Social media interaction is the first thing to fall by the wayside when I’m depressed. Long story short, it’s because I hate myself so passionately that it’s almost funny.
My self-esteem tends to be pretty low on a regular basis, but when depression takes hold it gets even worse; I find myself hating everything about myself and tearing myself down in every possible way. My appearance, my personality, my ability to write – everything about me sucks. I’m the real life Britta from Community – I’m the worst.
I then develop this impulse to withdraw from the world because I feel like I have nothing of value to offer it, and that I will only embarrass myself if I try to prove that I do.
When I’m in this state of mind, interacting with anybody is hard. However, interacting with near-strangers – people who I only know via online communities like Twitter and WordPress – is even tougher. That’s because I feel like these folks don’t know me well enough to remember that I might have some mildly redeeming features that could excuse a dumb thing I say or an unfunny one-liner or a joke that falls flat. I’m scared of looking as stupid as I feel.
I joined the writing community on Twitter in August last year, and yet I’ve never really quite felt like I’m a part of it. I kind of float around the outside, like that weird new kid that tags along when nobody has actually invited them.
That’s my own fault. I don’t interact properly. I’ll like and share Tweets, but I’ll rarely reply to them because I feel like what I have to say isn’t worthy enough of someone’s time. If people respond to my own tweets, I get too scared to reply in case I say something idiotic or don’t say something interesting enough.
It’s a similar situation here on WordPress; I’ve avoided interactions because I don’t feel like I’m good enough to justify wasting the time of whoever has to read my comment. And don’t even get me started on Instagram; I’m so unfamiliar with that platform that the thought of attempting to get involved in the writing community there breaks me out in a cold sweat.
I’m only holding myself back in the process, though. I’m missing out on making connections with wonderful writers. And that makes me really sad.
I don’t think there’s a simple solution that will stop me caring about what others think of me, or stop me thinking the worst of myself. All I can do is ignore those nagging, self-deprecating thoughts, suck it up, and try to connect with others, even if I genuinely am the worst. So that’s what I’ll try to do from here on out.
And I promise I’ll get a mildly useful and insightful writing-related blog up next Sunday! May just happened to be a bit of a self-pitying month. Ugh, I really am the worst.Follow Ellie Scott on WordPress.com