I’ve been writing this post for a few days now. I can’t get it to say exactly what I mean, but hopefully it goes some way to explaining why I’m taking a break for a little while…
At the moment, my relationship with Twitter feels like I’m with someone who is really bad for me. I know I shouldn’t be with him, so I keep leaving, only to be seduced back thinking ‘it’ll be different this time’. It never is. I come back, feel crap, leave. Come back again, feel even worse, leave. I can’t do that to myself anymore.
I actually think Twitter is ace. I have seen how much it has helped people, how it has brought people together, and how if someone is at rock bottom, Twitter will gather its forces and help that person out as much as they possibly can. I know this. Yet, I can’t put myself through it anymore.
For the past few months I’ve relied on Twitter as an outlet for my rants and depressive thoughts. It feels more anonymous than doing it on Facebook, and certainly is easier than always ranting on to a friend or family member. The problem is, that’s all I’ve been using it for, really. And I’m fed up of reading tweets back and not recognising the tortured, angsty, attention-seeking, needy person that comes back. Or, rather, recognising her all too well and wanting to delete her.
I’ve always been an outsider. I’ve never felt like I ‘fit in’ anywhere. At school I was never cool enough to hang out with the cool people, never weird enough to hang out with the weird people, never geeky enough to hang out with the geeks… I moved from friendship group to friendship group, desperately trying to find somewhere that I felt like myself. Now, that’s not to say I didn’t have some good mates through high school – I did. But I never felt like I was properly part of the group. There was always something that I wasn’t quite doing enough of, or saying right, or watching, or listening to.
Even now, aged nearly 31, I struggle to feel like I fit in anywhere. I have some fucking awesome friends. People I’ve known for a long time, and people I’ve met only recently. While I’ve been going through this recent bout of depression, people have amazed me with their kindness. But… I still don’t feel like I belong anywhere. Even with my closest, oldest friends, I’m still the outsider of the group. Maybe I always will be. Hopefully one day I’ll accept that and realise it’s OK to not fit in. But until then, it means I get incredibly nervous before seeing friends if I’m seeing more than one at once. I withdraw into myself because it feels safer than outing myself as an outsider.
So, what has this got to do with Twitter? Well, I’ve always felt like an outsider on there too, obviously! When I first really, properly, got in to it, there was a clique that I was desperate to be a part of. I’d tweet people in the clique, occasionally getting replies, and one or two became friends of sorts on there. Then I went to my very first tweet up. I felt so completely invisible. The ‘clique’ couldn’t care less that I was there. I struggled to talk to people. I just got drunk and lamented the fact that I really couldn’t ‘do’ social situations like that.
When I came back from that tweet up I continued to try really hard to fit in to that clique. I don’t know why I did it to myself. But I thought that if I could prove that I belonged there, then they would all accept me with open arms and life would be great. I’m sure you can guess that this didn’t happen. I’ve stopped following the majority of people in that clique. Because I couldn’t stand it. It hurt me every time I saw a big conversation going on between them all and I knew that even if I tried to join in, I wouldn’t really be able to.
On the flip side to this, I went to my second tweet up. There I met loads of amazing people. Wonderful, funny, intelligent, caring people. And I seemed to get accepted. I thought I was accepted. And there are friends I made that day that I hope I will always be friends with. Friends who have held my hand through the last few months of hell. But…
… I still feel like an outsider. This is not the fault of anyone I met that day. I don’t want to upset or offend you because you really have all been brilliant. It’s me. I’m no good at it. I can’t be funny and clever on Twitter – it’s not in my DNA. And that means that I don’t get to talk to everyone as much as I’d like. Because often I don’t know what to say. If someone is hurting or upset then I can tweet them and let them know that I care and that I’m here if they need a chat. But aside from those situations, I stay quiet. Then I beat myself up for not chatting to my friends enough.
All of this is my very long-winded way of saying that I need to take a break. I don’t know how long for. Maybe I’ll coming running back to you all in a few days and continue to beg for your friendship like an over eager puppy… or maybe I’ll take a few months out, get myself together and come back feeling good and strong. I really don’t know. What I do know is that I can’t keep tormenting myself every time I log on. It’s exhausting.