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To Those Who Tell Me, 'If You Just Get Off the Internet, You'll Feel Better'

The internet has been a part of my life for approximately 23 years. I’ve used it to communicate with friends, business contacts, paying bills, filling out forms, getting information, completing two degrees, shopping, and looking up information for Bible studies. I did all of this before I became ill.

What you don’t see is that Facebook has introduced me to a world of online support that has not been available within walking distance or a five-minute drive from my house. I have met people all over the United States and all over the world who have helped me to make sense of an illness that few have been able to understand and one that is ignored by our mainstream medical community. You don’t experience a trauma of this caliber and remain unchanged, and it is worse when those around you do not understand.

What I have found is thousands of people who have experienced similar bizarre symptoms, people who lost everything because they could no longer work, people who have tried every treatment available within their means only to still come up short and take their lives while the rest of the world silently passed them by.

What I have also found is stories of success against unbeatable odds, warriors rising, injustices being trumpeted through a megaphone across the land alerting the masses that “The Great Imitator” is alive and well while many turn their heads in ignorance. I have found valiant spirits who have the internal iron will and strength of fighting for an entire army.

So the next you tell me that I “would feel better if I just got off Facebook and the internet,” what you didn’t see is that it was an army of fellow warriors that helped a wounded soldier to heal from the battlefield scars instead of leaving her to die.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Thinkstock photo by UberImages