Social Media – Lifesaver

Social media comes in for a battering a lot of the time – and, often, with good reason. Young people have been driven to suicide as a result of online bullying, and the level of trolling and abuse is frightening for everyone who is on the receiving end of it.

But one of the things less catalogued is its ability to be a lifesaver – literally.

Many a time I have found myself feeling at a very low ebb and have been grateful for the support I have received, both from friends and people I have never met. When I see someone struggling, I respond to them, because I know how it feels.

And at no time like the present.

In severe financial difficulties and now without a home, I feel overwhelmed with the mess I feel I have made of my life. I am in Bulgaria for the Digital Nomad Festival in Bansko, living on a shoestring budget, arguing with an asshole management company who won’t return my deposit in full because they say the moving company broke the elevator.

They didn’t. It has not been fit for purpose since day one and I have over 100 e-mails complaining about it (in addition to many other things). I have to accept the lower offer because if I don’t, I can’t eat. They did not fit carbon monoxide detectors until I pointed out the law, and I will certainly be taking that further.

So, here I am in Bulgaria. Having left Sofia (which I hated) after four days and en route to Bansko, I am now in Plovdiv, which is lively, stunning and fascinating. I have to focus on the benefits of new experiences, which I will come on to shortly.

But first . . . I want to thank my Facebook friends for the truly breathtaking love and support on my feed. I’m sorry if I alarmed anyone, but I felt I was falling from a great height with nowhere to land. You have been my rescue pad and I appreciate it more than I can ever express.

I have friends going through immense suffering with illness, yet they too have summoned up their limited reserves of strength to contact me, and I truly am grateful that (falling and injuries aside) I have my health. I suspect those friends would give anything to be healthy in Bulgaria rather than sick in the UK – so I really do try to look on the bright side, overshadowed as it is at the moment.

But as one of my favourite writers, Rainer Maria Rilke said: ‘No feeling is final.’ That’s what keeps me going, but I wanted to thank everyone on Facebook for reinforcing that.

I also want to give an extra special thank you to those who have offered me a roof over my head. I know, because of personal circumstances, this isn’t possible for many (I really do understand that), but the knowledge that I will not be homeless is of immense help – you know who you are. And to those who could have but haven’t . . . F**k you!

So, to Bulgaria.

The trip began badly when I found myself wearing a boiling hot dish of pasta on my arm and top, courtesy of a clumsy man in the airport lounge. Then I fell over a scooter on the street in Sofia (Bulgarians toss them aside like wrapping paper). I had another fall on very precarious cobbles as I headed for the amphitheatre in Plovdiv – a city as beautiful as Sofia is hideous.

Bums on seats. That’s what I thought about at the amphitheatre. Constructed in the 1st century AD, probably, they reckon, during the reign on Domitian (whaddever!), it holds between 5000-7000 spectators. It’s one of the best-preserved ancient theatres in the world and today is used for concerts etc. I sat there and pondered how many thousands had sat before me, not contemplating why British Gas had suddenly decided to send them a bill for £774, but why the guy delivering the monologue was in such an ill-fitting toga.

Or: bloody hell, I’m not climbing all those steps to go to the loo; I’ll wait until this dire Euripides piece of shit is over.

Plovdiv, should you be interested, is one of the oldest centres of European civilisation (allegedly the oldest European city), and it combines the ancient with the modern with exquisite ease.

Tomorrow, I leave the hotel to stay in an Air BnB for a week (at least). I’ll finally be unpacking my suitcase, which will make me feel less of a nomad.

More to follow about my adventures, but I just wanted to take time out to thank you for the love and support, which has truly been overwhelming. You really are getting me through.

No feeling is final.

No feeling is final.

No feeling is final.