Reliving desperation and admiration

I interviewed with a BBC Radio show today. (It won’t air until next week. I’ll let you know when.) The topic for the host started out as basically, people being almost addicted to their cell phones. Then by chance during an internet search she came across my story.

If you somehow aren’t aware yet, I first joined Twitter and social media in 2009 while I was homeless. What started out as me not knowing a thing about Twitter or how to even use it, quickly grew to experiences that I’d have never dreamed of ever having! I could use computers at the library during the day, but other than that, I mostly tweeted by SMS/text message from my phone. My phone was my life — my dire connection to the world in my times of need. I could call someone, text or email by SMS. I didn’t have a smartphone. Just a simple, basic phone. A dumb phone. In fact, that’s the type of phone I use now.

I had unlimited texting so I could post messages to Twitter as much as I wanted, anytime I wanted, all day and all night. Whenever I had a need to say something. Which, back then, was quite a lot! I posted about my activities, shared thoughts or information on jobs or things I heard about, and wrote volumes of tweets from my emotions.

Fear, anxiety, and prayers dominated many of my tweets. I shared a number of hopes and wishes, too. There were many nights I lied on the ground, afraid and paranoid that someone would come up to me in the night. Is someone watching? Is someone here? Who is here watching me? Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affected me severely. There I was alone, but I couldn’t tell because my mind conjured up invisible people who might have been lurking.

I kept my “security blanket” tightly in hand all night. My phone was my connection to the world. Anytime I needed to say something, to vent, to express my fears, somebody was able to hear me. I couldn’t get their replies until I went to the computers at the library the next day, but they were there. Somebody cared. Another person suffered the same plight of PTSD once. I’m really not alone.

The tweets from my phone led to development of virtual and real-life relationships with people and businesses. Through my sincerity and openness of my life, stigma changed to acceptance, understanding, and kindness. I got to see God’s love in action, and emotion. These people — my social media followers — said that I changed them for the better. What I saw is how they changed me.

Sharing my story online and in real life at speaking engagements has helped me to open up. I am still shy and very socially awkward, but I am much more open with my emotions. Having constant access to my phone and being able to tweet by text has been extremely therapeutic.

I still tweet Clint Eastwood style — the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes I feel that I share too much. But I need to get things out. Sometimes I need to vent. In a way, being able to tweet and vent my emotions is more than emotionally therapeutic. It can also be protective against bad thoughts so I don’t try to self-injure. I haven’t done any cutting in however many years. It doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes still have those thoughts about doing it. So I greatly appreciate the kindness and compassion from all of you, my followers. A small gift, a kind word, a hug. It means the world to me! God’s love in action, indeed.

I discussed all of these areas and more on the BBC Radio show. (Again, I will share the link to the broadcast after it airs.) Talking about these things have so much effect on me emotionally! Ever since then my thoughts have been on all of my followers and how you have affected me, the place you have in my heart. I am reliving the desperation of my past and the admiration and love for the compassion I have received. Thank you all so much!

PS: Side note to Joan of Real Time Paradigm, my blogging teacher at NextDoor:  I clicked “Publish”! 😜

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This Little Girl’s Cover Of ‘Wrecking Ball’ Is Uninhibited And Adorable

This Little Girl’s Cover Of ‘Wrecking Ball’ Is Uninhibited And Adorable.

An Open Letter: Please, I need your help!

Please forgive my plea, but I seriously need your help. In less than two days I will walk ten times around the Chicago Bears Soldier Field to fundraise for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I have increased my goal to $500 and have a long way to go to reach it! It will be a long, and probably painful walk this Saturday at the event because of my rheumatic issues and edema, but it will be so *worth* it! I feel the love for St. Jude, and these children and families who they help. Since opening in 1962, St. Jude has developed protocols that have helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancers from less than 20 percent to 80 percent today. St. Jude doesn’t just focus on childhood cancers, but also HIV / AIDS, and other catastrophic illnesses. St. Jude treats the child patient and the family to ensure care and wellness of the child. My past health care work history understands the importance of St. Jude’s efforts and how much these very sick children need to be well.

I’m so impressed by the cancer research being done at St. Jude that I’m participating in the St. Jude Give thanks. Walk. this Saturday, November 23, and I need your support to help me reach my new, updated, fundraising goal of $500. I have just TWO days left and a long way to go to reach that goal!

Will you please help me support St. Jude by donating today at http://walk.stjude.org/annmariewalsh?

Thanks to donations from people like us, no family ever pays St. Jude for anything.
St. Jude speeds its research discoveries directly from its labs to doctors and scientists everywhere.
One child saved at St. Jude means thousands more saved worldwide.

Visit my fundraising Web page at http://walk.stjude.org/annmariewalsh to donate your tax-deductable gift and help save a child’s life today. Please share this post with anyone whom may be interested. Thank you so very much!

Sincerely,
AnnMarie Walsh

My Fundraising Page:
http://walk.stjude.org/annmariewalsh

About Me:
http://about.me/padschicago

Linked In:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/padschicago