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Everyone Is Getting a Taste of What It's Like Experiencing Life Through a Screen

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I have always dreaded waking up on Saturday morning and checking my social media. I would scroll past pictures and watch stories of people out and about on their Friday nights, living it up and appearing to be “living their best lives.” As Saturday dragged on, more pictures would come in of brunch with friends, long hikes and other exciting excursions. Meanwhile, I sat underneath my weighted blanket, and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for myself, knowing how much the pain of fibromyalgia has held me back from being one of those people on my Instagram.

Now almost the entire nation is on stay-at-home orders, and the tables have turned. Those people once out and about, as most every 20-something should be, are now stuck at home, just like me. I joked with my family that I was happy my lifestyle was now not only being accepted but encouraged. On the first weekend of quarantine in California, I felt relief looking through my social media to see everyone was at home, or not posting at all. I had no longer had anything envious of, or so I thought.

As the lockdown continued, so did the restlessness of my social media friends. They complained of boredom, anxiousness and lack of social interaction. I became annoyed at their ignorance because this is how I, along with millions of others who live with various chronic illnesses, typically spend our lives. It may be unfair of me to judge because no one truly understands chronic illness unless they have dealt with it themselves. Nevertheless, I believe there is an important lesson to be learned here, which is those feelings that people are having under stay-at-home orders are the same feelings many spoonies experience daily. The only exception is, we often don’t have the energy or physical capacity to make banana bread and deep clean our homes. We feel pain and suffering, along with all those other emotions that come with being isolated in your own home.

Once this quarantine period is over, people will go back to their nights out on the town and big weekend-long celebrations, and us spoonies will still be here where you left us. While maybe this is not the proper time to push awareness of the chronic illness community, I believe it is still worth noticing. I can only hope that once people do return to their active lifestyles, that they are more grateful for all that they get to do and experience and maybe even think of those who are still back at home, looking at your life through a screen, wishing they too could have their pain lifted.

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Unsplash via Velizar Ivanov

Originally published: April 7, 2020
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