When I go online, I can get inspired, something will make me laugh, I might cry happy or sad tears, or I can get frustrated and stressed. From comical puns to shithole Trump, I am all over the map with my feelings. But over the last couple weeks I have felt physically nauseated. By that I mean my eyes go all crazy I can’t stand to look at the screen, and I get a feeling I might vomit. I have to shut things down and lay down for a while, the longer the better.
The first thing I do each morning is, get out of bed and turn on my computer, after I have checked things from my phone first. That can take ten minutes to a half hour once I get scrolling. I know I have to get up and do the washroom things but I just can’t put down the phone. Sometimes I take it with me and do what I can while I’m doing the things I must. TMI (too much information) but honestly, maybe some of you do the same thing.
Back in 2009 I decided to be active in the HIV community by using social media and sharing my story by blogging. I notified all my followers what I intended to do and gave them the option to follow along or leave. I got lucky and most stayed. Not all of them share what I post but I hope they read some of it. The best part of my work is networking with other activists and organizations from around the world. I can post something on Twitter and within minutes it's being shared in Japan, Australia or the United Kingdom.
The purpose for blogging was to tell my story and put a face to living with HIV and help stop the stigma. I hoped to connect with at least one person to validate something they might be able to relate to. It was amazing to read some of the feedback to my blogs or other stories I was sharing. I enjoy the anonymity of working exclusively online, I often joke that I might be the most well-known ‘unknown’ worker in the community. Sure I have my photo in my profile and sometimes people will recognize me but I’m not good with the “live” presence in the community. I’m learning but I’m not always comfortable taking a starring roll.
I try to keep blogging but many of my writing attempts slowly meld into something I’ve already written before. The only direction to go from there is to write about what is happening now. Having worked as a PSW (Personal Support Worker) where I was trained to observe and report, I am my only client right now. My doctor likes it though, I’m not always right but I’ve been able to convince her to make changes in medications, ones that are working better for me. My last three visits I’ve had to tell her, “I didn’t want to come because I have to tell you about this...”!
And now I have this! But I am the only one to take care of it, there are no medications and there isn’t an app. I’m aware how I got here so its going to take switching gears into reverse. Not only am I feeling nauseated, I have become lazy, isolated and fat.
A few years ago I spent much of my day, (maybe five to seven hours) outside with my camera, up and down the many trails around my town. My time online amounted to a few hours in the morning and after dinner till midnight. Some of my blogs would be about the photos and how some days turned into a social event, talking with total strangers and other photographers. I look at photos of myself during that time and I was many pounds lighter.
Where do I start? I need to develop a routine, set my alarm clock, get up early and go to bed earlier. I can do all the social media stuff in the morning, get out of the house like I used to. The only obstacle I see right now though is, I can’t Google for willpower or download it. I now have a reason and I do want to be around a lot longer, so I should get busy.
I have hope, mostly for myself, that I can say some of my future blogs will be the rewards of photo excursions or my creations in digital artistry.