Disconnect to reconnect


People often ask me how I can stand it as an extrovert – being housebound and unable to see friends very much. One answer is that I just have to – so that’s how I stand it.
But another answer is ‘the Internet’. I started blogging when my brain energy was just good enough to be able to write once a week or so, and since then my cognitive energy has improved, though my mobility hasn’t. So I write, and I chat. People are so quick to condemn social media as ‘anti-social’ and destroying ‘real’ friendships and interactions, and I appreciate that it can be a danger. For me, though, it has been a lifeline, and I spend much of my day idly ‘chatting’, or keeping up to date in people’s lives. Reading the bite-sized bits and pieces is not as demanding on me as reading a book. There are so many with M.E. who can’t look at screens at all; I am profoundly grateful for the friendships I have been introduced to through Twitter and blogging.
All of which is to say how much I am dreading next week.
For my online writing course, Story 101 with Elora Nicole, we have to spend a week without social media or the Internet. Because I have relatively little ‘real life’ contact with friends, this is the equivalent of going on a silent retreat for a week, and I am HYPERVENTILATING at the thought of it. What if I miss something important? What if… (Actually that’s probably the only valid ‘what if’ – the other what ifs just start sounding a bit hysterical: ‘what if I get bored?’)
It’s only a week*. And I need to work on the book some more, keep my new-found writerly angsty diva-style moments to a minimum (hopefully – but no guarantees), breathe in. If I’m honest, I am afraid of silence, stillness; even in my housebound and often isolated state. I distract myself from the silence with the noise of others’ lives and opinions. And sometimes I wonder if in letting so much noise in, I’m keeping God out, as well as the silence.
So this is where I’m at. It’s a funny sort of in-between place. Sometimes bravery looks like getting up and doing the routine of your life again today, just as you did yesterday. Sometimes bravery looks like saying no, changing things. For me, this week, bravery means embracing silence, and seeing what it brings.
*um… The week starts tomorrow. After I’ve posted my monthly ‘what I’m into’ for April. That’s allowed, right? I’m sure it is.


Joining with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five-minute-Friday. This was my best five minutes on ‘brave’.
Over to you:

  • How would you feel about a week without any Internet?
  • What does ‘brave’ look like for you, at the moment?


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40 Responses to Disconnect to reconnect

  1. Linda Stoll 3rd May, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    you go, girl!!!

    • Tanya 16th May, 2013 at 10:02 am #

      Thanks, Linda! 🙂

  2. denise 3rd May, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    Praying for you.

    • Tanya 16th May, 2013 at 10:01 am #

      Thanks, Denise – at the moment I really covet people’s prayers!

  3. Mark Allman 3rd May, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    What if… we all write Elora and plead for an exception 🙂

    You will be missed

    We will be standing right outside the door till you return

    • Tanya 16th May, 2013 at 10:01 am #

      Thanks, Mark 🙂

  4. Joy Lenton 3rd May, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    Oh, Tanya, so much of what you say here is echoed in my own life. I am really grateful for the friendships I have made through social media. They have truly enlarged and enhanced my life. When we cannot leave the house to engage with people in the usual way then it becomes a vital lifeline. I sympathise with your fears. It is my desire to go on a retreat soon and the place I’m investigating has no Wi-Fi. So I will be forced to take a social media break. It seems scary but also intriguing at the thought of having undisturbed time to spend with God. Perhaps He will speak to you in a special way when He is assured of your full attention? Perhaps the creative juices will flow uninterrupted and unhindered? I hope so, my friend. And don’t worry, we will be waiting with bated breath to hear from you again. You will not be forgotten! Love and prayers xx 🙂

    • Tanya 16th May, 2013 at 10:01 am #

      I’d be really interested to know how it goes for you if you do go on that retreat… I learnt a bit about myself and my writing just from being away from it for a bit. I wonder what God will teach you! Xx

  5. Heather @40YearWanderer.com 3rd May, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    God bless your sweet soul. I relate. In a different way though. I didn’t do friendship well for the first 25+ years of my life – depression, disease, more. But God restored me and my life calling has brought me Internet friends. Great ones! Those who lift me up right back. I’ll be reading more of your blog.
    Enjoy your silent week. 🙂 Be still and KNOW that He is God.


    • Tanya 16th May, 2013 at 9:59 am #

      I’m so glad you have good Internet friends! Internet friends are amazing – I think I would have been so dismissive of it previously, but am so thankful for these very real friendships now I’ve experienced it for myself. Thanks so much for stopping by – please do come again!

  6. Lizzy 3rd May, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    Thank you for your honesty here. I can so relate. We are blessed to have the internet. And the friends that God blesses us with there.

    Bless you heaps

    • Tanya 16th May, 2013 at 9:58 am #

      Thanks, Lizzy!

  7. Mia 3rd May, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    Dear Tanya
    I am so thankful that you wrote about the pro’s of the Internet. Our illness soon shows us who are truly our friends and who not. Most often we lose friends. They have lives that go on and I understand. Yes, my friend, when I couldn’t drive anymore due to the Fibrofog, I sold my car and bought myself an I-pad. That was the best thing I could do for myself. I just love you all and you are so precious to me.

    • Tanya 3rd May, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

      I’m so sorry that you lost friends through the illness. Our lives would be a much lonelier place without the Internet… Glad to have you here 🙂

  8. Joanne Viola 3rd May, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    Being disconnected & silent is BRAVE for sure! May you find that the week of silence brings forth many words, written words. Be blessed. I visited from FMF & am glad!

    • Tanya 3rd May, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

      Oh – thank you for calling me brave! It seems such a silly thing to be freaking out over! It will be interesting…

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