I have spent a lot of time ruminating the last few weeks on where I want to go with my presence on the great wide web. For a long time social media has been a place where I go daily, multiple times even, to blurt out my feelings and thoughts to a select few people, and peruse their thoughts and meandering posts, and feel connected to a greater world.
But something happened over the election season that made me realise the rabbit hole of social media is not a very good place for people with mental illness: at least, not this person. The incessant vitriol and neverending stories (whether news stories real or fake, or the sort from either side of the fence designed around the tiniest crumb to stir up already inflamed sentiments to even higher-pitched emotions, or distracting ones to counter the vitriol aimed at calming those emotions) made social media into a place I went to every day with increasing feelings of dread, sadness, confusion, and deeper and deeper hardline emotions I ultimately categorised as despair. And then numbness. And then apathy. When I got to that point, when I found myself scrolling through my pages discovering I just frankly didn’t care about what I was seeing even though I religiously clicked “hide ad” and tried to stop at fandom or funny memes hoping to find some spark of hilarity or joy in shared nerd-dom, I couldn’t muster the emotional energy to feel anything when I finally found a post from a dear friend about what was going on in their lives.
It took me about a week to gather my courage and take social media off my phone, so it wasn’t handy enough for me to grab all the time…that portable instant access to the dystopian unreality that is social media. I told my friends of the screen that I would still log in via my laptop occasionally but the instant access via my phone was going away…and some of the comments I received were tinged with the sentiment as if I was going away forever.
I have never been a “normal” Facebook person, or a regular Twitter gal. My Twitter account lies dormant most of the time. My Facebook posts are more often than not those more akin to blog posts, so I decided to switch over to actual blogging. I’ve wanted to do this blog justice since I started it. It’s supposed to be a place where I talk about writing, and what it’s like to be a person with mental illness struggling to be part of the world while she heals herself. I spent time away from making that talk public for over a year because it was pretty damn messy. But now my adventure is going to take a starkly different turn.
Here’s to blogging. Real life blogging.