When I was a young child I was utterly convinced that there were tiny people in the radio. I envisioned them sitting at tiny desks to read the news, playing and singing in tiny bands. Fast forward 30-odd years and we find me married, a mother of 2, struggling with problems with both my physical health and mental health.
And now it’s not my radio but my computer that seems to have people in. Some of these people I know in real life; most of them I don’t. Sometimes we have silly conversations about daft news stories and what our children have been up to or whatever comes to mind. Sometimes I’m able to help someone with a breastfeeding problem or a baking problem, and they offer advice on my health problems and child-rearing.
And sometimes I talk to the people in my computer when I can’t talk to anyone else. When the pit of my depression is so deep and the clouds of my anxiety so oppressive that I can barely speak, I type messages to the people in my computer. And there is always someone there to reply and offer a sympathetic shoulder or a kick up the bum. The people in my computer have helped me through 2 stressful pregnancies, breastfeeding, babyhood, toddlerdom, antenatal depression, postnatal depression, anxiety, panic attacks, bankruptcy, having to move 200 miles away from my home, a worsening spinal condition, restricted mobility – you name it, they’ve helped me with it. They’ve been there, day or night.
The people in my computer probably don’t realise how amazing they are. They help me, they support me, they lift my mood. They make me laugh and sometimes they make me cry. They remind me how fortunate I am to have a loving and supportive husband and 2 healthy children. They send me recipes for cake and soup. They encourage me to pursue the NHS about both my back and my mental health.
But most of all they guarantee that I am never alone. No matter how low I’m feeling, how much pain I’m in, whether I can speak to real-life people or not, the people in my computer are always there. They’re like stars in the sky – far too many to count, always there whether you can see them or not, making pinpoints of light in the darkness.
Thank you, people in my computer. You truly are stars.