There is a place between anxiety and depression, a place like the no mans land of the battlefield. It is a place where you are neither happy or sad, angry or calm, up or down. I come here often, not by choice, I would rather feel something. I have put off writing a blog post for a while now, pain has faded a bit, the temper has cooled. Maybe whilst I am in this desolate plain of the mind, where emotion does not seem to exist, I might as well write.
As some of you are aware I deactivated my former site for a while, in fact I deactivated most of my social media. I will not go into detail, but let us just say that my X was the target of some cyber bullying. We do not know who, or why, or even if she was the true target or it was myself. The fact remained that as the person responsible used social media to carry out the attack, I felt under pressure to remove myself.
This led me to two main problems, firstly how could I trust those I only knew online and secondly, how would I cope without a cyber existence? Having mulled over the issue in detail, I came to the conclusion that despite me being quite open about things online, the person responsible knew to much off line detail. Not correct information, but detail that twisted and bent could be plausible. They even tried to pass themselves off as a good friend of mine, just a shame we were together at the time.
Whilst these findings made me feel better about those I confide in, it did still leave the issue about being open about myself online. Especially my illness which I have described in detail, it made me wonder if I am strong enough to handle a character attack? The problem above happened only a few days after I was actually blocked by someone I thought a friend (all be it an online one), this person took offence to an ‘inspirational’ picture/quote. Both episodes hurt. I think it hurt more because I have laid myself open, maybe I was stupid to think that a growing online presence would be all positive.
This then lead to my second problem, could I last without an online presence? Truth be told I actually could not, I started a new twitter account once I had disabled my own. The new account even had its own blog, within an hour I had reestablished my online presence. The problem was, this new persona, just was not me. I didn’t act like me, or even write like me, because it wasn’t me. Sound strange? It still does to me, but I understand myself well enough to know, I need to be me.
Every day my blog was down hurt, the little file on my desktop, all that remained of Davesoapbox, glared at me. All the posts I had written, all the pain, joy and emotion that I had shared, compressed and hidden. My twitter account lay dormant, and yes I missed it. I missed being me, I have spent a lot of time building a wonderful twitter community, I missed it a lot. I have been accused in the past of being proud of having a mental illness, proud? I have by my estimation been ill for a very long time, I have destroyed myself countless times. Every time I was in denial, always circumstance, never me.
When I finally accept my problems, finally decide to do something about them, I soon learned the best thing for me was to share. I am not proud to be ill, I am proud I have the guts to put it out into the world. I am proud to stand up and say, “I have a mental health problem, but I am not beaten”. Some days it beats me, others I beat it. It is not a fight or a war, not a battle, it is recovery. The system has been little help, I have learned a lot, I have learned from those like me. I have learned humility, empathy and love.
I said at the beginning I was in ‘no mans land’, the eye of the storm. I have weathered the storm once, I have been to the brink and returned. Now I must once again pass into the storm, this time to reach the clear blue skies. I have come to understand what is wrong, I know what I must do. I must now recover, I must learn to handle life. I recently pondered the meaning of life, over a cup of tea. I will not explain my reasoning today, but I did come up with an answer.
“live each day with purpose and share”
In Zen the say that you are always doing something, even when you think you are doing nothing, nothing is something. As long as that something has a purpose, to you, and you share this, you are living. So I have found my own bit of Zen, I now have to live up to it. So with certain knowledge that the road ahead might not be pleasant at times, I will continue to share. “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship”, such a brilliant line, and I think apt as I ask you to join me as I walk once again into the storm.