When I was younger I used to be quite good at keeping diaries, jotting down my thoughts and letting out some of my feelings without giving away much to other people or making myself too vulnerable. As I grew older I slowly drifted from writing in my diary to online forums and social media. Now I definitely didn’t jump into mainstream stuff like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter etc right away but I used to be fond of going on forums/sites with young people aimed content – one of my fondest memories is probably Stardoll where I used to chat on the regular to friends and eventually I did get to meet three of them in real life! It was a shame we aren’t as close anymore as times had changed but I do get nostalgic for that memory. Growing up in my teenage years, I always struggled with social skills and making friends so sometimes the internet was a preference for me as I could conceal the social skills I was so anxious about and have time to think about what to say and such. I also could use it as an outlet for when I was stressed or down, people with similar problems would write back saying they know how you feel, it was almost like a diary entry but if I felt so stuck with a problem, somebody out there could help me if they wanted to. It didn’t feel like I was letting too much out in the open but when I look back I think I did. I think it strangely affected my personality today and how I feel about being honest with my problems and feelings with people in my life. It’s very easy to act narcissistic online and post selfies but also dwell on self-depreciating humour, it’s almost like building up a wall but having glass walls on it. You let people know what you’re like but you won’t want to talk about it and sometimes you want to get out of the wall, and it really hurts you deep that your friends walking by aren’t doing anything. You stress over details, ‘but they can see me in distress right? They walk past me everyday so they’re clearly avoiding looking at me?!’ so you end up stuck in this little glass box, feeling isolated but nothing’s bottled up. You’re drained but it’s flooded everything around you and everyone’s evacuated the area.
The internet was also a terrible place for paranoia and overthinking symptoms from my depression and anxiety to build. I’d constantly try and talk to my friends but get no response and then see them posting online or on social media and literally pull at my hair questioning what I had done wrong. I can’t even really act like this is in past tense since I still over-react to stuff like this now. I can pick out every little detail for proof that somebody dislikes me or secretly thinks I’m annoying but I don’t honestly trust any proof that people do like me genuinely. My brain is my most toxic friend and I wish to change that soon.
So the note to myself for today is; nothing is wrong with being open and nothing is wrong with wanting to get stuff off your chest. Bottling up stress and emotions will only lead to damage of some extent and it’s not healthy however please learn to stop expecting people to want to be there for you. Everyone has their bottle of stress, thoughts, anxiety and stuff they want to avoid and people can get so drunk on their metaphorical bottle that they won’t notice you stumbling and crashing from stress. People are people, weak and worrying just like yourself – but that doesn’t mean you haven’t got the strength to work on yourself alone. There will always be stuff you dislike about yourself or your life, even on days where you wake up feeling like a bloody Disney Princess and the sun is shining; in the back of your head small things will still irk you like the fact your thighs rub together when you walk, the fact that guy barged past you and didn’t apologise whilst you walked to work, the fact you’re still procrastinating something, your friend still hasn’t responded to your text about meeting up – nothing is always 100% perfect but it’s time to not focus your wonderful energy on it. Focus on the stuff I know you can do, read another chapter of that book you treated yourself to, challenge yourself to drink at least 5 glasses of water today, plan more blog posts in your head, send messages and emails to people you want to talk to but leave the ball in their court and give them their space and time to get back to you. Focus on yourself, focus on healing yourself.