So, as per usual, I’ve taken a quite long “hiatus” from writing posts. Why must I be so unreliable, so forgetful? I still wonder that myself. A lot has happened since my last post in August, but I feel that most of it isn’t relevant to what I’m going to write today.
Today, I feel sad. And I’ve felt sad–depressed even–for a few days now. Seasonal depression? School? Stress? I don’t know. All I know is that when I feel like this, I must break the cruel cycle of making myself more depressed. You know exactly what I mean.
It seems like a natural instinct to crawl up into a little ball, play sad music and cry yourself to sleep every time life gets tough. And, believe me, that’s all I want to do most days. I want to barricade myself into my room, and melt-away into my loving bed.
But what am I accomplishing by doing that? I’m still wasting my time away, and the problem is far from fixed. So, I have been actively trying to help myself when I feel like this.
I do not claim–nor am I–a mental health specialist at all; take everything I say with a grain of salt. Is that how the saying goes? I’m not sure. These are just a few things I do to kick-depression-to-the-curb. Or kick it under the bed. Wherever is fine.
1. Get the heck off social media
Oh, yes. We are ripping the band-aid off. The ever-so comforting pictures, videos and texts of social media are to be ridden…and who knows how long. Because let’s face it, we all are dependent on social media in some way. I know I am, and that’s why I had to stop.
I was constantly looking at others’ profiles and comparing myself to them.
Why am I not getting that many likes?
Why don’t I have that many followers?
Does anybody like me?
I wish I had friends like her.
And all it [social media] was doing for me was making me insecure and depressed. There was no ‘social’ aspect to it at all; I didn’t feel connected to anyone–I felt depressed and lonely.
So, I quit. I decided that I couldn’t take it anymore, and I was just making myself miserable. I deleted the apps off my phone and iPad–not the account itself.
I’m not going to say “I immediately felt relieved” because I didn’t. It felt fine. It felt normal. I wasn’t a changed person just by deleting the apps. In fact, I didn’t even notice they were gone until I started reaching for them.
I would get an idea in my head, or think of someone–usually a celebrity or public figure–and I wanted to search them on social media. It wasn’t until I grabbed my phone and realized that the apps were gone that I saw how dependent I was on social media.
I was constantly grabbing for my phone all-day, and the day after and after….you get it. So, why was I doing this? Well, I’ve spent a good-portion of my life on social media. I’ve utilized it in various ways.
But it started to become too much. It became addictive. It became evil. I couldn’t take how dependent I had become. I couldn’t believe I had turned into that person who sought—but never found–validation from social media.
I looked at pictures of pretty girls and their pretty lives and their pretty pictures and their pretty everything. Pretty, pretty perfect. I wanted to explode. I wanted to scream. I wanted to throw-up. I wanted the truth.
I’m not perfect, and social media is not realistic and I just want someone to acknowledge that. Okay? Thanks.
No one posts realistic photos on social media–very rarely do you see that. No one posts their 2-am-I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing-with-my-life panic-attack on social media. No one posts photos of them when they’re at their worst, or when they feel like the sky is falling.
Why don’t we see these posts? Because they’re not glamorous. They are real. They are the truth. And sometimes the truth is uncomfortable. And sometimes we don’t like talking about things that are uncomfortable.
But I need that. I need to see realism. I need to see things that aren’t edited, edited, edited. Social media could never give that realism I was seeking, so, I quit.
I opted out early, breaking the contract I never wished to sign. The contract of loathing, depression, loneliness, low self-esteem and much, much more.
Social media begged; they weren’t willing to let me go easily. Oh, no. Days were filled with thoughts of “what ifs?”
Did I make the right decision?
Am I missing out?
What if someone posts something cool?
How will I feel when I see everyone else scrolling on their phones?
I’ve learned to live with those thoughts. Yes, I made the right decision. Yes, I could be missing out–but guess what? It’s fine if I do. I told myself the answers to all these lingering questions.
You will be fine without social media. You do not need validation from social media. People who make real attempts in real life to engage with you–your true friends–are the only people you should be worrying about. Do not let anyone, and I mean anyone, ever make you feel like you are not worthy, like you are not beautiful. You are beautiful. You are powerful. You are a dandelion, blowing in the sun-grazed fields. And, remember, not everyone likes dandelions, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t every-bit beautiful.
I tell that to myself, but feel free to tell that to yourself, too. Stand up, look in the mirror and repeat that to yourself. Keep saying it until you absolutely mean it.
2. Have real experiences
Did you forget that we were doing a list because the first step was so long? Me, too.
What are real experiences? What do I mean by this? Aren’t most experiences real?
Don’t fret if you don’t understand. Real experiences–according to myself–are experiences that you live fully in. They are the experiences that make you forget your pain, your phone or whatever else you’re trying to forget.
Real experiences should be exhilarating. They should make you smile so much that your cheeks start to hurt. They should make your skin tingle and sparkle. They should make everything you touch turn to fireworks.
Don’t take that last one too literally, but you get the point. You should be spending your time doing things you love because your time is valuable. Yes, you heard that right. Your time. Not your mother’s or your lover’s or or whoever else’s time. Yours.
Claim it. Stake a sign that screams “THIS IS MY TIME!” Make it yours. Cherish it. Do something worthwhile.
3. Claim your body
Remember before how I said you should claim your time? Well, guess what? You can claim your body, too.
But, what the heck does this even mean? Claiming my body? Isn’t it already mine?
Of course, your body is yours–that’s how it should forever be. But is it really yours? Do you love your body? Do you appreciate your body? Do you sit-down and write a thank-you note to your body?
Love your freaking body; it’s yours. All yours. To cherish through sickness and health ’til death due you part. Yeah, it’s getting serious.
All jokes aside, your body is yours. You should claim it as such. Tell the world…no…show the world you love your body. Dress the way you want. Style your hair the way you want. You want to rock a red lip? Go for it.
Your body is yours and you don’t owe the universe a single thing from your body.
Once you start living your life on the same side as your body, and not constantly in a civil war with it, life gets easier. Trust me.
So, that was my list. It was mine. It may not be yours. There is no recipe, no simple solution to living a happy life. But, a happy life is worth living and you should fight for it until you get there.
Everyone deserves to be happy. Everyone deserves to be loved. Everyone deserves to feel important.
I’m not where I want to be right now in life, and that’s okay. It’s 100% okay to feel uncertain, depressed, sad, scared, lonely, stressed, weary. It’s also 100% okay to feel certain, happy, elated, joyful, content, pleased, loved. You can feel them both at the same time. Or you could feel none at all.
Thank you for reading. Or maybe skimming. Or whatever. But, if you made it to the end, I thank you. These thoughts of mine, they consume me. And writing is my escape. So, thank you for aiding in that.
Keep your head up. Keep smiling. You can do this.
Sending all my love, good vibes and plenty of pixie dust your way.
May you seize the day. Or the night. (Yes, I see you night-owls.)