Still in recovery

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I knew I was in trouble sometime in July. I just didn’t admit it.

I was with friends, one of whom let slip they had discovered that you could mute people on Twitter. This was something of a revelation to me, only clouded by the fact I had not realised it sooner. Blocking I knew about. But muting felt like the best of both worlds. I spent the next day and a half muting what felt like all of humanity. Satisfied, I put down my phone and thought: now what?

Within a week I found myself checking the timelines of those very same people, just so I could be sure I had not missed out on a vital link to something that I could press into use at the dinner table or, I persuaded myself, for work.

A week or two later I went away to a place where there was only patchy wifi. I watched myself speeding up as I approached the places where I knew I could find a signal. And watched myself again, shaking my head, as the signal came and went on the countryside breeze, leaving me bereft of news of what X had said about Y, and what Z had quipped about it.

Between these sessions of not-quite tweeting and connection to the outer, so-called ‘real’ world, I was having a ball. I sat with friends round tables. I read. I listened to the cricket, not as motivation to complete some tiresome chores, but on its own, with nothing else attached to it.

Sometimes I just sat.

A week or so after that I stayed with family. As I entered their house I heard myself asking where I could find their wifi code. Still it didn’t dawn on me that I was in trouble.

Driving home I checked my emails in the motorway service station. On one of our stops this occurred before I had even left the car.

Even now, six days after leaving, my brain is still coming down from its overload of cortisol. For years I had persuaded myself that I was feasting on joy-filled drops of serotonin, but in fact all I tasted was anxiety. I honestly do not know how long I will (or can) keep this fast for. What I do know is I will be in recovery for some time yet.

10 comments

  1. Meg Cox

    Oh dear Anthony! My drug of choice is Facebook but tomorrow (tomorrow!) I’m having a lesson in Twitter tomorrow. I shall ask about ‘muting’, sounds as though I might need it before I even start.

    Like

  2. Joanna Paterson (@joannapaterson)

    You are very honest. (As ever.)

    I am so glad you are still blogging, and appreciate what you are sharing here. I’m afraid I recognise a lot of the symptoms myself, and you are most definitely inspiring and encouraging me to stop checking and looking (for what?)

    Can’t help worrying what we’re all doing to our brains (and hearts) but I guess, hope, we’ll collectively learn, eventually, how to get these things into perspective in a way that is health and life giving rather than draining.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anthony Wilson

      Dear Joanna
      Thanks so much for your lovely comment.
      I do miss it and I don’t.
      I have a real case of FOMO -fear of missing out- each morning. But it soon wears off.
      I just heard the breeze in a birch tree. Amazing sound it made.
      And I know I am already reading more.
      I’m keeping with it.
      As ever with good wishes and thanks
      Anthony

      Like

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