Why I have a private alt Twitter and how it helps my mental health.

I have a private alt twitter account. Its locked down, and I don’t give the handle to many people. Despite this, its a really helpful thing for my mental health.

I’ve been meaning to think about why I find it useful for a while, recently after a discussion with David R. MacIver, @alexwlchan and @raeknowler, I did just that, and came up with the following;

I have an alt twitter account because it allows me to rant and express my deepest hurts, pains and frustrations without having to:

  • Direct them at a specific person — I can express things knowing that there is a good chance someone is reading, and may reply with sympathies, advice or simply an offer of friendship and love. 
    But I haven't forced anyone to listen to me. Those who respond have chosen to do so on their own terms, in their own time. I haven't just spilled at them when they really didn't want anything more than: 
    “How’re you” 
    “I’m fine, how’re you?”
    Of course, I know really that my friends care about me and would happily listen to my pains. But that doesnt make it easier for me to actually tell them unless they directly ask “Are you okay? I’m worried.”
  • Having to make them public. — The private Twitter means I can confidently know that those who read it are people I’ve met and feel comfortable knowing they know fairly intimate things about me and what I go through on a daily basis.
    It makes it much easier for me to simply vent my feelings out somewhere.

If you don’t have a private twitter and often feel the need to vent, but don’t like bothering people with your ‘silly’ issues — I’d highly recommend trying it out and sharing it with those you know are open to helping you and listening anyway.