The choices we make to stay healthy


Someone recently got really, REALLY angry with me. As part of their anger they told me how absolutely fucked up I am, how I'm crazy, how I have so many problems with so many people and I am surely seeing a doctor and medicated because of all of my crazy.

This person actually doesn't know me that well.

But they've read my blog.

I worry sometimes about what I write on here. That showing the world my struggles and insecurities and flaws could completely blow up in my face. That it could be used against me and that perhaps the safest course of action is to just post some recipes and talk about dogs and going to the gym.

I'm not really that great at taking the safest course of action. Ships are safe in harbor but that's not what ships are for and all...




And besides, the "me too" is too important. If I pretend that nothing is wrong, then that encourages other people to pretend that nothing is wrong, which encourages shame, which encourages "fear of people finding out what's 'wrong' with me," which depression and anxiety actually feed off of and then nothing is wrong with anyone but everyone is actually miserable.

It's totally unhealthy.

So here's what's 'wrong' with me right now: I am, once again, really uncomfortable around people. I've just been waking up more and more lately and thinking...I can't. A little depression, as well.

I'm ok in small doses. Work is fine. I can still go to the gym. I can function. But things that feel a little more social are...no. And I've pinned it down to "not enough." Which I've traced back to social media.

I don't think it's any secret that I want to save everybody, all of the time. And that that sort of thinking has taken me to some really unhealthy places.

The thing about an election season is, it makes you pay more attention to the world. At least that's what it did for me. And the world is hurting. And if you are the type of person who veers towards thinking you can save everybody, all of the time, then more exposure to a hurting world can take you to some really dark places. Some deep sadness. Some hardcore feelings of inadequacy. Of not being enough. It can lead you to ignore the hurting and struggles in your own life, because there is always someone who is suffering more.

Because you have friends who care about refugees, about Aleppo, about Standing Rock, about foster kids, about kittens, about dogs, about the homeless, about the mentally ill, about veterans, about child trafficking, about addiction, about Planned Parenthood, about marching on Washington, about climate change, about the ACLU, about the NAACP, about poverty, about immigration, about hunger and why aren't you doing something about all of that? All of it. And more. Why?

That's what it feels like. Like...LOUD. And that I am not doing enough. And I start to abandon what's needed in my own life because I am so consumed with the struggles of others and it is a spiral downward...it is being on the plane and running around frantically trying to save everyone while neglecting to put my own oxygen mask on and in the end, saving no one...not even myself.

So the choice that I'm making now to stay healthy and to do real good is to withdraw from all of that noise. To acknowledge that the world is hurting, but that I cannot save the world. I'm one person and I have limited resources, both financially and mentally. I have chosen something that I feel will be the best use of my resources, and that is what I'm committing to. And in order to keep myself focused, I need to shut out the rest of the noise for a little while.

It doesn't mean I don't care. It doesn't mean I don't love. It's just... I can't do anything if I'm not healthy, and I can't be healthy if I can't focus. We can care about people, but we are not the saviors of the universe. We are not Superman.

So I'm taking a 90 day...thing. I don't know what it is, exactly. A cleanse? A sabbatical? It's kind of like Eat, Pray, Love except I can't actually afford to do that sort of thing so I'm just going to take this journey in my house and in my mind.

A while ago I posted something on facebook about the desire to read real books more and to stop scrolling. And then there was this election and I was the queen of the scrollers. Facebook was my home. And so I've realized that I can't just taper down my time on facebook. It has to be eliminated. At least for a little while (My personal page. The Hey Lola page is still active).

That's the first thing. The next thing, which I've been working on for the last two weeks, is to reduce the amount of stuff I have. Too much stuff is also noise. I'm reducing the noise.

And after that...I don't know. We'll see where the road takes us. But as always, I'm proud to acknowledge what's wrong, to say "this part of my life is kind of fucked up right now and I feel inadequate and sad" and to then take steps to get my brain to a healthier place.  There's nothing wrong with that.

There's nothing wrong with being human. There's nothing wrong with seeking help. There's nothing wrong with taking care of yourself and there's nothing wrong with talking about your struggles. Don't let anyone tell you differently.



5 comments:

Rachel said...

I'm pretending everything is fine every single day. And it's literally killing me.

Rachel said...

I'm pretending everything is fine every single day. And it's literally killing me.

Dan Seipel said...

I was once off of facebook for 18 mos. It can be done. But there's some withdrawl for a couple weeks; feeling of 'disconnectedness'. What helps is if you have some goals you want to accomplish; such as read X amount of books or learn an instrument. Its also difficult for me moderate social media usage. There's a couple of chrome & android apps that can help. The chrome one is called 'StayFocused' and the android one is AppBlock. I also read a book recently that was called 'How to Be Fucking Awesome'. It has a few nuggets of self-help. Good luck.

Travis lipski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica said...

Way to be in tune with what is going on inside your heart! Lovely post!