I’ve been thinking a lot about my last post. For some reason I have been plagued with insecurity since posting it, even though the feedback I got was quite supportive. There has been an underlying current in my heart that I have not been able to identify. Today, I think I have figured out part of what is contained there.
My blog posts automatically to Facebook. I have often wondered if that is a setting I wish to keep. There have been a few times I have removed a post from Facebook so that it only appeared on WordPress simply because I didn’t think it would interest my Facebook friends, and it was more for my benefit to get words out of my head. In sorting through the many thoughts in my head last night, I came upon something that clicked. This morning, my beliefs were reinforced.
I originally signed up for Facebook because I was a parent of young teens who had an account. I wanted to be the good parent who knew who her kids’ friends were and what types of things were being posted by all. Those of you who have a Facebook know that one doesn’t have to advertise their account. Keeping it strictly to immediate family meant turning down friend requests from people who are really liked and loved. Facebook, however, took on a life of its own after a while. Soon I found myself with many people on my list of friends–some that I could see regularly and some that I probably will never see again in person. At first it was fun reconnecting and keeping up with old friends. To some extent it still is nice to sign on and see pictures of family or friends far away. It took a little while but eventually I found myself looking at statuses and pictures and wishing I could experience some of what I was reading and seeing. Discontentment became a friend I shouldn’t have added.
As 2013 ended and 2014 began, I began to think through what I would like to change about me in the new year. The usual goals of weight loss and exercise were there as well as the goal of spending more time in prayer and Bible reading. This year, though, a new realization hit me as I thought through these things. I decided that 2014 needed to be the year that I stopped comparing my life to the lives of those around me. It’s too easy for my mind, especially as it struggles with chronic illness and depression, to wander into depth of self pity and feelings that everyone else has it all together. Yet, I still didn’t make the connection between those thoughts and Facebook. That is, until yesterday. Last night I signed on to answer a message someone had sent me and I was instantly bombarded by statuses and pictures of Facebook friends who were enjoying one thing or another. As I read and looked I began to think how much I would love to look like that or how much I would love to go to that place or how much I would love __________…any fun thing that could fill in the blank. And a wave of depression swept over me. Then it hit me. For me, and I type this referring strictly to myself, Facebook is a trigger for my depression.
So what to do with this discovery. I don’t want to give up Facebook entirely. I have family and friends I enjoy keeping up with. I have support groups and other things attached to it. Losing those things would sadden me. On the other hand, I don’t want to continue signing onto my account and dealing with the aftermath of what I see and read. I feel stuck–either decision has undesired consequences.
I feel the only thing at this point that I can do is to scale back my presence on the social media site while I work on finding my contentment in God and allowing Him to fill me. I hope to spend time allowing God to work in me so that damaging and sinful emotions don’t overtake me simply because others are able to enjoy things with their friends and families that I am not able to do. I desire different thoughts for my mind. I know God can do this–He has already worked marvels in my life. I won’t disappear completely–I have groups I am part of that I don’t want to give up. Plus, I still want to keep up with so many of my friends. I just need to scale back and work on me for a little while.