Who are some of your favorite bloggers? I try to follow as many as I can because they have so much wisdom to pass on.
That’s what gave me the idea for this interview series. I wanted to glean as much knowledge as I could from those much wiser than me.
This is our first installment of Meet the Blogger, all about Kaila, a fellow mental health blogger.
First of all, tell me a little about yourself.
Hi! My name is Kaila. I am a mother of two (three and two weeks). (Editor’s note: Congrats!) I am currently a stay-at-home mom and a full-time college student. I’m married to my high school sweetheart, which I am very thankful for.
What is your connection to the blogging and/or mental health community?
I recently started a blog about being a mother/parent with mental illnesses. I have struggled with mental health since I was a child, and I’ve been struggling since. I decided to create a blog that talks about what it’s like to struggle with mental health while also putting others (my kids) before myself.
What is the hardest part about having a successful blog?
The hardest part about having a successful blog is stepping out of my comfort zone and putting myself out there. I have never been so open about mental health before, and I feel that a blog about mental health may not be as successful as lifestyle or makeup blog. Getting people to subscribe to the blog is difficult as well. Having something to offer (free PDF or e-course) helps, but I feel that creating one off mental health would be harder than other blog niches. (Editor’s note: I completely agree!)
What is the biggest challenge the mental health community faces currently?
From the things I have had to endure with my mental health journey, I firmly believe that the mental health community faces the challenge of people believing that what they go through is an actual illness. I’ve seen a lot of posts about how it’s up to the individual to create happiness and things of that nature, but that’s not so easy with mental illnesses. The believability with mental health is scarce. When I first met my husband in high school, he didn’t believe things like depression and anxiety were real. Of course I changed his mind, but because it’s an ailment that can’t be seen, it gets disregarded.
What are the 5 things that many people do not know about you?
A lot of people actually don’t know that I struggle from mental illnesses. Until my blog, I never really put it out there to strangers or peers. Just family.
I was raised by my grandparents, so when people talk about their mom or dad’s side of the family, I talk about my grandmother’s or grandfather’s.
I got accepted into the Disney College Program right when I graduated from high school but I denied going because my husband didn’t get accepted. I couldn’t go without him.
I am VERY dependent even though I seem independent. I own a house, two cars, and have been on my own since I was 18, but I depend on my husband a lot. He helps me when I’m anxious, which is almost all the time.
I’m impulsive and once I get an idea in my mind, I can’t shake it. For example, I have been struggling with college for five years. I’m still at a two-year community college. But in my mind, I have to go to college. I’ve impulsively looked into online colleges without checking their credibility because one of my childhood friends does it. I became obsessed with getting information and things like that. I change my mind about things I want to do because others do it. My friend is doing an online course for medical billing and coding and when I found out, I wanted to do the same thing even though I’m not passionate about it.
What is your favorite book and why?
I absolutely love to read. I am an English major afterall. Deciding on one book is incredibly challenging, but if I have to choose one it has to be “Lord of the Rings.” The amazing detail and adventure Tolkien sends the reader on is amazing. Books like this are captivating and bring you along for the ride. I enjoy reading books like this because it’s an escape from reality. You can put yourself in Frodo Baggins’ shoes and travel to Mordor with him.
What do you do when you are having a really hard day to lift your spirits?
This is such a great question. A lot of the time before my daughter was born, I would snuggle up on the couch with my son and put on some happy-go-lucky kid movie. Now that my daughter is here, I snuggle with them both. If my son isn’t in the mood to snuggle, I will make myself a cup of hot tea or a cup of coffee, pick up a book, and read. Sometimes I can’t focus enough to read, so if that’s the case, I will write in a journal or sit outside with my son.
What makes a person brave?
I think bravery comes in a lot of different flavors. I don’t believe one single thing makes a person brave. Putting oneself out there is brave. Standing up for others is brave. Doing something out of your comfort zone is also brave. Those things are what makes a person brave, along with what first responders do. Again, I don’t think there’s one straight answer here. Maybe someone who has been struggling with mental health finally decides to get help and takes the leap of faith. To me, that’s brave.
What 3 words would you use to describe yourself and why?
Motherly–ever since I became a mom, all I do is take care of others. If my friends are sick, I tell them what they can do to feel better.
Friendly–I have been told that I am one of the nicest people. I am probably too nice at times because I always take the blame for things (like bumping into someone).
Anxious–I am anxious almost all day every day. I worry about basically everything in my life.
What is your biggest flaw?
To be honest, I have a lot of flaws. I think my biggest flaw is how dependent I am on my husband. I don’t go anywhere without him. If something needs done outside the house (like groceries) it has to wait until he is home from work for it to be done. I am too anxious to leave without him because crowds really get to me and he is the only one that can calm my anxiety.
What is your greatest strength?
My greatest strength is how caring I am. Even though I am anxious and my mental health gets the best of me, I will put others before myself because that’s just how I’m programmed. Being raised by my grandparents really shaped me to be this caring person because they are the most compassionate people I’ve ever met. If I wasn’t caring, I don’t think I’d even like myself.
What is your best childhood memory?
My best childhood memory is with my great grandpa. He used to take me, my brother, and my cousin to the park every time we’d visit. He would give us popsicles and have contests of who can eat the popsicle fast enough. That man only had one tooth but would beat us every time. He also used to sit me up on the dining room table and drink hot tea with me. That’s where my love of tea came from.
Where do you envision your blog in 5 years?
I envision my blog being somewhat popular. I’m growing my social media every day and am slowly learning how to appeal to a wider audience. If I keep using these practices and keep putting myself out there like I am, I believe I will have more subscribers! Well… hopefully.
Where do you see the mental health community in 5 years?
With the whole “break the stigma” movement, I believe the mental health community will be seen as valid. Growing up with mental illnesses, I didn’t know a lot of people that struggled like me. It seems that as I get older, I see more and more individuals that deal with mental health. I really hope that we will be seen as people that have real ailments even though they aren’t seen.
The people I follow to stay up-to-date on mental health/blogging:
Clearly Positive Thinking | Twitter
TeacherMom | Twitter
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Thanks, Kaila, for participating in Meet the Blogger! I loved your responses, and I truly appreciate you taking the time out to answer my questions. Best wishes on all your blogging endeavors!
You can follow Kaila on Twitter