All social media is kind of like a horse, now that I think about it.
If you fall off, you need to get back in the saddle as soon as possible. Every day you’re postponing your next try/ride/post makes it harder to get back on, and the fear of falling again will only increase.
I fell in spring, pretty much right after 28 Days of Blogging. I hit a pretty horrifying low with my mental health – no need to get into the details right now – and, to stay with the metaphor (that I’m sure I’ll break in a minute), the horse bucked. At first I managed to stay in the saddle, I kept posting, kept making videos, tried to stay on top of things. And at first it worked.
But then things started to unravel (see, metaphor gone). I lost hold of the reins, they just slipped out of my hands slowly, and there was nothing I could do about it (other than this metaphor. I’m bad at talking about this kind of serious stuff without making stupid jokes, okay?). When I fell, eventually, I had nothing to hold on to. No safety net, no soft ground to catch me. I fell in slow motion, cinematically speaking, and during the fall a mantra of sorts started playing in my head:
You need to get back on the horse. You need to get back on the horse. You need to get back on the horse.
If you don’t get back on the horse, you’ll be afraid to try again, probably forever.
I’ve been in situations like that, physically. Not on a horse, I don’t ride, I’ve been on a horse’s back once or twice (I didn’t fall, though. I’m good at holding on to bucking horses, at least the non-metaphoric kind) in my life. But I’ve been there with other injuries, stupid things like an ankle that was sprained to often so that it’s kind of loose by now and starts acting up sooner than I want it too. A knee injury that never quite healed. The ankle thing made me wary to jump heights taller than my shoulder. The knee thing made me afraid of ice-skating (ice was involved in the accident). Not getting back on the horse makes you afraid of riding. I’ve been there. I’m still there, sometimes.
So I kept telling myself to get back to blogging, to making videos, while I managed to still post my weekly vegetable pictures on instagram. But even that stopped when I hit the ground at the end of the metaphorical fall.
I have a hard time not telling myself that I need to be consistent, that I need to get back to all those things above. But in the end that wasn’t what I needed. I needed compassion from myself for myself. I needed to allow myself to take a break. I did. Fairly late, but I did.
Now you know where I’ve been during the last few months that were the darkest I’ve had in the last ten years. I’m better (promise), and I have a fantastic safety net of people around me to help me back to my feet in all the other aspects of my life that I need to get back together again. But this, social media, blogging, reading blogs, making videos, interacting with people who don’t have a key to my place – that’s something I’ve got to do on my own. I don’t plan to give up on it. It has given me so much joy, brought me such amazing ideas, people, friends, I don’t want to stop only because I fell.
And here I am. Back on the metaphorical horse.
And of course I have plans. I have a vague idea where I want this ride to go. Maybe I’ll write about it, mostly to clear my head, because that’s what I do in these long, rambly posts that aren’t precise, that are strange and that tug at my fingers to write them. Maybe not.
But I’m here, and I’m ready.
Also, you know, canter is a really pretty word.
Picture by me. I don’t do horses much, but I like how this hippocamp turned out.