• Better

    by  • 19 February 2012 • Articles

    A week or so ago, I needed to say that I wasn’t OK. Thanks to everyone who offered support and kind words, and especially my cousin Jono who drank beer and talked about Star Wars and other things that don’t matter at all. That all helped.

    So did saying I wasn’t OK. I still think that needs to be acceptable. People need to know it’s OK to feel bad and need help or a hug or whatever.

    I was reading about the online disinhibition effect (the polite name for the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory) and two things struck me.

    • “Solipsistic introjection” may win the title for scientific-term-furthest-from-lay-term, which would be “It’s all in my head.”
    • Many of the same things that enable GIFT behavior (in particular solipsistic introjection and asynchronicity) give writing on a blog a great opportunity for emotional catharsis.

    If I write in a diary or journal, I know exactly who my audience is: no one, ever. Text goes in and even I don’t read it again.

    But if I write on this blog, the audience is entirely unknown. It might be just me, or a hundred people, or whatever, in my head, I really need it to be. Since it’s asynchronous, there’s no expectation of a response, anyway, so it’s easy to unconsciously make everything work out.

    And saying I wasn’t OK helped. So I hope that saying things are better will also help.

    Not fantastic, rainbow and sparkle wonderful, but better. This is a challenging quarter, but a few things on my plate have sorted themselves—I sorted some of them, and I should take credit for and pride in that—one way or another. I’m taking this upcoming week off to decompress, relax, and charge my batteries for the rest of it. This will be a “take care of myself” week.

    The past few weeks has made me realize that my anxiety is back, and has been for a while. I mentioned panic attacks: they were bad, near daily, toward the end of college. It’s not nearly that bad right now, but I’d like to change direction before it gets there. It puts an unpleasant edge, a tenseness on everything.

    I got a recommendation for a shrink, making that appointment is part of take-care-of-myself-week.

    The trajectory is good. Things are settling down and I feel way better than the other day—that was a particularly tough day and a real nadir. Not as good as I think I’d like to, though, so it’s time to be proactive about staying on a path toward better.

    Edit: Thanks for the kind comments on this post. I took them to heart, but decided to keep them private.