Have you ever wondered why I stream on Twitch every week? I’m not sure where this personal reflection actually belongs, whether it should go in my streaming category or in my personal blogging one. Basically, I think that this waffle actually covers both areas but due to the personal nature of it I’m going to put it in the personal category. I am going to be sharing some rather personal details in this post. The reason I am sharing these is because I think you need to recognise these in order to understand why I stream every week.
Anxiety and me
First some important background information. Yes, I suffer from anxiety/panic attacks. There was a part of my life that was so bad that I found it difficult to even leave the house due to the difficulties which I perceived were beyond my front door! I struggled to get over the worse of this and have made so much progress over the years. I am stubborn and have perseverance which means that I am always setting myself targets in order to move my life forward – even when they were extremely difficult. You can read about these times in my waffle about coffee shops and the aptly titled Anxiety and Me. Now that this as been established, let’s move onto the reasons I actually stream.
What people think of me.
I’m not very good at interacting with people. I have learnt to put on a persona in professional situations in order to seem more ‘social’. If anything is not ‘compulsory’ then I don’t attend. The reason that I don’t like these situations is that I feel that I am putting myself out there and people are judging me. They are making their own opinions about me and my opinions and, although some of these might be good, I assume the worse and think everyone is disliking me. In order to tackle this feeling I decided that I needed to ‘put myself out there’ and so I started to stream. Due to the camera and the ability that I can stop at any time, I feel more in control of the situation which actually reduces my anxiety levels. I’ve been streaming for some time now and I have created a routine so that I have to stream at those times – me and routines! Luckily I have a great community which helps me keep on track and a great moderator in @chugawuga who is often on standby to ban people who he knows will cause me to take several steps backwards in my progress forward.
I actually live in a world which is black and white. I am not meaning I am colour blind I just find it difficult to read things like sarcasm and humour. If someone says something to me, I need to stop and try to interpret what they are meaning. Shades of grey really confuse me. Often when I am streaming I get comments presented to me in chat or discord and I really need to think about these and try to interpret them correctly. Remember I can see everything as a criticism or negative. Even advice can appear like this to me. I’m not saying that everyone always has to say positive and non-critical things to me. This would defeat the object of engaging with people while streaming or in discord. I need to learn to interpret these correctly and also recognise that if I do or say something which someone reacts to negatively, this does not mean that I am in the wrong. I guess I therefore stream and post in chats to try and learn to respond better to people’s replies. Believe me it would be easier to say and do nothing – but what would be the fun in that! 🙂
Everyone also says, don’t stream for the viewers, do it because you enjoy it. This is actually another reason why I stream. I tend to judge myself on the interaction with other people. If I am streaming and I have no viewers I can get very negative about things and then just stop. I actually stream to move forward with this. I need to learn that just because I don’t have loads of viewers it doesn’t reflect on me as a person. Also, because I like to be good and successful in everything I do, I actually avoid situations where this would not be possible. Streaming is a real challenge to me. I log on and talk to my regulars who come to my streams and try to stay positive and ‘perform’ even if there is hardly anyone in the chat. I mentioned before that I am really good at persevering with things and this is what makes me come back again and again to my channel. Not because I want to be super successful, but because I will not let my ‘issues’ win.
So that’s it
I could write more but I think that is enough of my ‘weirdness’ for one waffle! I am going to keep streaming every week because it is actually helping me address the issues I have mentioned above. As I progress I have actually started to enjoy it and, on these days, I get a real buzz from it and come away feeling very positive. Yes, there are those negative moments, but I try to not dwell on these and forget about them, put on a positive face and press that ‘Go Live’ button.