It's like Sex and the Suburbs and 30 Rock all rolled into one…
We develop routines as we grow as people. As a young girl I learned that the glasses were the first thing to come on in the morning and the last thing to come off at night. The alarm clock is set nightly, the snooze button slammed each morning the appropriate number of times. Routines are essential for everyone, more so when you use them to combat depression and anxiety. Monday is do-the-dishes night. Tuesday watch House and Heroes. Wednesday call up friends to see if they want to do dinner. It goes on and on, the routines we build. They help us deal with magnitude of how little time we have to accomplish all that modern society demands of us.
My routine, after the alarm clock has been suitably abused and glasses firmly help up by my nose, is to check my email, twitter and facebook. My friends span the globe, each living in various work schedules in multiple time zones. It’s entirely possible one is writing a lengthy and interesting email about why I simply must watch Sportsnight while I’m fast asleep. Someone might have an amusing critique of the new Mountain Goats album that is essential for my day to begin. Nathan Fillion might be tweeting awesomeness from London. Neil Gaiman might be admitting he’s dating Amanda Palmer on his blog, the one I read from an RSS feed from livejournal. All in all these might not be important uses of the time I have in the morning, but for me it’s no different than someone scanning headlines in the newspaper during breakfast. You have your New York Times and coffee, I have my twitter and coffee.
My feelings of depression come from feeling unconnected with people. As a single gal, I am content with living alone provided that I’m never actually really alone. The internet and its social networking tools allow for me to engage in the witty and flirty banter any woman appreciates. I don’t have time to go to bars and meet men. I have a job that demands a good amount of time from me and a commute added on top of that. I love my job, don’t get me wrong, but it kills what non-existent love life I have. With friends scattered everywhere, all equally dedicated to their career, it’s often tough to get together over coffee or a glass of wine, especially this time of year with the added demands of holiday preparations and celebrations. How can you write a thought provoking commentary on how loss sneaks up on you for your friends to read if you cannot post it to livejournal? No one likes calls late in the night but no one minds taking a moment to send some virtual love.
But the worst thing was that I could still send messages. Twitter allows one to update via text message. My qwerty phone allows for easy texting. So I sent the world messages and got no reply. Oh later, once things had been restored, I had an inbox full of offers to help, thoughts of support and even a few invitations to meet for drinks. My friends were steadfast in their support, even if I couldn’t see it. Intellectually, I knew I wasn’t friendless and alone. Emotionally was another story. Without the seemingly trivial but very meaningful conversations I have online, I felt so disconnected from every one I cared about.