You don’t have to have a chronic illness, for the worlds perception of you, particularly through social media, to be seen through rose tinted glasses.
So it’s 11am on a dull and chilly Friday morning. I’m dressed, but not in a socially acceptable form. I threw on what I had on last night just to let the dogs out when I got up. My hair is still in yesterday’s greasy messy bun, all the messier for it and I haven’t had a wash yet. I’ve literally just fed the dogs, boiled the kettle and sat down thinking of how social media posts portray us in a manner which is so unlike true life. The irony of filters is not lost on me. I’m guilty of it. We all are, for the most part. Our best moments go on Instagram, Facebook, twitter, whichever one is your vice. I may post my “smoothie bowl” healthy breakfast; What I didn’t post was the fact I didn’t eat again until 7pm because I just couldn’t muster the energy or will to prepare anything. I don’t post the fact that I was up for 3 hours in the night, unable to sleep from symptoms (initially facilitated by Franks “poo alarm” going off at 2am may I add!) that I’m now acutely aware of due to the inconvenient but necessary disturbance to let my disabled dog out!
I may post cute vids of training with my dogs. What I don’t post is that I’m using this to satiate them until I’m awake, pain controlled and energised enough to walk them. In a technology era, where all information is literally at our fingertips, not only are we sold “snippets” of news in the media, we do it ourselves, on social media. It’s like a job interview. We hide who we are and what we are actually doing in an attempt to portray ourselves in the best light. What are we truly gaining from this? Likes? Followers? We have the ability to be so connected with each other, with the world nowadays, but we are less connected. How has this happened? I’m relieved that I am lucky enough to have close friends I can share all the “packaging” bits of my life with, face to face. The bits that don’t make it to social media. The stuff that makes up the bulk of my existence.
Take my Instagram account for example. From that, you’d think I spent all my time, eating (not entirely untrue lol), walking the dogs and doing something creative. It’s laughable really. How can I post about the hours I spend in distress because of my illness and the knock on effects of that? How can I post about loneliness, feeling inadequate, guilty, the pain? How can I use my Instagram account to portray the reality of my life, that I am living day by day, hoping with all my might for the future but at the same time, scared shitless? These platforms just aren’t geared for that. I can’t pretend that I really want them to either. The accounts I follow, I do because they either inspire me, make me laugh or coo! That’s why we spend so much time in the cyber world, it makes us feel good, as long as we don’t sit and compare ourselves, that shits depressing!!
So in a way, this blog is my outlet. My truth section, the packaging. This is where you get to hear the bits inbetween my posts on social media. The truth behind some of the glossy photos. Tell you the truth, it’s absolutely LIBERATING!!
The only trouble is, there is a flip side. You guys will understand this. I’m either revered as “coping” on social media, OR seen as lazy, milking it, or worse, a charity case by those in my life that don’t understand and quite frankly, don’t have a lot to do with me so really don’t know the truth of the matter in either form or exaggeration! To me, I feel I reside quite firmly in the middle. Yes I have days where coping is an up hill battle. Days where despite knowing my reasons for seeming this way, I see how people can perceive my actions (or lack of specifically) as lazy. But I do my best. I try with everything I have to keep positive and unfortunately, social media plays a huge role in that, in me feeling like I have achieved SOMETHING. It has its place, I can’t deny that. It’s hard to remember the world without it and I’m probably of the last generation that ever will!
Is it so terrible for any of us, no matter what your journey entails, to want to be seen from our best light? To celebrate the little wins, no matter how small to some. In fairness, so much of my research into managing my conditions was instigated by some form of social media. Something which fuelled me to go on a rampage to collect all the information I could and to put something new into practice, anything that helps!
My Blog is here to serve the middle. Not the before, not the after. I’m not here sharing with you my cure all technique to how I got my life, body and dignity back in “30 short days to your dream life” PAH! I’m not here, writing this to sell you my latest book or to convince you to sign up to my life coaching. (For clarification, neither I have, the thought is quite laughable!) I’m not trying to sell you ANYTHING. I’m just telling my story, from where I’m at now, the uncertain middle and one can hope, into the “after”. To show that a life’s transformation is not as simple as side-by-side comparison shots. OR buying a subscription, detox tea or gym pass. There is NO fad diet for life. You can’t fix it in 30 days by doing butt crunches. Life is a journey, its ongoing. This is mine.