THE BLOG
02/09/2015 03:10 pm ET Updated Apr 09, 2015

The Safety Net You Don't Know You Need

So. I've not written in awhile. Period. Not just here, but anywhere. My presence has been significantly less online. A like here, comment there, share or retweet in these or those other places. Enough to show I'm alive, but in no way have I been actively engaging in life.

With a wake-up call like I've had this week, I'll be honest I don't know whether I'll write for real even now. What I do have to say is another "thank goodness" for online friends.

There's one person in particular that's been exceptionally helpful/even keel inspiring. This person knows who they are. In fact there are a couple people this could apply to, but one in particular who I've never met in real life. This person (TP if you will) lives four blocks from me. I just spent the better part of three months walking by their coffee shop of choice on my way to work. I've gone into their shop to buy them a treat before they got there. They make me smile, make me think, make me feel. They make me do these things and be okay with it. TP does this all digitally. TP has never asked anything of me in return for what they've given me, how they've rooted me.

TP is someone I wouldn't have encountered without the Internet. What I've told a few others -- and TP -- is, "The cuts are shallow and small. I ate a little bit of (real) food today. The cuts would be deeper and longer, food not eaten at all, without you reminding me through your story that it'll be less bad."

So, sit there. Mock the Internet for the things that the Internet is. The Internet deserves it because the Internet is very... Internet-y at times. But the Internet can also be the safety net you don't know you need (or won't admit you need).

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Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-DONTCUT for the  S.A.F.E. Alternatives hotline.

If you're struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorder Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.