Welcome to social media…

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Today I deactivated Facebook. I felt an instant sense of relief. I felt as though I’d been in shackles for years, and suddenly I was released, I was free.

Freed from being surrounded daily by a large group of overly insecure people. The pretenders, as I like to call them. Those who are forever trying to convince their followers and friends that their lives are a trillion times better than they actually are in reality. Freed from feeling the need to assure people I’m eating correctly by taking the perfect photographs of every dish, before I get to even enjoy my meal. Freed from feeling wrapped up in the pettiest of daily dramas, involving people that I barely even know.

I awake each morning, turn over and reach for my phone. I open my Facebook app and scroll through my Newsfeed as though it’s the morning paper. I go and write a pointless status, which nobody truly cares to read, yet they like it anyway to let me know they’re there… or in case they need a like returned on a status of theirs. I notice I have a few spelling errors in my status, I edit this because God forbid I make a mistake on this all important social media application that ironically applies nothing but unsociability- technically we should rename it non-social media. Because while we comment on that girl who we haven’t spoken to since high schools post, we forget to look up from our phones in order to catch a beautiful moment with a family member, or our child smiling as they create the most inventive games. I can feel other people’s bad spelling rubbing off on me, I’m beginning to notice it less and less… This worries me.

I sit one night and I calculate how many hours a day I must spend looking at my phone, browsing social media as if I’m searching for a needle in a haystack. I get scared as I multiply the hours in a day by the whole seven days of the week, I quickly put my phone down. I try to think of the last time I went a day without seeing a ‘selfie’ and then I try to remember the last day that I didn’t take a selfie. We spend so much time taking photos of ourselves, that we forget to take photos of the sunset,  or the sky- or even worse, we forget what it’s like to enjoy a magnificent moment to our full potential, so much that we forget all about taking a photo. Those were the days, because no photo could ever measure up to a memory in my eyes. 

I’m fed up of seeing photoshopped images of women (and men) who have clearly lost confidence in themselves, so much that they have to literally change their whole actual appearance in every image they upload. Sometimes I am so shocked when I see that girl who frequently pops up on social media, in person, because she is unrecognisable. And she is definitely so much prettier without the edited eyebrows and computerised makeup… while she walks the street naturally flaunting her mildly flawed yet glowing skin.

We have forgotten what it’s like to be REAL. People are so busy trying to convince the world that they’ve got money, that they’re living the life of luxury, that they wake up flawless and need to prove just how “BLESSED” they are… That they forget how to actually have A LIFE.

Read more books, read less Facebook. Drink green tea, take care of yourself, go to the gym without posting a gym selfie on every machine you’re about to use, take a walk in the park one day without your phone and you will realise just how much more you appreciate the birds in the trees, or the sound of children playing in the park, or the light breeze cooling down your face. I now realise that life is better when you aren’t living in auto pilot.

Be free.

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Let me introduce myself…

So, I figured my blog would fall into the category ‘family and parenting’. Then I began to write… and a whole different style of writing began to emerge.

‘mental health’ now that’s a tough one, right? And being a parent with mental health, well this seems as though it’s most definitely too diverse and complicated to even begin to put into words.

Now, myself personally, I am currently falling into the category of an undiagnosed person with mental health. And nothing infuriates me more, than those judgmental kind of people. The “well why wouldn’t you see a doctor if you have mental health problems?” Kind of people. The “How do you know you suffer mental health problems if you haven’t yet been diagnosed by a professional?” Kind of people.  This is the point that I explain, I don’t need a professional to tell me that there’s something imbalanced up there in my noggin. I mean I’ve lived with this same brain for 24 years so far, I’m pretty sure I know my own mind just a tad. And secondly, could I please just deal with things the way I want to and in my own time? I’m not one to succumb to any form of social pressure easily, so Mother, Father, Partner, friends, whomever else that cares for me… PLEASE although you’re all most desperately trying to help me, I thank you all, but believe me when I say that I will seek the recommended help when I feel within myself that I am able to explain and speak about the matter appropriately.

Now… Getting to the diagnosis. Understand, that although I haven’t yet myself been in the courageous position enough to speak honestly to a doctor, I commend all of those who do. Honest, your bravery to speak out so openly is what we need more of in Today’s society. I’ve tried talking therapies etc, and I felt like I was being completely patronised by somebody who had to be around my age or younger, and clearly did not give a rats ass about what would happen to me after this timed phone call.

Mental health isn’t the taboo subject that it once was, today it is more embraced than at all frowned upon. More and more people are finding the strength and power to speak up and shout ‘I am a person who lives with mental health!! And proud!!’  Which leads to the undeniable domino effect onto the next person, and the next, and so on.

The phrase ‘I suffer with mental health’ was one in which I’ve never been fond of, personally. I mean, of course we suffer. There’s literally nothing worse than being in a room full of people and feeling completely alone. Feeling like you’re swimming in an ocean, and there’s so many people around you, yet nobody can see you drowning. Nobody can hear you literally screaming for help as your lungs slowly fill with the water of self doubt, worthlessness, loneliness and insanity. Yeah, we suffer… But doesn’t everybody? I prefer the term ‘live with mental health’, so I can let those demons in my head know, YOU are renting a space in my head, I do not work around you… I work with you! After all mental health is a part of me, contrary to what many believe it does not go away! We just gain the strength to get used to living with it, and continuously discover more ways to keep it at bay for a while.

Well, I think this is long enough for my first blog. But I just want to assure you all, we are human, we are real! Remind yourself every day that you are amazing and you are worth so much to at least somebody in this world, whether you realise it or not. Even when you have to stick the cartoons on for your son or daughter in order to distract them, while you dive into the bathroom for a quiet five minutes of literally non stop crying. Remember you are not alone. You are never alone. Take comfort in how many people around the world are feeling just the way you are right now and doing the exact same thing.

You can do this.