What I have learned from being away from social media

I can’t tell you how many times I have made a post about Facebook and mental health, it has been a real struggle for me. And I have tried several times to cut down my social media usage to no avail but I feel like I have finally made some real progress. To back up a bit, I was was struggling a lot the last few months, especially as Facebook changed it’s algorithms and created new features to keep our attention and addicted to the site.

My goal was always to reach people and connect with my message of mental health advocacy, there was a time where I wasn’t reaching as many people as I would have liked and I felt frustrated, I wondered if it was me or the algorithm and if Facebook decided to show my posts to my friends or not. I asked people how they got the algorithm to show their posts more, people suggested answering comments quicker and interacting with more people, I did all that and suddenly was able to reach more people and it felt great at first, I felt heard and validated and I was overwhelmed by all the positive feedback. It made me realized that a lot of people did care and they would have connected as reacted if they had seen the posts, it was bittersweet because I still resented the fact that I had to jump hoops and spend a lot of time and energy in order to be heard. It was like if I played Facebook’s game, then I’d get the rewarded, if I didn’t I was punished, it was a hostage situation.

I spent a large amount of time scrolling through my newsfeed, interacting with people, in the hopes that I would lead to my posts being more visible and I found myself constantly triggered by the highlight reels, constant smiling faces, people with good jobs during a pandemic, people in seemingly healthy relationships, finacially independent with plenty of friends( in real life) and family to support them. And not just that but seeing people getting more likes or comments then me sent my envy spiraling. Seeing all these people interact with each other made me wonder why they weren’t commenting on my posts, why they weren’t sending messages and if they were intentionally ignoring me. And if the newsfeed wasn’t bad enough, there was the stories feature which was a another way for people to boast about their lives, while mine was pitiful in comparsion, it was all too much, very overwhelming and it destroyed my self esteem. It came to a head when I saw a post from an Faceobok friend that used to talk to me a lot but I hadn’t heard from them in almost a year, I figured they were busy. It was a post about a zoom chat that was taking place and I thought “Oh that person wasn’t busy, they just didn’t want to talk to me anymore” It sounds stupid but thats the anxiety that social media causes for me.

So despite more people on my posts and getting more likes, it didn’t make me happy, it felt nothing except empitiness. I started to feel frustrated with everything I saw on Facebook, whether it was people only on there for business, highlight reels, fake interactions and fake friendships, negativity, trolls. algorithm, etc. And I stopped posting for about a week but still checked my profiles for notiifcations.

After awhile of not posting, I felt as though I could deactivate my account which is what I did. And I am trying to process this through therapy and in my own head, I am reflecting on how i want to approach Facebook, if I ever decide to come back and I am not sure if I will. I still feel anxious when I think of Facebook and everything that bothers me about it but I am not constantly triggered and even if I am inside my house doing nothing, at least its reality and I am not worried about what other people are doing. Right now, I just have to take care of myself and have faith things will work out the way their supposed to.

Underneath hope

Reocurring memory back in young adulthood, riding around, around people but completely alone, seated in the backseat, she’s so beautiful, she’s seated between me and her boyfriend, why don’t I have someone like her? Underneath it all playing on the speakers, headed back from the diner, mesmerized by the lighted up town, silently thinking to myself that I feel empty, the usual feeling, the song brings it back to the surface, hope, a-dale, bleak, teenage awkwardness in full display and they can all see it, so the msuic overtakes me while I escape into my own mind, if only for this song..

Changes

Major life changes.Processing past spirits, buried deep inside, pain, pressure release.

Restraint, a determination to heal and try anything to feel better.New footsteps, dedication to change.

The boulders, throw off my back, still heavy but a bit lighter.

Seeking support, guidance, an answer, something, anything.Words soothe, they flow from my hands to my fingers to the page; in a raging fury; pent up emotions, it’s exhausting, it’s exhausting to me.

Do you want to trade places? See how my feet feel in your shoes, empathetic exchanges of energy from me to you.

Words are crisp, right out of the oven of thought, while we dine on emotional resonance. Bon Appetit…

I’m doing fantastic

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a life update, but I’m doing fantastic, I’ve been stuck at home since March 2020, I haven’t gotten my vaccine yet and I’m not working because it’s not safe ( despite what some people may tell you). I have workng really hard at being unproductive and achieved maxium loneliness.

Social media which has been my main support during this time has gotten worse, with Zuck tinkering with the algorithm and half my friends ( good one) trying to sell me something and feigning interest in what I have to say in hopes I might buy something from them, it makes me feel great! I get a lot of pleasure of scrolling through endless feeds of smiling faces, with perfect jobs and relationships, it makes me appreciate being alone and unemployed a lot more. And people that used to talk to me have dropped off and I haven’t heard from them, so that really helps.

Let’s see, I am in therapy and that is actually good and believe it or not, I am making progress in some ways. And I am trying to get healthier physically, mentally and emotionally, we’ll see how that works out. But yeah, life is really fantastic and I couldn’t be happier.

There is hope..

It’s a battle of light and darkness, truth vs deceit. It’s been dark and we all feel the pain but there is hope; a glimmer of light, tears flow, a collective sigh of relief, good will always triumph over evil but we made it, we walk toward the light, combating hate with love and a duty to begin the healing of a time centered about divisiveness. Children of God we are, deserving of dignity, love, and respect. Moving forward, I won’t let anyone dim my light. ❤🔥🙏

Where are you?

How do i tell you how i feel when we’ve never met? I’m not sure if you even exist, except in the dark corners my mind.

Is love possible or at least probable?

Do you words make up for your lack of existence, I’d try to find you but i’m tripping over my own heart that’s been shattered to the ground.

Someday, im sure of it..

Thoughts before bed

My last thoughts before slumber, they’re coherent but with a hint of ramblingSlowing down, trying to shake away the racing thoughts of today’s events.Preparing for dreams that will inspire and enchant me until I wake up.Dreams are heavenly uneven messages from my subconscious being projected onto my pillow while my eyes blink rapidly back and forth.A ticket to sweet dreamland; until tomorrow; good night. 😴

I’m a nobody

I wish I was you, you’re better than me. You’re smarter, more successful, more confident.I’m a nobody, I know I can’t measure up and I know you’re thinking the same.Will, I ever have my own success’s to flaunt?Do my small achievement cause resentment for others, like I feel resentment?Am I a hypocrite; bitter at a life that I can never grasp?What’s the secret to your success? You must tell me… 😥

We’ll see each other again

I’ve been stuck at home for the last few months; trying to stay safe from this pandemic. It reminds me of that fact that I was born in the year of another medical epidemic that claimed many lives while the goverment took little action, seems very familiar, sadly.

To keep busy, I’ve been watching a lot of movies that I’ve found onlne Most of the films I watch are older,I prefer them. I tracked down this older film from the late 80’s, it was the first mainstream film to address AIDS in America and the toll it took on a group of gay men from NYC who dealing with caring for their sick loved ones who were dying, it was very powerful and heartbreaking. And though I wwas just a kid during those times and am not part of that community, something about that film really resonated with me, the idea of friendship till the end, empathy. having compassion for your fellow human being in spite of so much darkness, both from the disease and that from a society unwilling to help them.

I don’t want to go into a film review but I was struck by the last scene and it very haunting. At the end of the film, the only 2 surviving men and their female friend are walking alone the beach wondering what life would be like once they find a cure for AIDS. The female character states “It will probably be like the end of World War II) And suddenly a group of men ( who had previously died) run down the pier onto the beach and embrace one another. The surviving men see their friends again who had died and hugged. One of the surviving men sees his best friend who was the first to die and exclaims “You fuckin son of a bitch” and gives him this hug with relief on his face. It brings a tear to your eye because you know that it’s a fantasy and all of these people are dead. And the scene cuts back to the three surviving members on the beach alone again and it shatters your heart.

As I watched this last scene. I found myself crying and not because I had never lost anyone to AIDS ( I have not) but I have lost several family members, including my brother and the idea of seeing them again would fill that void I’ve been feeling for 20 years, to hug them and tell them I love them. We can move forward but we can never truely move on, they’ll always be in our hearts. I just thought of all of those who had taken their lives running on that beach, so many people, so much hurt, so much pain and sadness. Someday we’ll meet again. I miss my brother and I know someday I can hug him one more time.