Sunday Service

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The last two weeks have been a bit bonkers. In terms of an explanation, that's all you're getting. I watched Montage of Heck again last night and it's left me feeling protective over parts of me. I can relate to much of what Kurt Cobain said about himself.

I use bits and pieces of others personalities to form my own.

But I'm not alone in that, and I know that for a fact. I picked up the Vice: Privacy and Perception issue on Friday when I got my ears tattooed. Through a variety of sections this issue of Vice explores the discrepancies between our online and offline selves. What ever you may think of Vice, there are some beautiful photographs in this issue and some interesting articles. The issue is interesting to me because I am interested in my online and offline self and how they dissect, converge and separate.

I am bolder on the internet than I am in real life (unless I've imbibed a few alcoholic drinks, or in the comfort of close friends). On the internet I can say things and walk away, I can put a divide between myself and her. This is a double edged sword, and I am surprised I have not got myself in more trouble. I rarely talk about my internet presence in real life. I'm not one to say to friends "hey, did you read my latest blog post?", I don't really share my life on facebook anymore. The people I care about and who care about me have my mobile number, they know where I live. I am uninterested in providing a show for others. 

It seems though, that in order to be relatable on the internet we're expected to share parts of ourselves, which leaves me questioning what do I share? Which then leads on to me thinking about myself both pre- and post-diagnosis. Pre-diagnosis I blogged near on daily for years, sharing every little facet of myself in a need or want to both understand myself and to be accepted. I'm unsure if I ever felt better about myself, but now I see those early forays as embarrassing and, desperately sad. How times have changed. I recently deleted a lot of old blog posts here too, the writing is clunky and awkward as I navigate that space between realting and alienating. 

Since being diagnosed and learning to live (because you can't recover an adult self you've never had before) I have felt the need to portray Borderline Personality Disorder as something that can be lived with, that the self harm and suicide attempts and hedonistic self destruction are not necessarily part of being 'ill'. That with the right regime of drugs there is a way of living that is ok, but that's not always true and not always how I'm living. As much as tearing myself to pieces is a true part of me, I don't want to build an audience based on 'will-she, won't-she eventually kill herself?'. Nor do I particularly feel like being a poster-girl for 'recovered BPD' (pride comes before a fall).

Which leaves me wondering what do I share and how do I broach that gap between online and offline me? Do I have to? How do I want to be known? The obvious answer to that is through my photography, a child in the general scheme of things, that I am trying to nurture and grow. That presents it's own challenges. I know many who say that if you ask the universe and it's supposed to be yours it'll come to you, but to open myself up to ridicule and say, listen, I want to be a photographer is, in all shapes and forms, scary.

There's already a level of embarrassment at my equipment and my ideas, that comes with trying to slot myself into an industry that seems to care so much about glass, full-frame or cropped frame, Nikon or Canon. The internet loves a success story, but at times it feels like the internet prefers to watch a disaster, or maybe that's just my take. Time will tell if I can make my dreams a reality, just like time will tell how I, and others like me, will use the internet.  For good or ill.


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