Emotionally…mentally, I have not been having the best few months.
It started with a (grotesquely failed) attempt to wean off of Prozac and it ended with mental mayhem, ghosting on my therapist and pretty much everyone else, and a lot – A LOT – of sleep.
I used to think I didn’t have an addictive personality. It turned out that I just hadn’t found anything I loved enough to be addicted to yet. Now my vices surround me like old friends. Social Media isn’t the least of them.
I have obsessive compulsive disorder, but for me, it doesn’t manifest with a clean house (I wish) or counting rivets in furniture. It manifests in obsessive envy – an inability to think of anything but what everyone else has achieved and then compare and contrast it against my own perceived failures. And, oh, when I’m in a state like I’ve been in, there are many. Every wallet in the check-out line, every car in the parking lot, every ring on someone’s finger is a big giant blinking arrow of what I may not have. And it’s sickening. Unbearably sickening. Compounded by my own anger at myself for living in such a shallow cycle and allowing it to reign over my every waking moment.
The world becomes cloudy to everything but envy and self-loathing. Work becomes the only escape. And with work, comes social media.
And with social media, comes more envy. And the cycle continues.
After the election I took all my social media off of my phone. (Except Instagram dammit, there’s something about it that makes me feel connected even when I’ve burrowed six feet deep.) And while I couldn’t block social sites from my computer without faltering in my livelihood, I have found a borderline laughable amount of solace in eradicating my Facebook newsfeed. (It’s a thing.)
Over the past few weeks Facebook has gone from an outlet of my obsessiveness to kind of an enjoyable place. At first the eradicator let me check into the pages and information I needed to without getting drawn into the abyss of “have-ness” surrounding the data. But then something strange started happening. As I locked down my feed in a post-election infused panic, I made it so that only people that really know me are seeing the things I post, or that are posted about me, and the interaction feels warm and friendly and actually social again. And when I compulsively click on my home feed button, there’s nothing there but a carefully curated quote, gently reminding me that my life is passing by whether I’m enjoying it or not.
I’m starting to awaken to the world again after another months-long battle with that notorious noonday demon. There are a lot of small changes going on in my every day life, and change is always a good distraction from that asshole voice in my head that just won’t shut up. But I also think backing off of social media, and finding the closest thing I could to a social media vacation has helped just a little bit.
Addiction is hard, friends and lurkers. But so is happiness.