Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ten Weeks

Two months ago, I was gutted (as the British would say) by a family matter. It's hard to convey how bad it was without getting specific, and as it's not all about me, I won't go into details.

D'arry's Verandah Restaurant

The point is, my world deflated like a badly-prepared souffle. This made social media, which is like a well-prepared souffle, hard for me to do.

Ten weeks later I engaged in a Twitter conversation. It was lovely; a delectable trifle that cheered me up no end.

Ten weeks.

Don't get me wrong. This wasn't the death of a family member, or the loss of a home, or any of the myriad really horrible things that can happen to a person. This was just my personal bridge too far.

The thing is, some people took it hard when I stopped being friendly on Twitter. I don't blame them. I just didn't know what to say. And, ironically, the dearer the online friend, the less I knew how to deal with a profound sadness when "talking" online.

That's the trouble with a menu of carbonation and air pudding: it can't support the heavy stuff. It wasn't that my online friends wouldn't have understood what I was going through. It was that I had no idea what to tell anyone. It's not that my online friends--you!--aren't "real" or don't care. You are real and you do care. I get that.

Sorry for the cliché but it's true: it's not you, it's me. I didn't know how to explain and I couldn't compartmentalize so that I was frothy online and devastated at home. I don't judge people who can do that; I imagine it can be a great comfort. I'm not very good at asking for comfort, and I'm probably pretty prickly when it's offered.

That's what makes online relationships tricky: they're based on our "best" selves. But it's not our "best" selves that take the hits and go into little emotional caves. Those are our "real" selves.

Thanks for understanding that my online self disappeared for a while and it wasn't personal. It was just real life.

Incidentally, that delicious looking dessert up there is a Passionfruit Soufflé from a restaurant in Australia. At least, I think it's Australia. Here's their website.


  1. Hi Magdalen--
    Welcome back!! ((((hugs))))

    Passionfruit--yum!yum! loved it in Hawaii and loved it in Australia. That souffle looks heavenly.

    d'Arenberg---Oh my yes--definitely Australian!
    McLaren Vale is south of Adelaide, South Australia and a fantastic wine region. Sigh!(happily remembering touring the wineries of McLaren Vale way back when...)

    1. Thanks, Betty Barbara -- Boy, the only thing keeping me from booking a flight Down Under to go get some of that is that it looks like a summer dessert, and it's nominally winter there now...

  2. I think you summed up online quite well: it is our best faces. And the ones we allow to see all the faces we wear, well, those are the truest friends we have.

    Twitter, Facebook and all that are just not good places to be when you're not feeling fluffy.

    Hope things have resolved for you.

    1. Thanks. Yes, it would appear that my "bridge too far" has actually come to an end. What a relief--even if it's not the end I wanted, any end is a welcome sight.

      Sadly, part of my distress was discovering I couldn't manage online relationships at the same time I was having problems with real life relationships. Definitely not my finest hour.

  3. I tend to disappear from online when I'm stressed out or depressed, too. One doesn't want to air one's grievances for all the world to see, especially about things that actually matter.

    1. Exactly -- I would start a tweet and realize, "I can't write that."

      Okay, not going back there. It's sunny and warmer now, and flowers are blooming, and some nice people just cleaned my house for me (in exchange for money but still). I have a lot to be happy about.



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