“I know who I am because I wrote it here. The strangest thing.”
~ Eden Riley
There are things I’d never tell some of the people I know, yet I am comfortable with telling the world. It’s like words are swirling though my body, yearning to get out. Maybe that is why I itch so much – the words are nagging at me to be released. There are things that I want to write but I don’t. These are things I can’t bring myself to tell people – because writing about them makes them more real. And it’s on paper – or in this case, on the internet – forever, shaping me differently.
When I started this blog, I never thought I’d get too personal. I never thought I’d left real life collide with my blog. But my blog became real life. Because, I think it’s impossible to believe, now the internet is so prevalent in our lives, that what happens online isn’t real life. Especially if you write about your life.
I never thought I’d write about so many disability issues or share photos of my friends or write so openly about my skin. When I told my doctor I put a photo of my infected face on my blog, he was horrified, believing it would draw attention from nasty people. I was never going to write about loving someone so much, or about sex. I was never going to write about my flaws or insecurities. I guess I was pretty naive to think that my real life wouldn’t collide with my blog. But all those things I thought best to hide – they’re me. And my blog is me. And it’s helped shape me and find my truths.
I think things seem gentler when they are written rather than spoken. It softens the blow writing them, and then sometimes, for the reader, they are raw and callous, a knife through the heard and a throat hard to swallow.
In my iPhone notes function I have 287 notes. Some are to do lists, others are song titles or setlists I noted down at concerts. There are many whole unedited blog entries among these notes. Lots of unsent letters and text drafts. And so many things that I have written that I can’t say. It’s strange what we keep to ourselves. Will the world be a worse place if they knew?
Last July I went to Nuffnang’s Blogopolis conference. I was expecting it to be a really wonderful day. I was excited about seeing all the great friends I’d made, and new ones to be made. Eager to learn. I’d bought a new notebook and pen, and my phone was charged up. But in reality, I wanted to be anywhere but there. I look at my photos of the conference and party that followed, and they remind me that I never did write about what I’d learned there or who I’d met. I can’t remember. (There were so many things I was supposed to write then, sponsored stuff. My health and my emotions were unwell. And I apologise for not committing.)
The night before Blogiopolis, I had dinner with Bern and went to the pre-conference party. I was really sore and I do remember that people were hugging me and brushing past my legs due to the cramped bar. My legs were in so much pain – it really did hurt to be touched that night.
When I got home, about 10 pm, I logged onto Facebook before bed and saw that after a month of very troubled times, he was so very desperate and was on his way out to go for a long drive. It’s not like he has anywhere to be, he wrote, and he was leaving his dog at home. I panicked. He’d done it before – I’d seen the scars. I sent a text. No reply – it was the first time in a month that I hadn’t heard from him – we’d been communicating too frequently (to my eventual dependence and detriment). The next morning I woke up early as my friends were coming by in a taxi to pick me up. Still no reply. I texted again, pretended to be calm. I hope you are ok.
This whole experience, up to that day and beyond, really taught me about how much I should reveal. While friends were just looking out, their judgment (of him) was difficult. “Don’t worry about him, he’s not your problem”. “You’ll only end up hurt”. “You don’t need someone like him in your life”. All difficult to take. I didn’t write about here, even though he gave me permission to as a way of coping. I couldn’t find the words for a long time, and when I finally did, I’d text them into my phone and leave them there to scroll through. So I went the whole day of Blogopolis with only telling one person I was so worried for his safety. I pretended to check my phone for tweets, but I was really checking to see whether he was still alive.
He told me he was ok almost 24 hours after I saw that Facebook status. I didn’t know what to say. I know I had a lot to drink at the afterparty, and I was very sad. I look back on that time, and realise what a toll it took on me. I felt a mess – emotionally and physically. I was in hospital a week later. It was hard knowing that a person I love so much was so desperate to end his life because the pain of recovery was too much. It was hard not writing about it too.
Two things were said (written) recently to make me think about that time again. In all honesty, I’m doing much better than I was. Happier, less thoughts devoted, not as resentful. But no less hurt. It almost made me not want to write, so I don’t over think the situation (or lack of).
One thing he wrote made me want to ask “Are you ok?”, again. Because I don’t think things are. But it’s not my place now, and so I don’t. It doesn’t mean I don’t worry though. I don’t think I have the strength to ask “are you ok?” and hear the answer. I can’t take it on again. As Kings of Leon sing, call me now, baby, I’d come running.
The other thing he wrote, and perhaps during a time of desperation, was referring to love and me in the same sentence. I can’t deal with that. Because actions don’t match with words. And I feel like Somebody I used to know personified – addicted to a certain kind of sadness, shut off, cut out, glad that it is over, treated like a stranger (and that feels so rough), reading into every word you say and hung up on somebody that I used to know. (Tell me – is that song the most Facebook statused, relatable song ever?) So I didn’t know what to say, so I said nothing. Not even thanks. I can’t be that person again. That person who is leaned on and confided in with no consideration of consequence. That person who is strung along with words of affection and feels important by being needed. That person who waits and worries for what’s (not) coming next.
When I read that line (above) in Eden’s blog, it resonated with me. I know who I am because I wrote it here. It’s clarified my thoughts and enabled emotional growth. I am not sure if I’d be who I am today if it wasn’t for my blog. Sometimes writing hurts. Speaking truths, realising things and having opinions thrown back at you. I’ve written blog entries that have made me feel I’ve run an emotional marathon, leaving me crying and worn out. But if I kept all those words inside, where would they go?
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