I might say that I were running from some of the best things that have happened to me.
I might say I was running from my readers.
I might say that I was running from the intimacy of this place.
I might say that I’m afraid of people watching, speculating, critiquing me from up close and from afar.
I might say that I’m so afraid of making mistakes, that I don’t do anything at all.
I might say that I haven’t felt any emotions for the past two years and I kept myself that way on purpose–because the ability to numb myself was far easier than to see myself publicly fall apart.
I might say I hid.
I would definitely say I hid.
I’ve been hiding from every request, every reader, every “fan”, every person who is exactly like me–just sitting on the other end of the screen.
And for that, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I couldn’t give you more. I’m sorry I ran when it got hard. I’m sorry I didn’t have the answers you needed, or that I needed for that matter.
I can’t say definitively that I’m back, only that I think about you and about us nearly every day. I talk about you often. I bring you up in job interviews, in therapy sessions, in conversations with my mother. And I try to cry, but I couldn’t cry until today when I read about another blogger wanting privacy in her life and I realized that there are no right ways to pull back from the public once you were so intimate with them; but sometimes it’s the healthiest thing to do. Sure, I put my career at risk and I’m not sure it will ever fully recover, but I had to take a break. It wasn’t the threat of suicide that was the problem–it was the threat of living with this suffocating paranoia and anxiety.
I had to breathe again. I had to learn to trust real humans face-to-face again. I had to learn to sit on my mother’s couch and talk about something OTHER than this blog and my issues with it. I had to walk into her kitchen–hearing the sound of the pan sizzling and smelling the roasted vegetables in the oven–and sit down on the bar stool and know that I was welcome again; because whatever hit me over the past two years did so like a fast train and I haven’t been able to recover friendships and relationships that matter to me so very much.
If I were being honest, Blog, I hate you. I hate you so much. But if I were being more honest, Blog, I love you. You’ve taught me so much. You’ve forced me to grow through the pain. You’ve forced me to make mistakes in public. You’ve forced me to retreat, to be silent, to simmer. You’ve reminded me how much I love poetry and the Great Outdoors. You’ve reminded me who is important to me and how to hold them closer than I ever have before. You’ve helped me hope for love and find it. And most of all, you’ve helped me come face to face with the woman in the mirror and realize that she’s not so bad after all.