I made a really personal post the other day.
One part of me is embarassed about it.
It generated so much care towards me. A lot more than I imagined it would.
I really appreciated this unexpected stream of good will. But I thought the hard part was pressing post.
It turns out, the hard part has been the feelings on the other side, being so exposed, so potentially misunderstood, so seen!
This part of me wants to yell, “Wait! I’m not, like, depressed all the time! But I was the other night!”
Wants to say, “Hang on! Aren’t you just projecting your own ideas about depression on to me? The internet doesn’t work for present moment relating! You’re only talking to yourself! The moment’s gone!”
Wants to caution, “Look again! I’ve commented and posted since the original post and I’m not depressed anymore! A post is not a state, it’s a moment in time! Pleeeeease don’t hold me to what I wrote!”
How could I be authentic with the world – using a medium so powerful and simultaneously so disconnected from breathing reality – without invalidating the beautiful meaning people generated, for themselves and for me, no matter what that meaning said about me? How could I honor self while honoring other, in a representational reality?
And all of this while really – really – taking in the actual, genuine love people are sending my way. The coffee, calls and walks I’ve enjoyed in the past few days with friends new and old, near and far, have fed an aquifer in my heart I barely sensed was thirsty. So. Good.
That part of me – the part of me that hates to be misunderstood and mis-seen – wishes I had never pressed post. And yet, all the churn and burn I’ve had to compost in the last 2 days is :exactly: the reason why I committed to posting every day.
Among a few other reasons, I committed to posting every day in order to get OVER my nerve-like inner desperation to seek validation. To get beyond the rut (goes like this): I post something, count the likes, zero likes! shit!, shame spiral, go offline for a week, re-emerge, re-post, get some likes, yes! validation! be re-invigorated by the approval and possibility of the platform, start over!
I mean, real talk, my online emotional life was so tied to what I wrote and how it was received. It was a really unhealthy relationship with the medium, with devices in general.
So, I made some rules. I posted about them, but here’s one rule I didn’t share:
Every day I write a post. Then, I wait 24 hours. My ticket to get back on and see how many likes or comments I got or didn’t get (whether it’s 0 or 120) is a brand new post. In the chute. Ready to ctrl-v. So once I get online, I have to post THAT before I look at anything from yesterday. No exceptions. (Ok I’ve broken down a few times. Work in progress).
I’m not going to psycho-analyze what my post touched in people. Was it the universality of it, the rawness, the mere mention of the world depression? I don’t know. When I wrote it I was so opted out, I didn’t care if no one liked it. In fact I expected no one would. I was fine with that.
Back at it. Posting every day. 24 hours til the drop. Keeping it going.
Going for the wave, not the particle.
Work in progress.