I have been a bundle of nerves all week. I shared Safe on Facebook last night, and will be posting it to my Tumblr at 4pm tomorrow and on my Twitter on 11am on Thursday. Now, sharing my comics on Facebook has always been mixed bag for me. When I post my stuff on other social media, social media that is kept up solely to help my career, I can disconnect with the fact that I am sharing personal work, because I'm, on the whole, doing it for strangers. But with Facebook, a social media platform that I only use to maintain connections with real life friends; a platform that I, on the whole, refuse to use to network with strangers; I feel more exposed because if it does not get a response, it's much more of a personal affront than if it gets no response on Tumblr and Twitter. It is part of the reason I have avoided doing it so long, and is part of the reason I'm very selective with what I post (my Everything's Fine series is never going to be posted there, because my comics full of swears about my mental health issues doesn't need to be seen by my brother in law's grandma and my former employers).
But I’ve been having a hard time trying to pinpoint why Safe going up on these other social media platforms, the ones I usually don't think twice about posting to, is so scary for me. Sharing a comic is always nerve wracking, but sharing THIS comic is the first time where I actually feel vulnerable doing so. The reason for this, I have come to realize, is two fold:
-this comic has been my main coping mechanism for dealing with anxiety about the new administration.
-more importantly, this comic has been my main coping mechanism for my loneliness caused by being single and unemployed in a new city. I have actually done a surprisingly good job at making friends. But those connections are new so they are still shallow. And me coming to terms with the fact recently that I probably do want to be in a romantic relationship, even though I thought I could get by without one, and seeing the barriers that are in the way of that happening (my fear of sex, my appearance, my pickiness in a partner, my fear of intimacy) has been rough for me to realize. So I escaped this pain and fear by doing a comic that is essentially a cute little love story, because if I can’t experience that for myself at least I can write one and live vicariously through my characters. Which, in a way, I believe has the potential to be damaging, because it’s causing me to avoid confronting an issue that could, if resolved, make me significantly more happy.
But anyway, that’s the head space I’m in right now.