Not Alone – Strawberry Singh’s Monday Meme

In light of Strawberry Singh’s Monday MemeSecond Life Made Me Learn Challenge”, here’s my contribution for today. I will warn you upfront, this is a more serious post than I’ve ever done before and possibly a little heavy so I won’t blame anyone for scrolling past my answer to her Meme and heading straight down to “the look”.

What Second Life made me learn doesn’t lie as much in software programs or discovering hidden passions. I dabbled in Photoshop and imaging software long before Second Life existed, I never used WordPress but I’ve been writing fiction since I was 15. I messed around with 3D mesh stuff before I ever discovered Second Life, many thanks to the Sims! My biggest and most valuable lesson lies in something else entirely; Second Life taught me that I’m not alone and I’m not broken. All my life I have struggled with depression, anxiety, the most horrendous mood swings and heavy emotional loads. Growing up it was often blamed on my parents’ divorce, a death in the family, I was wrongly diagnosed with ADD and whichever didn’t fit that label was filed under puberty instead. Once I hit my early 20s I found myself having dropped out of high school after having made several fiercely dedicated attempts to graduate and I was jumping from one job into the next. They never lasted long. I couldn’t make them last, somehow. The problems I had always had were still there and this time there was no puberty to blame it on, there were no deaths in the family and by then my parents had been divorced for a near 15 years. By all means, surely I should be doing better by now and be more stable yet I wasn’t. If anything, I was worse than before. Every few weeks, sometimes with a few good months in between, I’d call in sick to work. I wasn’t actually sick as in shaking with fever and nauseated but I was in that dark hole of despair again where I felt lifeless and the mere thought of leaving the comfort of my room, my house, send me into a massive panic attack. Getting dressed and setting up to actually leave the house would suffocate me, send my heart racing, have me break out in sweats and tears until eventually I’d just drop myself to the floor and cry. I was never able to explain this to my bosses, I didn’t understand it myself and I felt ashamed and how could I possibly hope for understanding and compassion from others when I had none for myself? I hated myself for getting like that, for lying about being sick and figured I was just a lazy and manipulative person. I deserved to get fired time after time for being such an irresponsible and selfish person. I didn’t know where the depression and anxieties came from, often enough there wasn’t a ‘trigger’ to pinpoint at all. I’d wake up like that and that was it for the next amount of days or weeks. Eventually I just told myself I was crazy and wrong, broken. I wasn’t the right kind of human being, I was a mistake that should have never happened. Other people were fine and normal, they’d go to work and make a career. They had no trouble getting out the door, they didn’t have a panic attack in the middle of a crowded mall and fainted as a result of it but I did so surely, I was just wrong and bad. Alas after being fired from my longest lasting job to date, one I actually enjoyed and was starting to advance in, I fell into the deepest and darkest hole of despair yet. I was unemployed yet again and all I had to entertain me, to keep me connected to the world somehow was this little ‘game’ I’d heard about on MTV. Second Life. Second Life resident Keiko Takamura was featured on an episode because she was a virtual musician. After watching the episode, thoroughly impressed, I joined Second Life myself and began my adventure expecting nothing more than some entertainment and perhaps social interactions. Along the way, I made friends and lost friends, joined venues and watched my favorite hangouts close down but more importantly, I met a few really close friends. People I genuinely connected with, felt comfortable with and through getting to know these people from literally all corners of the world I discovered one massive revelation; I wasn’t alone and faulty at all. I wasn’t the only person suffering from depression, panic and anxiety episodes. It wasn’t even an uncommon thing. Many people I met had similar issues and some were worse of than I was. I wasn’t faulty, I wasn’t broken or a mistake. I had a disorder. In a sense, I had never lied at all. I was ‘sick’ just not in the common sense and understanding of the word. There were names for these disorders and entire studies, something I just simply never knew because in the real world it’s often still treated as such a taboo. There’s a lot of stigma and misconceptions attached to any mental disorder and people don’t really talk about it openly. But they do online. I guess it’s somehow ‘safer’ that way. You don’t have to sit face to face with someone and tell them all these things, dreading the moment where you look them in the eye and see the disdain that screams “You’re a freak and psycho!”. The fear for a lack of acceptance and the fear of judgment is still very real even online but it’s somehow easier to cross that bridge when you’re on your computer at the other end of the world, safely in your own room. Being able to talk like that, make friends and find out that I’m not alone in all of this has really helped me accept myself more. It’s helped me understand myself and my ‘condition’ more. It’s even been very ‘healing’ towards my condition. I’ll never be fully ‘fixed’ obviously, I still have my episodes here and there but I guess you can say that nowadays I know how to handle myself and manage those episodes better because now I understand it more. Not always, but most of the time. Furthermore I’ve discovered that through this all, despite of how I am, I deserve to be loved and cared about. Something I had never known or felt before. My best friends and my fiance accept every single part of me. The dark despairing morbid part of me that sometimes rears it’s ugly head as well as the better sides of me. With them, I don’t have to be afraid to be depressed, to cry, to be upset and share my dark thoughts. I can talk to them, tell them every ugly part of it and they still love me. They still care, they’re still there. I can tantrum and scream and cry and bitch and push all I need to, they’re not going anywhere. I never knew such a thing existed but it does and that’s probably the most priceless lesson and gift I’ve ever gotten out of Second Life. That is what I’ve learned. I’m not alone, I’m not a mistake, I deserve to be loved, I am a good and loving person and if anything, I’m simply not perfect. And that’s okay.

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This month’s Uber is in full on Boho theme, one of my favorites. So colorful and rich, so cheerful and alive. The cockatoo on my shoulder was a gift from a friend. She’s very interactive and cheerful, she learns tricks and chats your ear off. Mine’s a flirt, hitting on anyone I’m hanging out with and she does ask to be fed but thankfully, feeding her is a simple menu option and totally free of charge. No breeding, no food to buy, just a loving and fun pet. I adore her! Oh and my Slink hands are the newly updated ones! I’m quite pleased, I love my updated multipack folder which has all hand types packed up in 1 single folder and size, the size which is now changeable via the brand new utility HUD. Great product update and if you haven’t gotten yours yet please do head on over to the Slink mainstore and hit the redelivery terminal.

HAIR: TRUTH HAIR Delphine – variety *NEW* @ Uber
BODY: Own shape & Maitreya‘s Mesh Body – Lara V2.1
SKIN: -Glam Affair – Angelica Cygana – Jamaica 03 *NEW* @ Uber
LEFT HAND: Slink Avatar Enhancement Hands V2 – L – Prosper
RIGHT HAND: Slink Avatar Enhancement Hands V2 – R – Victory
FEET: Slink AvEnhance Feet Female Flat
EYES: IKON Charm Eyes – Fjord *NEW* @ IKON
LASHES: *Mon Cheri* “Falsies”

TOP: -Pixicat- Bohemian.Top (Green) *NEW* @ Uber
SHORTS: Blueberry – Cossy – Denim Ripped Shorts – Blue *NEW* @ Uber
SANDALS: MG – Barefoot Sandals – Bali Gypsy
JEWELRY: Izzie’s – Coin Jewelry Set (silver) *NEW* @ Uber
SHOULDER PET: [ free bird ] My Pet Cockatoo – Green Crested

SCENE: All items are available at this month’s Uber
Kalopsia – Gipsy Shack (Cream)
N4RS Boho Sideboard
N4RS Copper Bowl
:CP: Falling Over Books
:CP: Delilah Blossom Prints – Floral B
:CP: Scattered Wine
:CP: Delilah Mirror
:CP: Delilah Bed – Blossom
:CP: Composition Notebook

 

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Ready for Abduction

“You’re from a whole other world
a different dimension
You open my eyes
and I’m ready to go lead me into the light”

A collaboration with the ingenious Brennan from The Saints of Fashionation featuring items from Kustom9, Collabor88 and this amazing store called Shu Mesh. I’ve been to Shu Mesh in the past and I can honestly say it’s one of the best stores on the grid for high quality mesh sci-fi and cyber armor and accessories. Their items are mind blowing and if you’re feeling even the tiniest spark of curiosity, you need to go and check out their in-world store. As for Collabor88, keep in mind that this month’s round is almost over so if you haven’t been yet you might want to hurry!

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ON BRENNAN:

SKIN: Fallen Gods Inc. – ONYRICA Male Anima
EYES: IKON Hope Eyes – Sky

SUIT: -Shu Mesh- Nova Pilot Male

ON ASHLENE:

HAIR: Exile::Windsong Natural Fusion *NEW* @ C88
SKIN: Glam Affair – Ellie skin -. Jamaica 06 *NEW* @ Kustom9
EYES: IKON Spectral Eyes – Nymph
LASHES: *MC* “Falsies”
BODY: Maitreya Mesh Body – Lara

SWEATER: -Pixicat- Crop.Sweater (BlackWhite) *NEW* @ Kustom9
JEANS: Bueno – Skinny Jeans Cold *NEW* @ Kustom9
PUMPS: Violent Seduction – Unicorn Shoes (White) *NEW* @ C88


Inspiration :: Katy Perry – ET

Set Phasers to Stunning

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HAIR: TRUTH HAIR Esther *NEW* @ Uber
SKIN: Glam Affair – Brandi – Jamaica
BODY: Maitreya Mesh Body – Lara V2.1

TOP: -Pixicat- Visionary.Jacket (Cosmic) *NEW* @ Uber
PANTS: -Pixicat- Visionary.Pants (BlackWhite) *NEW* @ Uber
BOOTIES: -Pixicat- Visionary.Boots (Cosmic) *NEW* @ Uber
EYE VISOR: .Reckless. Geordi .Gold&Silver. *NEW* @ Uber
PHASER: [Silence] Phaser @ Marketplace