In response to The Daily Post’s It’s a Text, Text, Text, Text World
My depression and anxiety mean that I don’t spend a lot of time communicating in the real world as opposed to online – except with my family and the the professionals involved in looking after me. In the last few months, I’ve probably exchanged more words with my therapist and my GP than with any other person outside of my family.
Part of my problems is that I am socially a very, very anxious person. I will positively avoid situations where I know Im going to have to spend time talking to other people. Perversely this is worse with people I know well and who I think will ask how I am and want to talk about me than it is with complete strangers. There’s probably some deep psychological reason for that, but it’s way, way beyond the scope of this post I think!
Interestingly though, in the semi-anonymous world of the internet (I don’t labour under any illusions that it’s really anonymous – there’s even a photo on my twitter profile @stopinions) I feel so much more open and able to express myself. I think that the fact that I have a lot longer to sit and compose what I want to say, and that I can go back and edit it a million times if I want to before I post it, makes a big difference. As does the fact that in most cases the people reading what I have to say will be total strangers.
Communicating emotion and intent in the written form is always a challenge. My own belief is that being as open and honest as I can (within some necessary limits that I’m sure Ill explain one day) is the main thing on this blog. As I said in my opening article, I really want this blog to be a place to express myself and put across how and what I’m feeling – and I can’t do that if I’m not honest. Whether or not anyone bothers to read what I write actually isn’t that important to me. What matters is having a space where I can be myself – something that in the real world I’ve never been able to do.