A couple of weeks ago I decided that it was a good idea to leave Facebook for a while. There were many reasons that led me to that decision, both short and long term; medical and psychological.
Mainly there were, what I call, Four Facebook Fears.
- (unhealthy) Competition
- Normalization (of self-destructive behaviours)
- Unfair judgment (of myself and others)
I am someone that has spent most of their life trying to escape a full-bodied, sickening feeling of fear that sits in my chest, or sometimes in my ears. It has pursued me through childhood self-taunting, teenage anorexia and adulthood loneliness. I have never been able to explain with complete accuracy just what I mean by this fear – but it’s always been material and embodied; always assiduous and meticulous.
I associate it with disintegration and fatigue, and it is worse when I am alone.
I’ve got a stronger dose than usual today as I am recovering from a child-free evening jammed with ‘uppers’ which I delighted in at the time but pay the price of days with much less light. So today instead of sitting in my chest, the fear is sitting on top of it. Bloated and viscous. All the moments left empty between tasks are filled with taunting voices, calling me back to a place of dissolution. A place which is terribly hard to come back from.
Confession : I scrolled Facebook last night
against my own rules and I felt momentarily better, as what I was searching for in my self-piteous state of mind was reassurance that I was wanted. That I stood in the protected space of friendship and relationship-hood and could derive assurance in the reflections that space provides. I wanted to gift myself with a palpable sense of ‘confidence’ ….. also, this is all an over-glorified way of saying I was making sure I wasn’t coming second place to the multiplicitous, young, blossoming Facebook universe of singer-songwriters, artists and more beautiful personalities/profiles/prospects … and yes yes, now I am feeling the shame. I found all four Facebook fears waiting for me with open arms. But I did, after, retreat and delete again – and don’t consider myself a lesser being for the mistake. I am just hoping that in making my choices to leave social media, I haven’t opened myself up to magnified judgement and criticism. I am left wondering though, is there a way to craft for myself some more armor? Is that what I need?
I do so dislike being the messy person.
I do so want to be the person who brings warmth and comfort.
I’ve got a lot of work to do on myself – I know this. I accept it too. I have tried to give myself the protected, well-insulated space in which to do so by retreating from the things that encourage self-harm and moving towards the things that are REAL. And my own, somewhat manipulated, definition of ‘real’ here is, nourishing, up close, unfiltered interaction with people and things that assign me value.
It’s so very hard though. And I am still Afraid.
Can you relate?
Postscript : These posts do get posted to a Facebook page of mine. This, as deliciously ironic as it seems, happens without requiring FB access and, is because I am yet to find a better medium through which to share my work.