Social media for someone who has low self-esteem is the equivalent of a bar for a recovering alcoholic. Until you get yourself together, DON’T DO IT. That is actually the perfect way to find out if you have yourself together. Will we ever have ourselves together?? haha That’s a whole different post for another day. I used to be on Facebook until about three years ago. At the time, I was severely depressed, the lowest I’ve ever been. It’s what inspired me to start blogging because I needed to vent somewhere. My life was everywhere but where I wanted it to be.
So here’s the story. I was going through a breakup. We weren’t “together”, but it was a very close relationship. It was the loss of someone I loved, and it was tough. My grandmother, whom I lived with and I was helping take care of, was sick and at this point, bed bound. She was depressed and angry about her situation and it was hard. And there was nothing we could do. She sadly ended up passing away the following year. I was frustrated and upset about getting a bachelor’s degree to only end up working at a minimum wage job that I didn’t like. I was 27/28 years old and still living at home. Never had my own place. The guy I wanted to be with, who I thought I was going to marry, didn’t want a serious relationship. So I never had a boyfriend. My anxiety was at the worst it had ever been. I lost a ton of weight, I hated the way I looked. I could go on for days. Everything was awful to me at that time. But you know what’s crazy, your mindset can completely change a situation. Nothing has really changed since then except I did get a new job but other than that the only thing that has changed is I’ve been doing a whole lot of inside, spiritual, work. And talking to God. Oh, and I’ve learned to control my anxiety/negative thinking, which helps with depression. So in that way life has changed.
Anyway, that was my situation at the time. My self-esteem was non-existent. I would share “sad” quotes on Facebook or write what I was feeling. I was sad. I was depressed. Well, I came to learn that people don’t like sadness. Or depression. It makes them uncomfortable. And my writing made people uncomfortable. It was probably me being more uncomfortable than anything, being so vulnerable, but I did get comments on me being so sad. So that’s one reason I quit Facebook. I felt like I was raining on people’s parade.
Another big reason I quit is because I was comparing myself to others like crazy. And that does nothing for your self-esteem. It only makes it worse. I was jealous of everyone and the amount of anger I felt, I had a very “why me”attitude. I was mad at people getting married because I wasn’t. I was mad at people posting pictures of their spaghetti. There’s people suffering in the world! Who cares about your damn spaghetti! haha I was mad at everything. So I felt it was just best for me, all around, to get off of there. Again, this was my mindset back then.
Looking back I don’t regret it because it allowed me to focus on healing instead of comparing myself to the Jones’s. I did it anyway in real life, so I didn’t need more people to compare myself to online. But now I see how distorted my thinking was. I see a positive side of Facebook and social media now. I could have inspired people to be themselves, you know. People get sad. It’s nothing to be ashamed about. People get angry. Be you. Don’t give two shits. It’s okay if you’re the only sad one on there. Maybe other people are sad too, but they’re too afraid of what others might say. And you could inspire them to not care.
I don’t know if I’ll go back on Facebook though. It’s an old part of my life. That I sort of want to let go. I think that’s the real reason I don’t go on there now. I don’t compare myself to people as much anymore, to the point where it affects my self-esteem, but I do know I’m a little different haha. I know now that we all have different life paths and it’s okay to be different. Don’t compare yourself. You’re still just as loved by God and the Universe as the next person. It’s only lessons. Lessons for growth.
-Sonja Jackson, OpenHeartTin