It’s okay to think it, this second post is not quite as good. There’s a lot going against it – no element of surprise for one – and I’m feeling pretty bloody self-conscious; but am trying to get over this. Fear has crippled me and held me back for years, but even I say developing a phobia of the entire internet might just be a step too far.
I’ve been a bit naive about this I suppose. You’ve all called me some wonderful things, and I’ve been attributed more positive characteristics than could possibly fit in one normal sized human, but you did miss out one thing, and that is that I am, as my friend Steph puts it, A BIT OF A DIV. My goal was to write something for me, something that felt and sounded like me when I spend the majority of my days hiding my life experience along with my eyebags. Put it this way, I spend a lot of time standing a foot away from a conversation about that Bieber lad with an, “Eh?” expression on my face.
If 300 people could read my blog, I decided, then that represented my entire year at medical school. Some people there make pretty derogatory or just unhelpfully generalised comments about depression, about other things perceived as non-medical. I don’t want to run them down for this, or hold them to a higher standard than anyone else – their views reflect those in the wider population, and, they’re bloody 19 for Christ’s sake, it’s perfectly reasonable to think their lives just haven’t been affected by any of these experiences. I thought if these people could read a story from one of their own (albeit the grungy old one in the corner) it might help to demystify the whole thing a bit, show the shades of grey between ‘I’m doing fine, thanks’ and ‘I’m completely, searingly, ragingly mental today’.
Well, we’ve covered those 300 I think. The initial response was brilliant, my favourite thing ever, people who I love and respect, not all of whom I’ve actually met, liking what I’d written and being glad that I had. So far, so empowering. The next massive, engulfing, oh-my-god-that’s-thingy-off-the-telly-talking-about-my-rape bit is, well it’s a bit weird really, let’s face it, and not something that sat entirely well with my planned evening of watching Dexter, lounging in my pants. I panicked a bit, smoked a bit, threw up a bit and did a lot of lying on the floor, staring up at the ceiling. At least my coping skills have progressed though, eh?
Listen to me. Who do I think I am? I sound like Jordan moaning about press intrusion – that’s the div bit I mentioned earlier. Of course I’m grateful, I’m delighted when I can get my head round it but am just generally overwhelmed, last night felt a bit like being licked to death by the most well-intentioned, bounciest puppy imaginable. I’m so glad you read my story. I’m also very happy that you’re following me on Twitter, but I do hope it’s okay that on Twitter, I mention rape, ooh, almost never. I don’t talk about depression a lot either – not only because most of the time I’m feeling really rather splendid; but because Twitter is my fun place, in lieu of actually having all the lovely folk in one pub. I like it for piss-takes, rubbish puns, my mates being all clever and funny with words. This, right here, is where I would prefer the serious stuff to take place.
Which brings me to this – the comments. DID YOU SEE THE COMMENTS? If you haven’t, just look. LOOK AT THEM. This is the best thing, the thing that makes me tremble and do my nervous dance and cry onto my keyboard. Thank you for commenting, thank you for trusting this place to be safe and receptive to your story, thank you for reading something that could have triggered all sorts of terrible things for you and not resenting me for it, thank you for contributing to the growing feeling I have that this is okay to talk about. I hope more people can talk about it on here, if they want to, I hope we carry on being good for each other.
So we had the big ‘reveal’ post, this is the ‘reaction’ post, I hope there will be more. In the meantime, I need to go away and revise for my exams – I’m not sure ‘going a bit mad on the internet’ will be accepted as a mitigating circumstance should I fail them. Please do keep talking to me though, you wonderful, wonderful people – you’ve changed my life.