Three Things: 2/16/13: Missing Persons

Saturday, February 16, 2013


This may or may not be considered my third go-round with SparkPeople.
It’s more like my second – I’d started it a few years ago but didn’t keep up. New technology makes it easy to stick with now. Why I say it could be second or third is that around June of last year I kind of… imploded. I know what happened but I’d like to say I understand what happened but I don’t.

In short, I have never really received a lot of support in life. You may feel the same about you, and it could be why we're both here. It’s a statement of fact and I’ve sought out help for it. My parents came from damaged backgrounds themselves and I try to understand that. At the end of the day, in a lot of ways it made me strong. Being self-reliant is admirable, but also isolating. And exhausting. How long can you keep it up? There are just times in one’s life when one needs other people.

See how I understand that intellectually?

Watch how I don’t understand it emotionally:

In June, I felt myself struggling (loneliness, depression - after rocking off 60 lbs in 5 months), and I reached out to my SparkFriends for the support I’d never asked for before. Never felt I deserved. I received a lot of it. A LOT A LOT of it. Imagine: people I’d never met extending themselves with gentleness and generosity.

And I could not handle it.

Could not.


I disappeared from SP for the most part. Once I earned perfect attendance awards, maxed out on fitness minute awards, looked forward to earning points towards the next level, etc. Was very involved in my friend feed and reading the blogs of my SparkFriends. I fell to loosely logging in (scoring the occasional consistency award) and staying under the radar, avoiding those who’d taken the time to get to know me and cheer me on.

It’s not my proudest moment.

Why, though, am I writing this, especially in the context of my blog theme “Three Things?”
I’ve slowly made my way back to SP, and decided that my Sparkpage needed and overhaul. Been working away at it for a couple days.
And then I noticed: when I clicked on SparkFriends, some Friends’ names were no longer underlined.
Meaning they were no longer my friends.
Look, I’m not surprised, and I don’t blame them. We had corresponded and shared fairly personal info and I fell off the face of the virtual earth. If any of them are reading this, I’m sorry. You don’t have to take me back. I just wanted you to know what’s what.

I also know folks come and go on SP for any number of reasons. But it ‘s different and unsettling when someone you’ve known suddenly goes “private” (instead of dormant) and you didn’t make the cut. I hope I didn’t offend, but even more so, I hope they are okay. I hope they didn’t wind up like me – shutting down. Or that they didn’t run into a web weirdo who made them feel unsafe.

I know this about me: unfortunately or not, when it comes to exposing myself and asking for help, I am probably not going to experience personal growth at a rate faster than “glacial.” This still puts me light-years ahead of what my therapists call my “family of origin.” I think I’m the only person in my family to even seek out counseling. No matter. Here’s my point (and haven’t you been waiting patiently for it?):

How many people did I find were no longer my friends on SparkPeople?

Not Three Things.
But three all the same.

“I mean, maybe under the surface, somewhere that's hard to see, I've known it had to end for a long time. I just never thought I'd be the one to end it.” ~Susane Colasante
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    It is awesome you are back. emoticon It is hard to know why some people go private, or disappear. Your words helped me to see a side that I hadn't really thought about as far as deleting people from your friend list who are no longer active... All I know is that I am going to consider long and hard before I inactivate anyone. All of us need a breather sometimes...
    You are doing great, and heading the right direction. I am glad you found SP to help encourage you along the way.

    1859 days ago
    I'm glad you are here. Don't be too worried about the three--they may not have meant it quite the way you are feeling. They had no way of knowing when or if you would ever come back, probably just eliminate any people that are inactive for X amount of time....
    1859 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/16/2013 4:11:14 PM
    emoticon back. Hope you stay with us.
    1859 days ago
    I have been trying very hard to figure out the "rules" when it comes to a website such as this. I haven't been to very successful in learning just what I can expect and what I should not take personally. I had never posted a blog, had never even become an active participant in anything like this. And in the process I have gotten my feelings hurt...a LOT.But I have been lucky. It seems whenever I am ready to turn around and just walk away, a Spark Friend has shown perfect timing with kind words and support that I didn't leave, I just started to try very hard to understand. What is the appropriate way to take what goes on around me, is a friendship different on a virtual level as opposed to the "real" world? I just don't know.
    But I have decided that I can be a part of here, it really doesn't have to be all or nothing. I can take each encounter and when the connection is broken for what ever reason, that I take with me what I have been able to learn from each person, be grateful for what ever time I was given, and stop looking for the reason for them to be not there anymore. It just isn't my fault, it's not something I did to make them just stop being there. It may just be that it is time for them to help another, when you are talking about millions of people you have to realize that it can't always be you on the top of their priority list.
    But it IS difficult.
    What a thought provoking blog. The main thing being that I am NOT terminally unique, there are others who go through the same thing. It helps to know I am not alone.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1859 days ago
  • TLG71567
    I hope you find them, but even more I hope that you find your way through these difficult times. I have been there too. I am getting ready to seek counseling myself. It's been awhile. Keep going on your journey and rise above the family of origin. Sometimes we all have to leave a little or a lot of that origin behind in order to be healthy emotionally.
    1859 days ago
    I kinda did the same, for about six months. I broke a 234 day login streak. I stopped exercise. I even stopped tracking.

    I didn't gain weight, but I certainly didn't lose it.

    It's so hard without support in life. I see people chatting in the gym, or watch cars go by with two bikes on the roof, and think, "I want that."

    I can't make it happen.

    Know that even in your absence, I thought about you. I suck at doing that, but your absence was *felt*.

    That doesn't matter now. You're here, you're looking forward, and we gotcher back.

    Now, you're all in for real, right?
    1859 days ago
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