The Bitter End and the Bright Beginning

Happy New Decade!

After much pondering and forced emotional detachment, I’ve decided it is at last time to say an official goodbye to my online persona LightningEllen. In short, I no longer want to blog or interact with the online community for several reasons. As extremely difficult as it is for me to finally accept it, I need to quietly close the door on all of this and walk away without looking back.

I tried to stop it from happening, I really freaking tried, but I somehow keep dragging myself back into my past pains and I’m so tired of dealing with them over and over again. I just can’t grow into the better person I want to be if I keep getting choked-out by my past mistakes. Being stuck in an endless emotional cycle triggering erratic online behaviors, feeling pressure to write about and discuss things I honestly no longer care about, and constantly being reminded of the beloved best friend connection I lost here is not at all how I want to spend the rest of my limited time on this planet. Unfortunately, goodbye is the only way for me to move forward.

In his memoir “Wind, Sand, and Stars”, author Antonie de Saint-Exupery summed up the root cause of my pain so beautifully it caused me to spill several tears:

Bit by bitโ€ฆ it comes over us that we shall never again hear the laughter of our friend, that this one garden is forever locked against us. And at that moment begins our true mourning, which, though it may not be rending, is yet a little bitter. For nothing, in truth, can replace that companion. Old friends cannot be created out of hand. Nothing can match the treasure of common memories, of trials endured together, of quarrels and reconciliations and generous emotions. It is idle, having planted an acorn in the morning, to expect that afternoon to sit in the shade of the oak.

So life goes on. For years we plant the seed, we feel ourselves rich; and then come other years when time does its work and our plantation is made sparse and thin. One by one, our comrades slip away, deprive us of their shade.

The tree that died can fuel the sapling that grows. The bitter end of one thing can turn into the bright beginning of something new. Desperately clinging on to the loss blinds you from the new start. Accept. Release. Learn. Grow. And then finally, a great change can happen. That whole thing totally made me think about the Deku Tree’s Sprout in Ocarina of Time, hence the header image. Anyway…

It has been 3 weeks since I logged into any social media account. My depression-anxiety combo monster suddenly smacked me again right before the holidays and I needed to go hide alone in my corner away from everyone. Being offline since then has been difficult and very lonely, but it surprisingly feels right at the same time. I feel so much better now than I did when I was clinging onto the online world, at least, even if it still feels like a big chunk of my life is missing. I know this is what I have to do.

I’ve been trying to fill my loads of free time with exciting new activities instead of brooding over events that are dead and gone (I unfortunately still catch myself doing that a lot). I’m grateful to have formed two close sisterly friends offline and that is amazing! Having two people in reality I can tell absolutely anything to means the world to me.

One of them introduced me to this new gym craze called Orangetheory Fitness. I am absolutely addicted! We both feel like we’re going to die as we push ourselves during each workout session, but I always walk out feeling stronger and in an amazing mood. It’s so worth nursing sore muscles in every part of my body a few days later too, which we both have fun complaining to each other about. Ow… Oh and the founder of Orangetheory shares the badass name Ellen so I guess that was a sign.

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Proud of my Orangetheory stats thus far ๐Ÿ˜Ž

My other BFF has been going out of her way to check up on me and include me in offline stuff after I confessed how miserable I’ve been lately. Her and her boyfriend are both amazing people and have been inviting me to tag along with them sometimes. I went with them to see my very first concert, The Offspring, and it was freaking amazing!! I have vague memories of drunk me screaming “SEE THE LIGHTNING IN THEIR EYES!!” along with the band. Awesome. โšก

A really, really cool new friend connection has fallen into my life recently as well! I blame her solely for getting me hooked on Pokemon GO (I walk 35km a week for work anyway so… gotta hatch ’em all), the entire Harry Potter series (I escaped from the recent holiday loneliness happily at Hogwarts), and a mobile game called War Dragons. Rawr!! She may have encouraged me to seriously start planning my 3rd tattoo as well: Bowser from the Super Mario series. Bwahahaha!! ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

Even with these awesome mutually supportive connections offline, I still have way too much time alone with my thoughts when I remove LightningEllen from my life. I’ve been devoting my oodles of solo time to learning new things and creating new personal projects that are important to me. I’m also going to do everything in my power to find a way to pursue a degree in Psychology with the hope of becoming a Psychologist some day. If I devote even half the energy I’ve been wasting trying to desperately repair the connection with my lost BFF (but only making everything a million times worse) to that, I’m sure I can find a way.

No. I’m not deleting myself off the internet in an emotional tantrum like I’ve done in the past. I’m not even all that sad about this decision to simply walk away, to be honest. I feel nothing and kinda peaceful as I type that I’m truly done with LightningEllen.

Honestly, I was planning to just never log into any of my social media accounts again and ghost LightningEllen’s connections entirely, but that’s not fair and the easy way out for me. I personally HATE being ghosted by people I care about with no explanation at all, so I refuse to do that to anyone I considered a friend here that might be wondering where LightningEllen went and what happened to her.

So yeah, it was really hard for me to write this final post explaining myself, but here it is. I am sorry, but consider any collaborations I left hanging or blogging things I said I was going to do as no longer happening.

To be completely clear, this is what I have concluded that I need to do in order to finally overcome my issues that have been hurting me for a few years. No one else is to blame at all. The online world just isn’t a healthy place for me anymore. The only way I can leave for good is to abandon all of the connections I’ve made here, else I’ll keep crawling back because I miss them a lot, and then I will keep getting trapped in my toxic patterns. This is indeed selfish, but necessary. I hope you guys can understand.

Thank you for all of the good times and great friendships during my 5 years as LightningEllen. Maybe one day in the future when I have finally established a stable sense of self and my emotion regulation level has been fully maxed, I’ll be able reopen the door on this. Until then but more likely forever, I’m done here.

Goodbye my old online buddies! I wish you all the absolute best. Cheers to bright new beginnings. This new decade is going to be great for an offline me, or else, dammit!

Ellen

P.S. – Special shout-out to the wonderful blogger friends who have been with LightningEllen for the long haul. I truly loved you guys like family (no words… sniffs). Keep being awesome and I hope your dreams come true! I’ll always be sending you guys good vibes.

P.P.S. – OMG!!! Seriously. Why did it take me this long to read the Harry Potter series?? Apparently I’m a Hufflepuff according to an online quiz I took the other day. That doesn’t seem right…. AT ALL! Dumbledore is such a badass, by the way. I wish I had his epic emotion regulation skills, let me tell you. [LightningEllen rambles off into the sunset]

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