The last major social media site i used was IG. I am a creative person and i used it for that purpose. I was kind to others, tried to be real in my posts and also supportive of others who were creative people or those who enjoyed my creativity.
Over time i met artists in a few areas that i have appreciated for years. Many of them were very kind privately but publicly adhered to this role of having to maintain a public facing ego. At the end of the day what mattered was numbers of likes, follower counts and feeling better than others it seemed although privately they were genuinely great people.
None of this probably is a surprise to anyone here reading this but after awhile i found it difficult to watch other people, creative or not, well known or not, feel as though their self worth depended on like and follower counts. It became incredibly depressing to see people liking their own posts to increase counts to inflate their status in some artificial way. It became so obvious none of it was healthy no matter how many genuine connections could be made there, the platform itself was the issue.
I had stopped using other major social media long before IG was the only one left. Extremism and negativity that prevails on all sides of every issue became overwhelming and i saw it for how nonsensical and toxic it is.
Now i spend my time offline mostly or when i'm online viewing content and not participating on platforms that deliver it otherwise (YouTube, private Twitter to see news on things i follow / enjoy / am interested in).
For years as i struggled with my own mental health i felt as though i was unhealthy, but the more i pay attention, the more i see in the world around me...
I see how far i've come and how well i'm doing considering the health issues i have. I'm not attacking people online, arguing with strangers, yelling into the void picking fights, and i'm no longer spending my time being depressed by seeing good people get turned into egomaniacs seeking likes and followers on IG.
I may not be perfect, i may still struggle at times, but as far as i can see in 2022 given life on Earth in general, i'm doing pretty well considering and that's what counts.
The mind is a really simple vessel, cells fire and synapses connect and blood flows, limbs move, eyes blink, you think. You’re squirrel brain is the amygdala and the cause of primitive anxiety. Fear. We all feel it once in a while like the feeling of not being alone in your own room. Like someone is watching.
The brain overactive and exhausted sees things, fights invisible ghosts.
My last episode, I tried to end world war 3. How did I do? An exhausting brain and an over worked mind can lapse from real world and dip into fantasy. That’s what my brain did. I didn’t believe people could die. And I didn’t want to ever again. I was on my front lawn next to a suicide awareness sign, screaming, and things became blurry. The police came, the ambulance came. I hugged a police officer. Screamed peace and love could end war. I could have been shot. He let me hug him. I stepped into an ambulance. I was restrained. My oh my, the squirrel brain can do some crazy things when your mind is overdone and wired for sound. The ambulance screamed with me trying to understand world peace, with me in the stretcher, trying to understand world peace. I spent much of the time in restraints, trying to understand world peace.
The world is a zip code of chaos. Wherever you go war and take out differ. Where I am the take out is pretty bland and war is 6000 miles away. But in Ukraine, or Nigeria, or Iraq or Egypt or Iran- take out exists and everyone must eat.
And here I am waving flags of peace. And I have been lucky to never see war. I am not weak for wishing for peace. I am not weak for never seeing war. I am lucky.
I am grateful. I am grateful that my squirrel brain doesn’t get me shot. And I don’t see war torn streets. I wave flags of peace but have never seen war in these streets. I am not a peace seeker. I have always kept peace, even in my chaos, my grass is green and the kids play in their yards. I am lucky and grateful.
War is a day dream. And war is sleeping where I live. And the police officer I hugged on my front yard who put handcuffs on my back? Could have been so much worse. Not even in a war, I mean what if I was black?
I am white. I live in a small town, next to the one I grew up in. It could have been so different. Not Ukraine, what if it was just my pigment of my skin? What if the police had no training in mental illness? What if? I sit here typing this out trying to make sense of all
of what I have recently witnessed.
What am I even complaining about? I say I stay perseverent. I am being foolish. When you talk about being black manic and white and manic, my episode sounds stupid. And also generalizing black and white without adding socioeconomic status, and all that. It’s too deep an issue to grasp or for me to truly say I understand. I am just looking back at what happened and I am still embarrassed.
Sorry, I made this political and racial, I just meant to stay lucid. There is nothing I can say about this. Our heartbeats all beat the same. Our brains all fire different. Our pigment and zip code really make one person free and the other a statistic.
I just wanted to end the war. An impossiblity. Maybe I just wanted to end the war in my head.
People always say: 'Healing is never linear.'
This means that some days you feel like you've mastered the thing that's been bothering you for years, only to break down crying about it the next day.
Don't let anyone tell you how long or how it should look or take to heal. Your #journey is your own!
Healing takes many forms for me, but the top of my list is:
1.Your #Perspective becomes your power
2.Self-care becomes essential, not seen as so selfish anymore
3.You get that #boundaries are so much more than just saying no
4.You attune to your inner child crying for attention
5.You stop ignoring your #intuition
6.Social situations becomes less stressful
7.#Depression leaves you alone for longer periods of time.
8.Creating healthier habits
9.Procrastinating less and better focus
10.Eating becomes less triggering
What else can you add to this list?
In today's class, the teacher brought up this social frame work that is suited for supporting families, in workplaces, social workers.
A little introspective of how individuals form their understanding of how to communicate with others - maintain relationships with significant others.
How each of us were brought up as a child or for some of us presenting in our early adulthood. Recognising how it has transformed or shifted us in our adulthood.
The main take home message in my teacher's explanation was
In order to be supportive when caring for clients is to adopt the 'WITH' approach.
It is sustainable.
The other approaches we must strive to minimise in our supporting role include the following: 'To', 'For' and definitely 'Not'.
The example he used was parent vs child
Do you ask your child to clean their room? or alternatively, Do you offer to clean their room together?
In our caring role, we often want to do it FOR or TO them without consciously thinking about our actions.
The main goal is to work collaboratively WITH the individual or group.
Well it's finally happened. I've had to take a whole day off sick. I started working 11 weeks ago (😯!) and today I couldn't manage because my migraine didn't respond to meds enough overnight so I can't handle looking at a screen. (It's now the afternoon and my phone screen is crazy dim.) There have been days I've worked shorter hours and days I've had to nap at lunch and days I've not wanted to work at all, yet I've made it through all of those. In years gone by while I was doing my PhD, there have been times I thought I would never handle working full time, and yet here I am, nearly 3 months in, and I've only just taken my first full sick day. Wow.
I felt so defeated this morning when I sat at my desk and tried to watch a meeting and couldn't handle the noise and screen, even with the sound low, brightness turned down and sunglasses on (I sat and listened instead). Then I had to make the decision. Do I message my manager and take the day off or push through? Do I accept defeat or not? Do I take care of my health or make it worse? The question that made my decision was: if I try and work am I going to do anything useful? Answer, no. So I decided to accept defeat, message my manager and go back to bed.
Today I have learnt that defeat isn't always a bad thing. Today it has brought me perspective. What has defeated you recently and is there any perspective you can find from that experience?
How I view myself. Some days I’m slipping away, others I’m able to plug the hole for a while and feel something worthwhile.
Recently, I am starting to realize just how much of an impact last year had on me and my mental health. My depression took hold of me subtly at some point and for most of the year, I was completely swallowed by it
I, personally, still have a hard time noticing my depression. For the longest time, I allowed myself to believe that my depression was tied to my anxiety, that I didn't feel depressed unless I was anxious. It wasn't until recently that I realized that my depression was its own identity within me, crying out for me to hear it's scream. I ignored it so long that I allowed myself to be a victim. I allowed it to lie and take my reality and turn it to something else- something that it wasn't. Sometimes it poked and prodded at anxiety, causing restlessness and anger to build up inside.
It told me- still does at times- that my life was never going to take off, that because nothing has happened yet, nothing ever will. That I should give it all up because it was pointless in trying. But I now understand how much pain I had been in, and in some ways, still am.
I was ignoring the pain that I felt every day, pushing down the thoughts and feelings because I couldn't be bothered. I was jealous, frustrated, angry- everything I was entitled to feel but refused because pain was fueling my every step, creating the view I had upon my life.
I now understand that I need to take real steps towards healing, give my depression-and my pain- a big warm hug and accept them for who they are- because let's face it, they will never change. I'm not going to try to anyway, everything that has happened has happened. My experiences have shaped me into who I am now and will continue to whether it is good or bad.