Somedays I feel like I’m turning into a little ghost

 

littleghost 7-4-13

But I’m not, I promise. I assure you, I am alive and kicking and distinctly corporeal. I’m more talking about on the internet, and I’m not just subtly transitioning into a “I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted consistently and with any kind of real content”. I get so tired reading that on other blogs, so why would I possibly do that here? No, I just feel like I’m turning into a little internet ghost. I’ve been tiptoeing around on my reader, following my usual follows, but with less comments. My tabs are full of posts that I want to go back and say something nice on, but I never seem to manage to get there. I take pictures of my life (my happy, twee and cutesy life) and never know what to say when I post them.

A few weeks ago, right before moving across the country to follow her heart, I was telling Kels about this whole inner kerfufle in my head, about now knowing what I should say, and she gave me stunningly excellent advice. “Well, just talk about that, then”

I don’t know why I share my life online anymore. I know that I’m not one of of the Top Ten Names of blogging, and that I don’t even share that much to begin with, but the why is gone. It left so silently; it took me a few beats to notice I was sitting at my computer without it sitting next to me. The more I ask myself why I’m blogging, the more I ask myself why I have any of the interactions I have online–why am I on Twitter, why am I on Facebook, why do I have a blog reader? Don’t misinterpret and hear this as why would I ever want to do this?  but rather I’m just searching for a bit of mindfulness about what I’m doing online.

Two things happened recently in real life that go hand in hand in the questioning process. One, involving the decline of a relationship that had been toxic for quite a while, isn’t appropriate to talk about online. I know this, which is why there is no mention of it beyond this sentence. One involves an incredibly painful manic episode where I ripped up all of the artwork I’ve ever made. If your eyes skimmed over that last sentence without fully taking it in, that’s okay–I get it. But just know that my lungs still clench with frustration and guilt when I type it out.

These two things have taken a lot out of me, and have quite a large portion of my brain space dedicated to them. Sorting out what I wanted to talk about online and why has been a great way of sorting out the larger question–why am I online at all. I could pare down this whole post and make it about Honest Blogging and that ever-recycled My Life Isn’t Perfect You Guys blog post that seems to be as common as a late winter cold. But I don’t want to trivialize my thought process any more than I want to make some melodramatic post about it (guess I’m failing on that front, eh?).

I’m bipolar, and that’s not a secret I’ve kept from you guys. What has turned into a secret, though, is what that life looks like. For every happy cute outfit I post on the blog, there are five meltdowns involving tears when my anxiety about my wardrobe consumes me. I spend a lot of my time curled up and hating myself, and that doesn’t seem to have any place online. That’s personal, right? It’s personal and I’m under no obligation to share it. I get that.

But then I ask myself, why share at all? I like sharing the happy with you guys, but when bad stuff happens I do feel a bit choked about what I can write. I don’t talk about the struggles with anyone but my partner and my immediate family, so why share it online?

I don’t have an answer to that. I have the beginnings of an answer, one that starts with ‘so others who go through it feel less alone…’, but that feels like too much of a cookie cutter answer to be accurate. So that’s where I’m at.

Oh, and the art thing? That huge, painful tragedy? David spent the weekend before his birthday visiting his family, and with the help of his mom and his best friend, they put all the pieces back together. A happy ending fit for the blog.

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5 thoughts on “Somedays I feel like I’m turning into a little ghost

  1. I don’t think your “why” is cookie cutter. Or, I should say, that doesn’t take away from it one bit.

    When I did my body image interviews, people I kept telling me they were participating because they thought everyone deserves to feel beautiful, or because they hoped to set a better example of what beauty means. Then they’d retract their statements with a quick, “Wait – I guess that’s too cliche.”

    I think cliches often persist because they are TRUE, and even kind of powerful. I’m glad you have a loving partner and family and friends and a collection of reclaimed artwork, and I hope you keep learning more about the “why.” But please don’t force yourself to find some complex, totally original motivation if the truth happens to be simple.

    • Thanks for your encouragement–I think a few of my readers tended to be a little put off whenever I talk about mental illness, so your comment is reassuring. I think you make a really good point about not dismissing cliches, because you’re right–they exist for a reason. I think the reason I stumbled over just saying well it’s helpful to others is because it didn’t feel accurate. It might be helpful to others to hear more insight into my journey, sure, but that didn’t feel like why I was sharing it. I think if I’m just sharing this for some external validation, that’s a good sign that I need to take a step back and look at what I’m lacking in the real world that I need it online, you know? I don’t think that’s the case, but it seems like there’s a bit more than just to help others. And I’m definitely the kind of person who wants to know what that just a bit more is! 🙂

  2. Reading your above response to Jennie, I was like ‘Marci!! It’s not just about validation.’ I know that’s not your scene. I think—and do correct me if I’m way off base making assumptions about who you are when I only know you as the person you present here—you write about your mental illness because it’s cathartic. You are a writer. There is no denying that fact. You have a knack for words and ideas and you articulate them best when you put them down. So, when you’re dealing with why you blog, you write about it. Or, when you’re dealing with your illness, you write about it. Because putting those thoughts down on paper or onto the computer screen clarifies them. It’s a way of getting down to what you’re really feeling or thinking. You might not be there yet, but while writing the above post, I bet you got a little closer. And, I honestly appreciate you so much for putting your words out there and for not seeking validation, but for seeking your own honest thoughts.

    I’m so sorry to hear about your art work. But I am so grateful you have someone like David who understands the value of it and is willing to take the time to piece it all back together.

    • Thanks for the back up, Nicole 🙂 You’re pretty spot on with your observations so I’m always really glad when you comment. It took me a while to get what the difference between blogging and journaling is to me. An audience, clearly, but I think the process of explaining it to others is a lot more beneficial to understanding something than just talking to yourself about it. There’s some famous quote out there, probably by Abe Lincoln after he talked about the internet, that said you can’t know something properly until you can explain it. And for what it’s worth, I did feel a lot better about blogging after sharing that post, and I have two weeks worth of fun post ideas now. Woot no more brain block!

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