I mean, sure, I'd had moments before where I'd knelt on a dorm bathroom, retching after downing a bottle of Excedrin, but who hasn't had at least one misguided suicide attempt? (I say, hoping that everyone looks at me like it's totally wacko, but knowing that it's normal and so many people I love have tried and thankfully, failed.)
I've gone through bouts with cutting. I've binged and purged and starved. Self loathing was something that felt normal to me. The internal hatred had integrated itself and I found that I could drown it out by hugging my kids and blasting Yo Gabba Gabba.
But the kids are getting bigger, the hugs stopped making it better and the nagging self doubt got the better of me.
I started putting the energy out that I didn't want to be spoken to in public, and as self fulfilling prophecies go, it was wildly successful. I got side eyes because I invite the side eyes. I convinced myself that I was not worthy of the time of the normal, happy people who buzzed around me. My internal monologue had started streaming quotes from Fight Club.
You are not special. You're not a beautiful and
unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything
else. We're all part of the same compost heap. We're all singing, all
dancing crap of the world.
And so I shunned the outside world. I became Agoraphobic. I only left the house to bring the kids to and from school. I started posting in an internet group and I got obsessive. At first, I was just kind of reading once in a while, but I quickly became a regular poster and contributor. I saw myself as important. I was liked there and I could control how I was seen if I tried hard enough. I stopped turning to the real world to solve my problems and instead began to rely solely on external validation for my motivation. And as such, I began to plan my days around my internet activities as not to get depressed. My entire self image lived or died by the speed of my wifi connection and whether or not a joke I made would get a certain amount of likes.
And likes I got. I became popular. I felt needed and wanted. I finally felt like I liked who I was, and I was terrified of losing it all.
I became obsessive. I dreamed about my online friends finding out things about me and not liking me anymore. I felt my stomach drop when drama would happen in the group and I felt that it was my responsibility to manage it. I had to remain important and keep up the illusion that I was necessary, so they wouldn't learn that I was a fraud. I had to maintain people's opinions of me and control my image, so that people wouldn't learn how truly unlovable I thought I was.
For a while, I was good at balancing it. I was able to get my housework and work done from the computer and spend time with my kids. But then it began to interfere with everyday life. And the more it interfered with the stuff in my real life, the more important it felt to maintain this perfect image.
I found myself in a position to be close with the owner of the group and I became obsessive. I felt that I had so much to lose, so much of myself and my esteem on the line that I began to completely unravel. Wrapped up in a world of fantasy, I felt like I had to constantly check to make sure she and her close friends still liked me, panicking at the chance that someone might find out how deeply unlikable of a person I really am and decide that I needed to go back to a world where the most important contribution I made was roast chicken.
My kids were desperate for attention, but I became more focused on the attention that I craved and the needs that it filled for me. I was horribly selfish and I didn't care because I thought it would mean that I would finally find some real connections. Maybe some of it would be able to translate to the real world and I will have found a way to fix it all, if I could only make the right moves and figure out the right strategy...
And then I went too far. I lashed out and demanded things that weren't rational of people who had never been anything but nice to me. For them, posting in the group was a casual activity, something recreational and lighthearted and it made absolutely no sense. I was asked to defend myself and I couldn't. I absolutely couldn't because it wasn't rational. I had no defensible position.
I had to say it. "I'm just crazy."
I realized it for the first time. I have been completely insane. Like, certifiably insane. And I didn't know how I got there or why, or even really how I would have ever let it progress this far, but I have realized that I have been 100% completely out of my mind, bat shit insane.
So I'm walking away. I can't be in the group stuff anymore for the same reason that I've never done cocaine, because I'm a fucking lunatic, I have an addictive personality and I will just never, never stop. Or at the very least, I can't be in charge of things for a while. No more plans where I'm going to be crowned queen of the internetz and win all the love. I just need to walk away. Sorry internet, we'll always have Netflix.
Or, as Tyler Durden would say,
"It's only after we've lost everything, that we're free to do anything."
Now, I'm gonna step slowly away from this computer, clean my house and
go spend time with my kids. I'll be on social media once in a while and I
will probably post my thoughts on this blog from time to time, but I'm
no longer relying on it to fulfill me. I have found some honest to God,
amazing friends and I'm working on me. But right now, I'm still reeling
from the bat shit.
Anyone who's still hanging in there...