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. Anne Bladon 3rd May, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    Ditto! Email me an address via facebook and good old snail mail will help me keep you company!

    • Tanya 16th May, 2013 at 10:07 am #

      Just got this! Will message you x

  2. Ruth Povey 3rd May, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    Tanya, you are so brave for doing this! I would love to send you something in the real life post, because everyone likes post, right? And it’s communication without breaking the rules! DM me your address if you fancy 🙂 xx

    • Tanya 16th May, 2013 at 10:05 am #

      You are officially the most amazing person in the world 🙂

  3. Beth 3rd May, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

    Oh yes…disconnecting takes bravery. Praying for you. Thanks for sharing.

    • Tanya 16th May, 2013 at 10:04 am #

      Thanks, Beth!

  4. Abby Norman 3rd May, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    Yeah, I am freaking out too! I have to make hard fast rules for myself or I am going to cheat cheat cheat cheat cheat….Okay, going to do that now. I need this so much, but I am so losing my mind over it!

    • Tanya 16th May, 2013 at 10:04 am #

      I never found out how it went for you – I’d love to know!

  5. Alice 3rd May, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    Wow. I’ll be praying!!!! I would be hyperventilating too – and yet there’s part of me that envies the forced silence – I sometimes wonder what my life would consist of if it weren’t for those ‘little checks’. I absolutely agree that the internet offers genuine community – you are a great example of a friend I wouldn’t have if it weren’t for twitter, etc. So, um… PLEASE COME BACK when the week is over!!


    • Tanya 16th May, 2013 at 10:04 am #

      It’s the ‘little checks’ that are the killer, isn’t it???

      I am very thankful for the Internet – and especially for your friendship 🙂

  6. Lois @ Live Nourished 3rd May, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    As a fellow M.E.-sufferer I know just how isolating it can feel to be surrounded by very familiar walls a lot of the time… Thank you for your honesty. Great post. And praying that you’ll get so much writing done next week that you won’t miss the online world at all. Stay close to Jesus – He’s all we need. 🙂

    • Tanya 16th May, 2013 at 10:03 am #

      Thank you – for your prayers and solidarity 🙂

  7. Jennifer 3rd May, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    Unplugging will definitely be brave! I bet you will find that God will fill your time with teachable moments and speak to your soul! I sincerely enjoyed your post. Have a wonderful weekend!

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

      Thank you, lovely Jennifer!

  8. HopefulLeigh 3rd May, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    Wow, wow, wow. Good for you, Tanya! I’ve gone on social media fasts before (which have been very restoring) but I’ve never quit the Internet completely. Although when I go home for Christmas, I’m hardly on the computer at all and that’s good for me because I’m so caught up in the business. I pray this next week will be filled with unexpected blessings for you.

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

      Thanks, Leigh! It was easier than I thought – I think I was ready for it…

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