Monday, 24 April 2017

My First Ever Blogger Meet Up

On Saturday I attended my first ever blogger meet up. It was where the online faces that I had spoken to for months became real figures. This post is very different from the other types of posts I write but this experience was a lot more challenging that I expected it to be and so I thought it would be worth writing about.

A few months back the news of a #talkMH meet left me excited at the prospect of finally meeting like minded people who have the same goal as me; to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. I didn't put any thought into it and signed up to say I was interested straight away. I then got on with life and in all honesty I forgot the meet was happening until the weekend before. Here is where the excitement began. I had organised for a close friend to come with me and everything was set in stone. This was really happening. However, what I failed to think about before was that this meet meant doing two things that I struggle with; getting on a tube and meeting new people. Because whilst in a sense I knew these people this was the first time I was meeting them.

So along came Saturday morning and I set off on my way into London. I got on a tube for the first time in a little under a year and made my way to Hyde Park. We arrived an hour early in order to get some lunch and then we headed over to the meet up point. As I was walking I could see a group of people in the distance and I knew that was the group, it was bigger than I thought it would be. So my friend and I stood for 5 minutes looking at the group and questioning how we were going to talk to everyone. I questioned leaving and perhaps if I had come alone I would have left. Luckily the person I had spoken to the most via twitter was slightly aside from the rest of the group and so he was the first person I went to talk to. Mike was very friendly and we started talking right away.  However, I soon realised that there were a LOT of people I didn't know at this meet up and so that made things even harder. Beth then came over to say hi (which I am so thankful for because I would not have had the courage to say hi like she did) and she was the one who shouted out who I was "ITS DORIS" (not my real name). However, the group then moved to a grassy patch so that we could all sit down and this is where it was hardest to mix. Everyone seemed to sit in little groups of people that they already knew whereas my friend and I sat on the edge not sure how to interact with anyone. I guess I found it hard because these people know me through my mental health blogging and they don't know much else about me, so I find it hard and awkward when people know about my struggles before knowing me as a person. But that is an obstacle in my head that I have to overcome and not a reflection of anyone at the meet. 

After the first hour we were close to calling it quits but then Mike once again came over and socialised a bit and time seemed to fly from that point on. After about 2 hours we managed to sit with a group of people, some of us started to drink and speaking to people was made a little easier. 

This meet up was a lot more challenging than I thought it would be but I am really glad I went and didn't leave as early as I was initially thinking to. I am hoping the next one will be slightly easier as some of the people there won't be strangers. However, the meet up showed me how anxiety hinders my ability to communicate with strangers and I do wish that wasn't the case. I am grateful to the few people I did talk to at the meet as you were all lovely and I hope next time to talk to more people. 

Thank you to Hannah @hannahrainey for making the meet up possible. 


  1. I'm so glad you came, and stayed. It was great to see you and I know next time will be a bit easier for you.

    Love you you very special human

  2. Thank you Mike :) I hope to see you soon

  3. That sounds fantastic, well done to you! I have suffered from anxiety myself over the past couple of years and find writing on my blog very therapeutic, to raise awareness of lack of understanding that mental health issues can still suffer…I'd love to attend a meet up :-)
    Life inside the Locket

  4. I never go to blogger meetups cause I always thought it was something that you had to be invited to, I didn't know you can sign up on your own! 😄
    This was a good read, I'm glad you were able to conquer your fear that day :) looking forward to reading more of your posts.

    Nikki O.