Geeks versus Loneliness: Hey, how you doing?

As we say farewell to our overlord Simon Brew, the new GvL curator would like to introduce herself

Hello and welcome to Geeks Vs Loneliness, the regular spot on Den of Geek where we discuss life, the universe and all the assorted creaky bits that fit in-between.

Regular readers of the site may know that the Geeks Vs Loneliness feature was started over two years ago by the awesome Simon Brew as a response to the tragic suicide of Robin Williams, amongst other things. He wanted to create a space where people could talk openly, honestly and without fear of ridicule or abuse about real issues that affect us – mental health issues, physical health, life challenges and the like. And he has done a brilliant job.

A small community has risen around this column and as Simon moves onto new challenges we want to keep what he started alive and vibrant – and more importantly – a small spot where people can drop by for a chat, a virtual hug and talk about what’s going on in life that might require a bit of support – or a virtual cheer and fist bump for the positives.

This week I want to introduce myself and say HELLO! I’m Jane, I’ve been mooching around these parts ever since I went hunting for a decent review of The Originals (thank you Caroline Preece!) and came across this brilliant website full of funny, smart, kind people around the same time as GvL kicked off. I started chatting to people, and then I started writing for the column. On topics as diverse as the death of a parent, finding your happy place and being your own superhero. I think the three might actually be connected if I’m honest.

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And the community here has been so supportive to me personally. When offered the chance to step in as custodian of GvL for the future, I couldn’t say no.

I feel it’s important to say that Geeks Vs Loneliness belongs to all of us – the writers and our editors, the readers, the commentators, the people who read quietly and engage in their own way. Going forward I’ll be writing some of the weekly columns and you guys are as always welcome to suggest topics for inclusion, to pitch to tell your own stories as you want to tell them and to highlight areas which could be made stronger.

A quick caveat: the majority of us who write for GvL or who comment are not mental health or medical professionals, including me. We are humans, and we write and comment here from a human perspective – but cannot give medical advice. What we can do is signpost people to contact details for organisations who can provide structured, professional support and help going forward and we would always ask you to consider these options first and foremost when life is bleak.

I would also ask anyone commenting here to be mindful of the nature of the column. It’s absolutely fine to disagree with each other’s opinions and to offer constructive criticism. It is not ok to abuse people based on their life circumstances and choices, or even their taste in dodgy vampire films or hirsute leading men. If you see comments that are deliberately placed here to inflame I would ask that you down vote them rather than engage and give the trolls the oxygen they crave. You can read my full thoughts on this at my article, Tolerance Below The Line.

So, hey how you doing? I’m Jane and I love Buffy, books and Jared Leto (see what I mean about not judging people on dodgy taste?!). I also get very anxious about life. The fear demons nibble away at my confidence and every day I have to reset the ‘Jane’ button and get on with my to-do list. Anxiety holds me back sometimes – but it doesn’t define me. I suspect we all have our own demon that we do a daily dance with.

Drop in, chat, suggest away. Say hello if you like. But most of all thanks for reading – regardless of whether you’ve been here for the past couple of years or if this is the first time you’ve stumbled on our little patch of ground.

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Stay well, stay brilliant.