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To the Ones Who Feel Like Their Mental Illness Makes Them 'Live' Through Social Media

It’s 12:39 a.m. I’m in bed refreshing Instagram every five minutes. Watching everyone else live their lives. It’s foreign to me. These people – they look so happy. I know Instagram is what they call a “highlight reel,” but what it comes down to for me is this: filtered, fake or pure fluff, those people are still out living their lives. Doing something. Anything. They’re out in the world, surrounded by others. They’re at Stagecoach and Coachella right now, drinking and dancing around, meeting new people from all paths of life and dancing to music they can feel deep down in their soul. They’re living.

For the most part, I live my life alone. I always have. There have been periods of “best friends” where we were attached at the hip, but that never seems to last. There have been periods of dating, falling in love, and during those phases, I don’t feel like I am living life alone. Until that phase ends.

Then it’s just me again. Sitting here, with a phone which seems to be my only access to be in the know of what’s going on in this world outside of my window. I stir and I stir, enjoy my own company but not sure if I ever actually have much going on between these two ears. I hate the idea of wasted time – yet I waste all of my time. Time is passing me by, and I am watching others live through it. The looking glass that has somehow always been between me and the rest of humanity remains, my fingers fogging up the glass. Will I ever feel what they feel? I have before. I went to college, I went out and had fun. I have more memories than I can count – but those times are gone, and the feeling of isolation and desolation seems to brew within me.

I thought after I entered into a life of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) recovery and finally found the right medication, my life would be like that of the girls I stare at on social media, depicting their every move, how they got there, who they know. Those girls I see were once me — in better times. The depression settles back in so easily. Just as the day fades into evening, my depression overtakes my body. Tomorrow, I will likely be fine.

But I still won’t feel like I’m living. I am the epitome of someone who is existing but not living. I hate that. But I don’t know how to “live” by myself. I can go dine by myself, walk around shops by myself, but I typically come home with nothing but a few salespeople scoping me up and down with small talk to see if I can seal in their quota for the day.

I don’t know why I feel this way because I enjoy being alone – but I guess not “alone alone” – the kind where it feels permanent? Life seems so much enjoyable with others but not just with anyone — with people who you genuinely vibe with and care about.

I guess there is not a defining answer to this article. I don’t have a light to shine on the above. I guess this is just to let you know, whoever you are, that I am where you are some nights because I know you are out there feeling as I do. Something about writing this down and passing it on through a message in a virtual bottle will help me feel like I “did” something tonight.

Getty image by rzoze19