The judgement by those who are not on social media, or active out here, can be frustrating. Often, the people who comment, “Oh you are always on Instagram / Facebook,” are the ones with active social life, lots of loved ones in their life, lots of people to talk to and vice versa, absolutely busy people mostly with full time jobs, people with a huge family, people who are simply not interested in social media and then some more.
For me, social media is a community I connect with. It gets really lonely when you can count on one hand the number of people who you can always talk to. This was not always the case with me. As much as I can remember, I had the most number of friends in college and when I used to work full-time. Both my weekdays and weekends used to be busy. I was a chatterbox, a fun-loving person, healthy and very active with loads of energy. Until around 15 years ago, there were some Sundays when I would watch two movies in a theatre with different set of friends. I would dine out with friends from school, college or work at least twice a week. I would travel by train to work daily, work until late, even workout, meet so many people and what not. There was a decade in my life when I didn’t feel sick or lonely. Birthdays were days when my phone would not stop ringing. The next day would be spent returning calls I couldn’t answer (this year, I received 4 birthday phone calls other than my immediate family)! Ah, those were the days!
In 2009-10, everything changed. I got sick and my life changed in a span of one year. Fibromyalgia and depression hit me bad, real bad. Recently, I was also diagnosed with anxiety disorder which was not actually surprising for me. I was (still am) in excruciating pain all the time. By all the time, I mean 24×7. And around 10+ other symptoms that you can check on my Fibromyalgia Awareness blog. Gradually, I couldn’t travel to work much or work full-time. It even affected my finances terribly. I started working part-time and it was tough as my successful career really took a back seat. I couldn’t travel to meet people like before and gradually started losing touch. Friends, family, colleagues… everyone eventually gets busy.
When you are suffering with a chronic and invisible medical condition, it is but natural to talk about it. It slowly starts consuming you however you avoid, in the beginning at least. Especially, if your illness is not (sad to say this) a ‘popular’ one and when people do not believe that you are really sick. This is 2021 and it is so unfortunate that depression and fibromyalgia are not taken seriously. So you end up either not talking about it at all or talk about you being in pain and unable to do so many things, at least once, when you talk to people. Later, you realise that people do not like to hear about your sorrow or suffering. They liked the older you – the one who could make them laugh all the time, the one who could rush to them whenever they needed you. I used to be a very funny, active, energetic and dependable person. Then I became someone else consumed by never-ending pain and depression. I felt utterly lonely, still do, at most times.
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People started misunderstanding me, a lot. And started distancing themselves from me. I also learnt some hard facts about life. The moment I stopped being useful to some people, I was not of any importance to them. Yeah, you get used to it eventually and so I did. But I am a people person, I need to be around people, have friends, have someone to talk to. And yes, when I meet people now, I do not talk about my illness at all. If asked casually, my answer is consiously limited to 3-4 words… I have trained myself to do so. It might not appear by this long post though, but then the reason of my being on social media is around that part of my life.
I joined Instagram pretty late and became active months after becoming a mom. I am glad to connect with so many moms and amazing women, who may or may not know that they have kind of become my support system. These are people from across the world and such amazing ones. So now I don’t care when people judge me for being online. These are the ones who are and will never be there for me.
Facebook and other places are more about people mostly sharing how successful they are, their achievements, and of course some fun and serious stuff. But I find Instagram a little more better. People share about their life, often unfiltered and real life. It’s relatable, believable and you come across more people you don’t know already.
10 reasons why I spend time on Instagram:
1. I meet amazing people from across the world
2. It is nice to talk to moms with kids of the same age group as yours
3. Once you meet a few people here, you continue believing that kindness and goodness still exist
4. I get to learn and share so many things – activity ideas for kids, recipes, photography, painting…
5. Since this is a image based media, I end up clicking lots of pics with my daughter
6. I reconnected with a few old acquaintances and it feels so good
7. I started writing regularly again
8. I get inspired so much
9. I started reading books when I saw so many people promoting their work
10. I don’t feel lonely or depressed as long as I am here
Are you active on social media? What are your reasons? How do you deal with judgements?
Follow momandideas on Instagram for my motherhood journey (mostly no Fibromyalgia and depression talk there!)