The Other Side of Social Networking.

So day one of Blissdom was awesome. The girls were asleep when I checked in early in the evening. J knew better than I and was nice enough not to share the dirty details so I actually have no clue how bedtime went.  I’m thankful for that because it’s not like  I could control anything from 200 miles away. I stayed up past 11 and had to force myself to go to bed.  My roommates were even better than I expected.

Friday, I was riding high from the excitement of meeting my favorite All My Children actor the night before. Breakfast was amazing (thanks Seattle’s Best!), and the opening keynote was great.  I was pumped and sharing scoop with my bestie, but sad she couldn’t come.

The first session was going well and I was listening to an outstanding speaker.   If you’ve never heard Jon Acuff, I highly recommended that you do so.

Then I started to feel it.

The familiar wave.

It was coming.

Shit.

I knew it was too good to be true.  How could I expect to be magically good all weekend?

I tried to focus. Think, think.  I reached out to Heather on chat and told her it was coming.  {FYI, the great thing about being at a blog conference is you can keep your face stuck in your iPad and nobody thinks you’re a jerk.}  She knows me.  She knew what I meant.  She suggested getting up to take a minute to breathe. I thought about it, I had already figured that’s what she would say and that’s what I needed to do. I knew I should do it.

Don’t be stupid. You came here to hear these people. Just sit still and you can finish the session.

I sat there.

I tried not to cry.

What is wrong with you? You’re here at a blog conference sitting with amazing women and listening to a renowned speaker who is saying great things.

I tried not to let the speaker’s words in too deep because sometimes that leads you down roads you don’t want to follow.  When you look deep and you’re in the throes of depression, things are magnified.

I made it through. And then I ambushed Beth Anne, even though I’d only met her the night before.  I word vommed all over her.  I’m not actually even sure if you can call it that. I couldn’t vocalize what I needed, wanted, or expected.  I just knew I was tired. And frustrated. And want to be better.

She sat there. We talked. She listened. I cried.  She put up with me for 30 minutes till I realized we better hit the road before they ran out of lunches.  I’m pretty sure I owe her a copay.

My wonderful roommates walked back with me to the room.  They let me lay on the floor by myself with my headphones on.  They gave me my space.  They accepted the fact that I said I would be ok and left me alone without trying to smother me or hug me (because then I REALLY would have cried). They didn’t give me the boot for being crazy.

I knew I couldn’t make it to the next session so I sent them off and I went for a run in the lovely Gaylord fitness center. I calmed.  I leveled. I cleaned up and headed back to the conference.

I’m lucky. I have a network.

The internet is far more than funny cat pictures and posting pictures that make you feel like an inadequate chef/house keeper/decorator. ::ahem, Pinterest::  Before the internet and the connections I’ve made online, I wouldn’t know half of what I do about PPD or depression.  I’m still so grateful to Jill for her post because it was the eye opener I needed to see myself in the mirror.

I am so thankful for my bestie and for people like BA.  I literally have a social network of strangers friends in my computer who care about me. Who encourage me.  Like Kim who responded to a disgusting bruise picture of my foot on Instagram and then became my cheerlearder on text and told me what I did and didn’t want to hear.  don’t worry we were already friends, i don’t randomly correspond with people about my feet.  

And of course there’s Addye, and then there’s the other Kim, aka Mrs. Chuck Norris.  Lemme just say, the list is long.

They’ve been there. They are there. They still reach out.

I’m not a sponge, promise.  I support ALL of my friends.  I do what I can when I can.  But the thing I’ve learned is that sometimes you have to accept the fact that sometimes you’re the one who needs to be helped.  And that’s ok, you can’t take that away from someone who wants to offer it.

It’s not that my “real life” friends can’t handle the job.  It’s not that my family can’t help.  They mean well, but they don’t understand.  I’m still sometimes ashamed.  Embarrassed.

Until you’ve lived with depression, you just can’t understand what it is to fight it.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because I was inspired this weekend at Blissdom.  Because of one line where I just felt like it was spoken directly to me by Jon Acuff:

"when you refuse to hide your scars, they become a lighthouse for someone else so they don't crash into the same rocks." --Jon Acuff

“when you refuse to hide your scars, they become a lighthouse for someone else so they don’t crash into the same rocks.” –Jon Acuff

I want others to see. To understand. To know.  For themselves, for others, just to get it and be more compassionate towards others.

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9 thoughts on “The Other Side of Social Networking.

  1. The Internet is a fantastic place for different communities- for depression, infertility, or a myriad of other things. Family members often mean well, but if they do not suffer from the same problem, they often can’t help you as much as someone who knows exactly what you are going through. I’m glad that you had people that were able to help you and understand what you needed at the time.

  2. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. I feel this way so often – not particularly about depression, but about life. There are more people like me in my social network than in my regular circles. Parenting, lawyering, life, exercise/dieting, all of it. I connect better to those people out there most like me…. Thanks for sharing. Love reading your thoughts… Always ready to learn! 🙂

  3. People don’t understand at all. People hit the hills when I started telllng them that I believe that the pharmacy is trying to kill me and they set up a camera in my neighbor’s backyard in the eyes of their ugly plastic owl…I know it’s fucked up…but my friends online know exactly what I’m feeling and were able to support me.
    I’m so glad that there were people there for you who knew what was going on and comforted you. It would have been hell to do that alone.
    Wish that I was there and we’d sit in a corner hiding behind a plastic plant. xo

  4. space + tiime + running can be one of the best precriptions that there is. ((hugs)) I was so proud of you and how well you took care of yourself. You are learning what you need to do for you, and that knowledge is serious power.

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