Yesterday, I was Googling 'stop drinking' (obsessed? Moi?) and I came across Reddit.com. There's a whole sub-strand (or, as they call it, subreddit) called 'stop drinking,' and loads of conversations going on about my favourite topic.
I lurked for a while and then found someone who sounded just like me 45 days ago. I posted a comment, explaining that I was going through the same thing. I suggested that they read Alan Carr or Jason Vale, and gave them my blog address.
Cut to this morning. As you can tell from my Ex-drinkers Rock Part 2 post, I was feeling the love. I was a little heart shaped helium balloon floating along on a happy cloud.
Once I'd posted my 'I'm-so-happy' missive, I logged back onto Reddit.com to see if there was any response to the comment I left yesterday. I found 2 messages. One was an automatically generated one saying 'Welcome to Reddit, SoberMummy' in a cheerful fashion. The second was written by a real person - a moderator - saying merely: No blogs. No spam.
Now I thought that was a little rude and abrupt. No 'hello'. No 'please' or 'thank you'. I'm English, and a mum of three, so I'm big on manners. And surely blogs and spam are two very different things?
I checked the Reddit '5 rules' and they say nothing about 'no blogs'.
Admittedly, I'm new to blogging, so maybe I accidentally broke some unwritten etiquette rule. Remember, I grew up in the era of facsimiles and telexes, so I could have missed some crucial lesson on acceptable blogosphere behaviour. Have I?
I don't make any money from my blog. All I'm trying to do is help myself and, hopefully, some other people along the way. Is that not how it works?
Anyhow, I took the point on board and decided to post a comment on another strand without mentioning my blog. But I couldn't. A message came up saying 'you are not allowed to do this.'
The moderator had blocked me! I am no longer allowed to post, comment or reply to anything on Reddit.
I felt like I'd turned up at an AA meeting only to find a piece of paper taped to the door saying 'SoberMummy is not welcome here.'
The Reddit moderator stuck a pin in my happy heart shaped balloon and I was transformed into a useless mangled piece of rubber lying on the floor.
Up until now I've found sober-web a really friendly, accepting place. I've met some wonderful sober-bloggers, several of whom comment here regularly, like Wendy (tipsy no more), Flossie (another way now) and Angie (it's time to get sober). There's also the hugely welcoming Mumsnet Bloggers Network.
I had this vision of us all as a happy, sober family holding hands across the world wide web and tripping off into the sunset. So my non-welcome from Reddit was a total shock.
Blocked! I feel like a stalker. A troll.
I know I'm overreacting. One of the side effects of this bloody no-drinking malarkey is that it seems to send your emotions on a massive roller coaster ride. But right now I feel like deleting mummywasasecretdrinker and going to bed for a week.