Some 10 months ago, during the worst battle with depression I’ve had in my life, I opted out of Facebook.
My mind was a mess. My heart was a mess. I was overwhelmed. Not just with the discourse and bullshit that thrive on social media, but just with my own feelings of hopelessness, anger, frustration, and fatigue.
Depression doesn’t make sense. And it took me about 6 months or more before I really began to feel like a human being again, and not some self-loathing, world-hating creature trapped in the body of a 36 year old woman.
I started some new meds. Changed some things in my life. And now, here I am, feeling mentally healthier and more stable than I have in a long, long, long time.
I feel……in control. My racing thoughts have been shushed to a minimum. My obsessive thoughts have quieted to a “Meh, it’s cool” kind of mellow place. My energy level is fairly stable (it’s now up to me to start working on physically healthier habits – bleh).
All in all, I’m just in a mentally better place.
Even though writing is my “thing”, I find that my struggles with anxiety and depression can often be difficult to convey with words.
These things are just……hard. Because they don’t make sense. They come from genetics and life events and chemicals and trauma and environment…..the mind and the health of it are very complicated parts of us. And, even though I’ve struggled with some form of mental illness for the last 20 years, it has only been in the last year or so that I have seen how deep it actually runs within me. How much it has affected every part of who I am and every role I play in my life.
Finding stability and a better mental state required a long process. And I don’t have delusions that it can’t be fractured again. So I continue to do the things that I know I need to do to take care of me. Even when they don’t necessarily make sense to others.
I rejoined Facebook yesterday. Not permanently, but to exploit it for personal gain. My husband and I have decided to list our house in the next few months and the access to some resources for selling off unwanted/unneeded items was too much to pass up. I made a few bucks yesterday for my “interior design” cash jar and will be promoting the hell out of our house on social media once we finally get it on the market.
But it’s amazing, as I logged on for the first time in almost a year, how….heavy….it felt. Like plunging back into a hole that it took me months to finally crawl out of.
But there were also happy things. I have spent a little time reading through some friends’ pages. Looking at photos.
And there were sad things. Losses. Sickness. Loneliness rising up from the screen.
Our lives go on. Whether somebody is watching or not. Whether people reach out or not. And I can honestly say that my in-person relationships with certain people have deepened, even without that “constant connection”. Because I rely more on a text. Or a phone call. Or a specific message to someone instead of a comment getting lost in a thread that will become a memory.
And I stop when people talk to me. I listen more closely and remember more clearly. My mind is not distracted by the clutter of all the conversations and observations happening in that little screen.
I do miss some of my friends on Facebook. I do miss some of the more frequent interactions we had. But yesterday reminded me that I still don’t feel at home in that world. I appreciate the new way of life that I’ve carved out for myself, away from the likes, comments, or absence thereof.
My writing hasn’t suffered either. I’ve connected with more writers and less people only concerned with being nosy.
I still have some lurkers. I know they are there. And that’s fine. They know how to reach out and make a real connection if they ever want to. But I don’t write for anyone’s approval. This is me. Raw, real, authentic me.
And I got some friend requests too, in just a few short hours after I opened my page.
I accepted them.
But Facebook, for me, is just a place to sell shit I don’t need. And I think it’s probably going to stay that way.
Just a means. A tool at my disposal. And I like it that way.