True story – I’ve been hesitant to write for the better part of two months.
Two months ago, I wrote a blog post about how I have struggled for 20 years with anorexia. The comments came pouring in over email, facebook, twitter, text message and on this very blog. While the majority were supportive and encouraging, there were a few internet trolls who snuck in with awesome comments like:
“Real men don’t have anorexia.”
“I hope you starve to death, fag.”
Its fine. Those were most likely random internet trolls who stumbled across the blog. But then came the anon trolls who clearly knew me and followed me on twitter or facebook:
“So, your status about eating an entire pint of Ben & Jerrys was a lie?”
“Just another desperate grab for retweets.”
And suddenly, my voice was gone. The positive comments didn’t matter. I couldn’t write any more. Someone who knew me was trolling me. Was it worth the message? At that point, I decided no. It wasn’t worth it.
I gave it another try on National Coming Out Day with the reasons why I don’t celebrate the “holiday.” And again, internet rolls reared their ugly heads and my decision to stop writing was cemented.
But something happened in the last week. I went to a conference and attended a session based on the book Lean In. While the lessons are geared to women, I couldn’t help but be moved by the idea of Impostor Syndrome. I couldn’t internalize my own worth or accomplishments. I couldn’t get lack of worth out of my head because of this impostor syndrome. I was hesitant to take the lead on a project at work concerning masculinity and leadership because of these internet troll voices in my head.
But by putting words to what I was feeling, I found a way to get over it. I had to get out of my head space and start being me again.
So take that, internet trolls. I’m here and I’m ready to take you on. Let’s get writing again.