Before I begin to tell you about who I am, I must be straight forward about who I am not. Perhaps the two coincide, but it is important for me to note: I have never claimed to be a role model nor do I feel the necessity to compare myself to others who hold influence on social media(particularly, Twitter). However, I feel as if I must be straight forward when I state there are those of us who fell upon this “internet fame”(which I feel so dorky saying, as there are account holders who are brazen enough to refer to themselves as “elite” because of their internet presence) by mistake, more or less. Yes, I happen to have a successful(if that’s how you measure success) anonymous Twitter account, but my intention was never for it to blow up as it did. DGC was created solely for myself. DGC was created as a space for me to create scenarios in which I could apply my thoughts with feedback from people who would not judge me, at least not for superficial or biased reasons against my real identity. And, as many of you know, DGC didn’t start out as DGC. So first, a little background briefing and refresher course.
I fell in love with the written word at 3 years old. My mom Bible-swears I just picked up a book and began reading to her one day. Everybody assured her I had probably just memorized the bedtime stories I had heard dozens of times, but it wasn’t until my mom brought me a children’s book I had never heard before(to her knowledge) and asked to me to read it, was her suspicion confirmed. I recited the entire book without a single stutter. Somehow, as a mere toddler, I had taught myself how to read, nearly flawlessly. In no way am I trying to toot my 36 month’s horn, but just stating facts…I have always been mesmerized by beautifully crafted words. It wasn’t long until I was filling my own notebooks with short stories, mostly centered around girls who faced obstacles similar to my current debacles at the time. In sixth grade, I wrote a 78 page Microsoft word story about a girl named Savannah who faced an intense amount of peer pressure to fit in, complete with middle school boy problems and body image issues. I was pretty proud of my hard work. As cliche as it sounds, I was relatively close with my school librarian at the time, as I was always looking for new books to devour and she always had the goods for me. I printed it off and let her read it shortly before my 6th grade “graduation”. Her reaction to the content matter is still pretty fresh in my mind, as I do remember her saying “I can’t believe an 11 year old wrote this” with a following of “You will absolutely write a book some day” and the reassurance to follow my dreams. I don’t think we ever spoke again.
In junior high, I wrote articles for the school newspaper, and by the time I was a sophomore, I served as one of the editors until my graduation. I had my own column, which was full of flimsy pieces which were pre-approved by my small conservative community, although I did gain some attention from a pro-gay piece I wrote once. It didn’t matter anyways because during this same time period, the beloved “MySpace” era was coming to fruition, so I actually was many of the few friends I knew who utilized the “blog” feature on my profile. I gained a decent following and updated my blog posts nearly weekly, mostly full of original material, inspired by a recent heartbreak and friend drama(you know, the good stuff). It just became something I did, something I was known for…it became who I was, as it always had been. My English teachers encouraged me to pursue a career which would showcase my writing talents, but I was discouraged from my mother, who claimed there was “no money in journalism.” These years were very notably the beginning triggers of my “decline”, although I managed to graduate high school in the top 20 of my class, with honors. Looking back, I appeared to be extremely “normal” in terms of my behavior, but my thoughts were anything but. My senior year of high school, a freshmen committed suicide, and while everyone was angry, shocked, and called him selfish…I secretly admired his ambition to take matters into his own hands. And while I could never admit this out loud, it didn’t appear an unusual thought to me until years later when I, too, faced the pits of a complete depressive state, with every intention to also, take my own life.
My late teens/early 20’s are a blur of drunken nights but had significant stability and functionality. I was unhappy, but I was convinced it would pass, so I continued to do as I needed to do, all while maintaining a booming social life and a part time job. I still wrote frequently, and I probably wrote some of the most beautiful pieces I’ve ever managed to come up with, mostly because of my melancholy(not full on depressive) nature. It was my coping mechanism, and it was the only way I had ever really known how to “let it all out”, if you will. I could still write, and that is what saved me. My words were raw. This behavior was pretty consistent until I was about 21 or so, when simply put, I lost my fucking mind to the freedom to get fucked up whenever I wanted. I can’t quite pinpoint when I slipped and stumbled down the rabbit hole, but I do know one thing…my mental illness had brought along friends. I was smacked in the face with a severe case of writer’s block.
It didn’t matter what I tried to write, but I couldn’t do it. My healthy form of self medicating was all of a sudden stolen from me, and I didn’t understand WHY. As many of you know, I was plagued by the stigma which surrounds mental illness. I didn’t know what was going on, and I had absolutely no outlet except for binge drinking. THAT made the demons disappear, at least temporarily. Luckily for my nasty habit(and not so much me), I had friends which supported this lifestyle. I was getting drunk AT LEAST 5 out of 7 nights of the week…but at some point, the bar scene didn’t appeal as much anymore either. I was still pretty prominent on social media, mostly as an attempt to assure worrying family members I was still “okay.” I frequented Twitter often, and I found myself relating to these so-called “anon accounts”(although truthfully I don’t remember if they were referred to as that back then or not). Many of the accounts I “fan-girled” over are ones which I actually correspond with today, which is pretty cool. Funny how that works. Anyways, the idea of it all seemed extremely liberating, and although I can’t quite remember the moment I decided to give it a whirl, an account was created. Desperate to find a way to make the words flow once more, I tried. But I found myself tweeting mostly generic, cliche, and boring things about my life. It wasn’t deep, but it was kind of fun. I eventually deactivated the account. It didn’t fill the void. A few months later, I recreated another…and again, eventually, axed that one as well.
I’m not entirely sure what inspired me to create one more, but maybe third time was a charm. I don’t know. And thus, “DrnkGrlConfess” was born on November 28, 2012. She was quintessentially “me” but with an edge…because I decided I would use this platform to create scenarios in which I would develop a character in the novel I had been so desperately working to finish. At this point, I was severely depressed. I rarely left my bed, and when I did, it was to make a fast food run or a stop at the liquor store. I went out, but not nearly as much as I once did…drinking in bed was more appealing. As much as I tried to separate this “persona”(if you will) from “me”…it was too hard. The tweets became much more about my own personal struggles, mostly with a faltering on again/off again relationship. I kept my suicidal thoughts out of it(more about that later). “Drunk Girl” was like, the version of me I WANTED to be, rather than what was actually me. It was like an alter ego I had complete control of…the “good” side of me. It was something I had control over, when everything else in my life seemed to be spiraling recklessly. What I was unaware of at the time was that some of my friends had caught on to my “little secret” and had a group message devoted to overanaylyzing everything “Drunk Girl” tweeted about. I can’t say I blame them, especially because at this point, I didn’t have much of a relationship with those who wondered if it really WAS me. The account blew up. I had nearly 30,000 followers in about 3 months, which made it hard to even not see my own account retweeted onto my personal timeline.
On January 23, 2013, I was taken to the ER and admitted into the psychiatric ward on suicide watch after a mental breakdown in my doctor’s office, which of course is another story on its’ own. Obviously, I did not have access to my cell phone, which confirmed my friends’ suspicions as my personal account nor “Drunk Girl” had tweeted for over 48 hours. I continued to keep my mental illness a secret from the Twitter world, as I had to move home to attend intensive therapy sessions. For a few months, I truly felt “normal” tweeting off “Drunk Girl” as pretty much everybody else knew the “situation” I was currently in. It wasn’t long before I was writing regularly again and was able to get a REAL kickstart on the novel I had been trying for YEARS to complete- literal years. The instant feedback is what kept me moving. I could write virtually anything I wanted, and I would have a reply(“mention”) within 30 seconds. It sent me into a frenzy…I could not be stopped. It was a wonderful project to work on in-between therapy and meditation classes, as I couldn’t hold a job at the time.
But then, there was the subtweet that changed everything.
I don’t remember the exact wording of it, but it was a blatantly obvious indirect tweet to me. Perhaps something awkward about knowing somebody’s “little secret.” About 5 other people had “favorited” it, clearly also involved in what I would later find out was a group message devoted to finding out if “Drunk Girl” was me. My stomach sank almost immediately as I read it. I had been found. I instantly knew although the stress of keeping it a “little secret” was over, writing from my character’s perspective would not be the same. Shortly after the confirmation to my friends it was I(and another sworn secrecy to not spread the news), I came “out” with my depression and mental health issues on “Drunk Girl”. The response I received was overwhelmingly warm, to my dismay. Of course, I lost a lot of followers…but the feedback I received was more than amazing. I was not alone. Gradually, I began to tweet more and more about mental health. It just felt…right. And while I am (still) bitter at times that I have not been able to finish my project fully(at least to my standard of complete) because of the gossip and way it was handled for months surrounding “Drunk Girl”, honestly, there would be no “DGC” without my exposure. And for that, I am most definitely thankful, since I have been able to reach out to a far larger audience who needs to hear MY story instead of a fictional one.
“Drunk Girl” gradually turned into DGC over the course of the last year or so. It just didn’t seem right to refer to my account as “Drunk Girl” since I have changed so much. My evolution has been live tweeted for the past 2 years. Those who have followed me since day one can attest to the maturity differences. I’ve grown up a lot. I’ve sought help for an ongoing problem and shared my experiences with strangers in hopes they too can and will understand it does get better. I was in a horrible, horrible place…but now? I’m content. And like I always say, I still have bad days, but I am aware of the resources accessible to me when needed. Simply put, without the expose of “Drunk Girl”, there would be no “DGC”…and I need to remind myself that when I’m down about not finishing what I so desperately WANT to finish.
And to break it down for you…and to make this very clear. I am not here to make money or build an “empire” or to impress the world wide web. I am here as a blatantly normal girl trying to fulfill her dream, all while giving you hope and inspiration that it is indeed, attainable. I am a 24 year old girl from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I have never had anybody work with me or tell me what to do in terms of “promotion” of my own account. In fact, there’s only one true “betch”(shoutout) I would trust ever in terms of business advice. There is nothing particularly “special” about how I operate my Twitter account or this blog. I have “branded” myself in the weirdest, most bizarre way…being myself. This should speak wonders to you all…BE YOURSELF. People will like you if you are genuine with good intentions. They will respect you if you show them respect.
I am not an affluent white girl with the stereotypical inflated ego to match, one which is sustained by Daddy’s credit card and a false sense of entitlement. Chanel? Cool, but whatevs. Couldn’t care less. I can’t afford it, and I’m not ashamed to admit that. I’ve been brought up in a world which appreciates comfort rather than excess luxury. You got it? Flaunt it, by ALL means…do your thing, but keep your superiority complex to yourself. Do you TRULY believe my life is not as remarkable as yours for the sole purpose your parents fund your entire designer wardrobe? The notion is hysterical. I am a modest girl; thinking about flashing diamonds or extremely expensive designer brands just to impress makes me cringe. Literally…I just shuddered. I would never complain about what my parents have been able and not able to provide for me nor would I EVER look down upon someone who was on a different socioeconomic scale than myself. In fact, this can go either way. So let me start out by saying…I don’t care if you are rich and I don’t care if you are poor and I don’t care if you’re as blandly middle class as myself…if you’re a good person with a big heart, we will get along just fine.
Not all anon accounts are the same.