After my stillbirth I found myself falling down the rabbit whole that is social media. I knew exactly what was happening in everyone else’s lives, even more than I really knew what was going on in mine. I would sit for hours looking on Instagram seeing who was liking what, who was dating who, what this person I never talked to before was doing, I knew exactly what everyone was up to. It was almost like I was living through these other people and I found much satisfaction in knowing all of this information about everyone else— until I would realize what I was doing and stop. Usually after I stopped I would get really depressed, feel as though my head was spinning and I would want to throw up. Disgusted with myself for not being able to just put my phone down and read a book, or go outside for a walk. Why couldn’t I just stop?
Seeing how great others are doing, and being envious, wishing you had “that,” is easier than looking at how truly unsatisfied you are with your own life. It was easier to be obsessed with others and what they were doing than really reevaluate was I wasn’t doing. When you’re unhappy it’s easy to live, almost, vicariously through others. To find some weird twisted happiness in others own happiness. It sounds kind of insane, because honestly it is, but in this world it is so easy to be that person. The person who sits on the computer and watches everyones lives move forward but your own. I found so much solace in this, getting drunk off the rabbit whole of Instagram, and then feeling completely hungover and hating everything about myself afterwards.
The way I stopped this was by deleting my Instagram, my snapchat, my reddit, and going outside. As cheesy and ‘ya I’ve heard that before’ as it sounds.. it really works. You just have to really commit to it. Something that made it easier for me was adding my instagram to my boyfriends phone so when he came home from work at the end of the day I would treat myself by getting on his phone for a few minutes(never for too long because it was his phone). Taking baby steps, and taking one day at a time, REALLY WORKS.
GO OUTSIDE. Seriously, go for a walk, go for a swim, go check out your library and stay there until you find a book that interests you, take on a fun project you have been putting off. These little things will have big effects on your life, even as time consuming or boring it might seem in the beginning. Going to the beach with my dogs or by myself helps me unwind and be in the moment, which is something you really need after being obsessed with social media for far too long. I love to go walk under the trees, go swimming at the river, garden or start a new gardening project. All of these things keep my mind busy, and more importantly keep my fingers busy 😉 The weather won’t always call for the perfect social media free walks, so find something else for stimulation. On days where I can’t go outside, I work on this blog, which I am not very good at.. but it works for me and makes me feel like I am doing something.
Staying off social media isn’t easy when we live in a time where everything seems to be centered around it, and some of us can’t completely abandon social media, but we take breaks. I still have a hard time–I catch myself lurking those certain people that make me feel faulty and invisible, but I am better than I was yesterday and that is something. I have a long way to go before I will be able to totally let go, however I am making the steps to get there. Remember, one day at a time.