I woke up to a message on my phone that simply said: “Did I do anything to upset you?”
Then I saw another one, asking if I was okay. And then another one, wondering where I was, and letting me know I should get in touch.
And that was when I realized I’d done something that I’m absolutely dead-set against people doing: I’d gone off the grid.
Now, for the record, there’s going off the grid as in “I’m unplugging from facebook! I’m leaving my phone behind! I’m going to read all of the books and take walks and be present in the physical world!” and I think we all need to do that from time to time. Going off the grid in that way is completely healthy. Everyone should do that sometimes.
That’s not what I did.
I was upset about something, and so I burrowed into my apartment, staying off my social media sites because I didn’t want to have to talk to anyone. When people texted me, I either didn’t respond (and I apologize for that) or responded with very short answers so as not to have to have a conversation (and I apologize for that, too).
I know better than this. I do. I know that when I have friends who are having a hard time, I get very stressed out when I can’t reach them, or when they unplug from the world. I KNOW THAT.
I did it anyway.
And I’m embarrassed.
I’m embarrassed because no one can give you a hand up if you don’t reach a hand out.
I’m embarrassed because I forgot that the only way out of a downward spiral is to climb up and out.
I’m embarrassed because it’s not fair to ask people to lean on you if you refuse to lean on them.
I have a friend who always says that when you know better, you do better. I wish that were true, but sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes we know better but still do badly, because we can’t cobble together the fortitude to get the better done.
I’m going to try not to do it again.
We’ll see how that goes.