t even need to imagine this scenario.
The Thought That Changed Everything
For the last two weeks, I’ve had dozens of voices in my ear. Not like hallucinations, but people in my life telling me what to do. People telling me what types of videos to make, telling me what to respond to, telling me what not to respond to. People telling me which interviews I should do and how I should do them. The worst part was, more than half the time I took someone’s advice, the backlash still happened.
It wasn’t until one morning when I woke up, and the thought came to my mind and hit me like a ton of fucking bricks. That thought was, “I’m tired of being afraid.” And that was it. I snapped out of it. I was so tired of being held hostage by other YouTube creators and the community. I was tired of tip toeing around everything purely out of fear.
The beautiful part about rock bottom is that the only way to go is up.
It was then that I said, “Fuck it” and I started making videos and injecting my passion back into it. While I’m not covering drama topics anymore, I’ve felt so proud of some of the content that I’ve made discussing topics that I truly believe can help people. I think it started when I made my video about coming back to BPD videos, and then my video about Donald Trump and mental health care, and I had even more passion in my Billie Eilish video about depression.
Yesterday, I made a really ballsy move that a LOT of people didn’t like. It was April Fools Day, so I made a title and thumbnail pretending to apologize to a creator who has been spreading false information about me, but it was really a video about Gabbie Hanna. Boy did people get pissed off. I had comments telling me “how distasteful it was” like I made a dead baby joke or something. If you don’t believe me, feel free to check the comment section as well as the like/dislike ratio.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I was very serious in that video about my apology to Gabbie Hanna because I have a new level of empathy for other creators. As far as the joke, that was for me. I knew it was going to piss people off, and it definitely did. I didn’t think it was going to go over well for a minute, but that wasn’t for anyone else but me. It was me regaining some of my power back.
That was me knowing damn well I was going to get hate comments, a massive amount of dislikes and people unsubscribing me. My April Fools Joke even managed to have some people make some videos about me, and you know what? I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat because like I said, I’m tired of being afraid, and I’m tired of this community holding me hostage. I’ll tell you this: It felt empowering AF.
So What’s the Lesson Here?
Don’t let people hold you hostage and make you live in fear. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that you’re not a YouTube creator, but you might be someone who is being held hostage by someone else in your life. You might be being held hostage by someone at work, or a friend, or a family member. Someone in your life might be making you afraid to be your authentic self because you’re worried about what they’ll say or do.
Not you nor does anyone else deserve that. You need to do you, boo. And yeah, you’re going to piss some people off along the way, but that’s how it goes. I often taught my clients at the treatment center that setting boundaries and being your authentic self is going to piss people off. If they can’t handle that, then they don’t deserve to be in your life.
If you’re like me, maybe you screwed up at some point or another, but let me tell you this, you do not deserve to be a punching bag for the rest of your life. So, my suggestion to you is to check in with your values, work on your self-love and self-compassion and stop being afraid. Surround yourself with good people who will have your back for making the tough decisions you’re going to have to make and those who will catch you if you fall.
If you’re also like me, you’ve already been to hell and back. This means you have something a lot of other people don’t have, which is resilience. You’re a badass, and I want you to remember all the shit you’ve been through before and use that as evidence that you can get through this situation as well. So, stop being scared and be the person that you deserve to be, and don’t let anyone stop you from having a fulfilling life.