Forgive me, but there's a long, possibly off-topic rant ahead . . . a story of how I got lost on the internet. I'm still trying to find myself . . .
I've probably mentioned that I recently took a hard look in the mirror and didn't like who was looking back at me, which is what lead me to this site. It's about so much more than the weight that seems to hold me back from living.
When I first learned of the internet how many years ago, what I found the most fascinating by it all was that you could easily "hide" who you are behind your screen and user name. Wow, did that mean people could get to know me by my personality and mind long before getting any chance to judge me by my appearance? I had such a horrible time in school and other social situations; maybe I didn't have to be so self-conscious and could have a much easier time making friends online than I ever did in person.
Except for trips to the library, I didn't fully get online until about five years ago. (And incidently, my weight has stayed the same the past five years. Coincidence?) Having my own computer at home enabled me to become extremely involved in online communities, and one in particular stood out from the rest. I befriended many there and even forged some very close friendships with several members. For the very first time in my life, I felt well-liked and popular. Over time it made me feel attractive and even sexy! I could forget about letting the way I looked drag me down and just let who I was on the inside shine through. I felt powerful, confident, and wonderful in that little online world. Unfortunately, the more involved I became there, the easier it was to forget about the real world.
I was eventually promoted to being a moderator of the site, became unexpectedly and romantically involved with one of the members (who made it clear that my size didn't matter), and glowed with the feeling that I was finally being accepted for who I was on the inside. And if my weight didn't matter, why bother with working out or trying to deal with calorie counting? Luckily it worked out wonderfully between me and the guy I met there; we had a long-distance relationship for nearly a year and have now lived together for over two.
Unfortunately, I think I got way too involved with the site for my own good, something even my boyfriend began to worry about after I moved in with him. For a while it seemed my whole life revolved around the place, to the point that perhaps I no longer wanted to take care of myself physically and emotionally, if that makes any sense. I withdrew from a lot of things and lost interest in reality as I depended more and more on being an overly-active member on that forum. I look back now and wonder how on earth I got so caught up in it all.
That site was a big comfort zone for me, but I eventually realized that it was more of a crutch than anything else. What snapped me out of it was a major argument I had with my best friend there, a rift that's lasted nearly a year (long story on that). Regardless, it was rather painful and depressing and ended up being something that divided the entire community.
Leaving that forum was like abandoning an addiction, but in the end I believe it's for the best. I think I've learned a lot about myself in the past few years, and it's time to move on actually take care of myself instead of looking for a pacifier.
I do believe I'm finding myself again. I'm doing my best to actually be in tune with my body, trying to eat healthier and exercise so I can feel better inside and out. And finding a balance with my emotional health is important too.
Oh, and if I have to be a little OCD about online communities, I might as well haunt one that will help me focus on my health, right?
Something tells me I won't get caught up in the wrong things here.