It’s difficult to know what to do with the friends I have. Only a couple are close enough to realistically see them on a semi-regular basis and so most communication is via Facebook or Viber or email… I’ve only told a few about my mental health and I still don’t know if that was the right thing to do because I have a feeling (and that’s all it can be when you don’t see people and have to read all the subtleties of human communication in a few lines of typed text and the occasional emoticon) that they are bored now. Communication has lessened over the months with almost everyone. Gaps between these electronic conversations grow. Gaps between me typing hey, how are things? and the reply grow ever longer. Excuses to stop the conversation are frequent.
Got to go, someone’s coming for dinner
Can’t talk now – I’m going out
Sorry, friend’s coming round. Speak soon
I’m exhausted, going to get an early night…
Someone’s calling so I’ll have to let you go
Hey, all good here. You? Anyway, can’t chat. Hope all well. Got to go xxx
Do the number of kisses show the amount of guilt or the relief at getting away? How many of the excuses are half-real and how many are total lies?
Not that it matters…
And social media and social apps are the enemy here. Because the paranoia grows every time I log on or open one up. I can see people online, not talking to me, I can see people online who quickly disappear when I log on and I veer between thinking they must be hiding from me, avoiding the awfulness of getting stuck in a conversation with me, to thinking I must be the most self-centred person in the world to assume that anyone’s actions could be influenced by me. When someone texts me, desperate as I am for contact, the longest I can wait before I reply is a couple of minutes. Maybe this obvious desperation is another turn off. I wonder how many of my friends’ hearts drop when they see a message from me.
So sometimes I make an effort not to go online. Not to check Facebook, to avoid emails, not to check Viber, Whatsapp, texts. I’ve managed this for up to 8 days. I don’t know if it makes any difference, whether I feel any better or not. When I go back to these digital conversations, no one has ever contacted me. There are no messages waiting for a reply.
I suppose this tells me all I need to know.