Counting Days

2009 April 18

Another guest post – this time by Jessica Doyle.

There is an immediate gratification when using social media. Simply by typing a word, phrase or sentence and hitting publish or enter one can release a thought, idea, response or inquiry into the unknown. One can release: that is the beauty of it. You can release that pent up anger, happiness, love ad nauseum. This unknown can even respond, add to or reject what you say within mere seconds or, years down the road as it’s all cached, recorded, re-hashed and echoed into the tubes. What a wondrous extension of the human psyche we are privy to these days.

I only imagined this possible in 1998 after going into remission from Chron’s disease and leaving my ex-husband shortly after in 2000 and living on my own for the first time. That option didn’t exist in 2000 for me as a print graphic designer. Social Media was a dream and blogging was in its infancy, privy only to those who knew HTML.

You begin to build a thick skin that perhaps didn’t exist offline; a protective barrier from those who are out to maim, spam or say unjust and untrue things about you. I find I carry that thick skin into real life now but prefer the comfort of home to holding a real job. The real job made me sick; made me thirst for drugs.

Eventually, that pent up emotion will focus into your own self-guided online universe and it will evolve into whatever you want it to be.

01-fallAnd yes this job of blogging, twittering, facebooking, selling on Etsy, posting to flickr and sharing my thoughts and ideas on umpteen sites is demanding, and at times I do wonder why, I continue …  simply put: I love it. It’s easy for me to do. I experience an issue, I write, research and google until I find the answer. If no answer can be found I move onto the next task and usually a few days, weeks or months later the issue presents itself again and the answer is clear. Problem solved.

This isn’t to say that working online doesn’t get frustrating. It does especially when you are learning something new. As you learn though, each new task will become less tedious and daunting to implement or forget, if in the end it doesn’t fit into what you do.

My coworkers are people I’ve never met in real life. We don’t even share the same boss, office, city or timezone for that matter but we do all work towards a better life of freedom far away from the bureaucracy of offices, collapsing economies and institutions.

01-winterThe stigma only exists if you don’t talk about it

I think the hardest thing to deal with is rejection online and it was the hardest to deal with offline to. It’s almost as difficult to deal with as elation or appreciation. The feelings are very intense with both and come on so strong at times that it’s all I can do to bear it. I take no prescription drugs having weaned myself off of the Paxil and Valium under the guidance of professionals. There is nothing to mask the emotion I feel at times and at times it does get overwhelming.

And creating daily whether it be drawing, painting, cooking, gardening, writing and even cleaning at times frees my mind of it’s past constraints and learned patterns opening up new frontiers to explore and draw inspiration from.

Limiting one’s time in forums and other social areas of the web is a good idea, too, as they will suck your time and creativity dry if you let them. I learned that the hard way. Haha! If you don’t like crowds in real life chances are you will not like them online. One on one is great. Think of it this way: you sit, write and read alone while someone else sits, types and reads alone from their screen. And escape is just a click away 😉

A quiet life does suit me best.

This isn’t to say that the odd bit of excitement or routine isn’t welcome or wanted but it does mangle my mind into rhythms less understood and more infrequently visited when life turns hectic. I made it to the top of my trade in real life and during that climb up I lost it both mentally and spiritually.

I do pay my due tax. I keep records of ingoing and outgoing business monies. I take breaks when needed. I socialize. I laugh. I live and eat healthy.

01-fallLife after Abuse

I do consume alcohol in moderation and choose to stay clear of all hard drugs. GHB (a sedative) was my nemesis, the epitome of all happiness and a cure for my *ADD, **GAD ***PTSD, trichotilomania and tendencies towards OCD. For a short period of time it was my best friend, lover, the companion who traveled everywhere safely tucked inside my purse or handbag and sipped on hourly 24/7 and nearly cost me my life on more than one occasion.

I am 1,318 days sober as of writing this. I am no longer a functioning addict but a functioning adult.

Jessica Doyle

*ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder
**GAD – Generalized anxiety Disorder
***PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

2 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 April 20

    One of the hardest things to talk about publicly is the survival of child abuse. Until the abuser is dead and gone, the survivor may not feel “safe.” And even in death, the pain caused by the abuser will continue to do damage, I fear.

    It is a worthy discussion. And sadly, one I fear must be done in anonymity for now. And perhaps, forever.

    ~A’s last blog post..Brave

  2. 2009 April 20

    Great to see you still thriving online.

    Sand’s last blog post..Creative Minds

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