I was surprised to see yesterday that I was on the cusp of posting my 40,000th tweet. That is not really an achievement as such: all it really means is that I post a lot. What it did get me thinking about though is role that social media, principally twitter, has had on my journey dealing with mental illness.
Fundamentally I am an introverted person and that fact, coupled with suffering from depression and anxiety, has lead me to, often, keep what was / is going on with my health to my self rather than opening up about it.
Social media has helped me open up about my struggles: it is that simple. Twitter is a medium, I have found, that allows one, on the one hand, to engage with people I would never have had had the opportunity to talk to who are also going through the same things as me and, on the other hand, avoids the stress that I, as an introvert, go through when meeting and talking to new people whilst still allowing me to talk.
I am forever grateful for having the ability to interact on social media and talk about my health issues on that medium. I can also not express how thankful I am for the small core of followers on social media who I have who are regular supporters and enter into conversations about all matter of things: this small crew (you know who you are) have played a role that they will probably never know about in my treatment and in my happiness.
Social media, it must be conceded, is not for everyone. but it has worked for me. There are days when the best therapy for me is a vent on twitter and a chat with follower. It goes without saying, of course, that mechanisms for dealing with mental health are all about personal choice: twitter just happens to be one of mine.
Next up will be 50,000 tweets: I am looking forward to seeing what happens next and interacting more.