Wait!! Don't panic. This is not a siucide letter (intentional misspelling!) or anything similar. It's just a post to say that this is the end.
Of the blog? Yes.
Of petal's online identity? Yes, also.
Because petal has come to some important decisions, one of which is that spending time on forums - or TOO MUCH time on forums - is really time wasted. Well, that's how I feel. Others feel differently, I know. But I have realised that my intellectual energies are best directed in the "real world", as well as writing as my "real self", which is an area I want to pursue in the near future.
Yes, I did say last year that I was writing under my real name. That was a lie - well, a diversion. I was trying to put people who MIGHT have guessed my online identity (or who were chasing for clues) off the track. And while we're on the subject, will I be revealing my real name now?
Mmmmm ... no. And I probably won't at any later stage, either. However, there will be people to whom I'll be posting a private email at some later stage, after the dust has settled - "Hi! It's me!!!" Bruce, check your inbox regularly! And notallright - I'm sure I'll bump into you sooner rather than later anyway. You'd be hard to miss with six aboriginal offspring trailing after you, and we live fairly close to each other.
And MrLefty, of course. He actually knows more about me than he realises. My initiation into the world of blogging was via a search for criticism of Andrew Bolt, as I was getting angrier and angrier at the idiocy he insists on columnising. I came across BoltWatch ... and haven't looked back.
Until now, that is.
This blog was my small attempt at carving my own opinions into the virtual rockface, as well as a diversion from ... other things. In 2004 I was suffering from depression. Quite badly. In fact, it's something I've lived with from the age of around eleven, when I started to experience shocking bullying that lasted five years or more. Of course, there's more to the causes of my depression than just bullying, but it certainly made a considerable contribution. It was around that time that I was acting out my sickness (which is what it was) in harmful (to myself) and destructive ways. I was distracted and acting compulsively. When I found BoltWatch and other blogs, I was able to channel my distraction into something that was at least more constructive.
Since that time I've tried incredibly hard to keep myself increasingly focussed and drag myself out of the depression. I should point out that no drugs or therapy were involved in this "cure" (relatives of mine, also suffering from depression, were not so lucky and it took them years to get off the stuff), but a lot of exercise, meditation, self-reflection and reading. It also helps when you know that the depression is getting closer again - somehow you get over it more quickly. Last year I suffered a very nasty shock in my workplace which ordinarily would have flattened me, but thanks to my nutrition, exercise and self-awareness, I bounced back incredibly quickly. AND got an even better job into the bargain!
I really know that I'm getting there. The advantage of getting older is that you are also getting smarter - sorry to all the young folks out there, but at least you have something to look forward to. And for the record - I'm in my late 30s. I'm continuing to make changes to my life, along with the amazing new job that I have. Some of these changes, if they occur, will be tough but I know they will be worth it. I have started going to the gym again, after 16 years, and I think that has also helped.
Which brings me back to my first point - I'm leaving the world of blogging altogether. It has helped me through a very rough patch but I want to stick with the real world now. I think the same will happen with many of the people who read the same blogs - even MrLefty. His "coming out" late last year was the first step in helping me to come to the decision I have made. I just know that preselection and running for parliament will be the next step for him, and/or a serious writing career.
Thanks to all those people with whom I engaged in lively on-line conversation and discussion, some more than others. Let's hope that maybe we meet again in the real world sometime.