Fear and Loathing in Central Doncaster

My first general election: 7 May 2015

My first general election: 7 May 2015

How I Learned to Embrace Facebook, with Additional Musings on the UK General Election, Mental Health, & Oysters

Doncaster isn’t where I planned to move When I Grew Up (1). I had this vague idea of living in the Southwestern states. I’d wear a cowboy hat, and take trips back to Michigan, where I would be a popular, eccentric auntie.

As Mr Loaf so nearly said, two out of six ain’t bad.

This is one of many reasons I love my adopted home town:

Doncaster UKIP office: 7 May 2015.

“Reject the politics of fear”: sign taped to Doncaster UKIP office, 7 May 2015.

We saw the above on our way to our favourite Turkish restaurant, whilst returning home from the polling station. Whilst I’ve been a citizen awhile, this was the first General Election in which I could vote. Between the Parliamentary and council elections, I voted for four different parties.

None of them were UKIP.

What does this have to do with Facebook (FB)? I have some close friends, and an even larger group of warm acquaintances, who I chat with on FB. Some got quite passionate about the election: to the point of strongly disagreeing with each other, including me.

And that’s great. Because any democracy where people can’t discuss politics in a lively, honest way isn’t worth a stuff.

“Never talk about politics or religion.”

Who the hell said that? Because I want to track ’em down, go down the pub or the cafe or the Turkish with them, and do just that.

Play nice, or there'll be no smiling ginger biscuits for tea.

Play nice, or no smiling biscuits for tea

And, whilst we’re setting the world to rights, we could clink glasses, mugs, mead horns, or whatever else we happen to be drinking from. Maybe even become warm acquaintances, or, eventually, friends.

If you can’t do this with your friends on FB, let alone down the pub, maybe that isn’t the fault of social media.

Maybe you need new friends.

I used to disappear from FB, whenever my bipolar disorder got too much for me.

Not any more.

I’m fortunate to have friends with whom I can be honest about my sometimes frequent, always terrifying, trips aboard the Self-Loathing Express. It’s through this honesty that I’ve discovered other carriages: full of people I know. Not all are folks I’ve gotten to know through the mental health community.

I don’t expect my friends to like everything I do (2), and realise that many have their own versions of that loathsome, lonely old train.

All I ask is that we give each other a friendly wave from the station, and be there with a cuppa – real, or virtual – when we finally step down from the carriage.

I don't think this chap's having a very good time of it.

I don’t think this chap’s having a very good time of it.

(1) Whether I have or not is a subject of on-going debate.
(2) Although Gerald says I should make an exception when it comes to liking Doctor Who.



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