I’m pretty sure that 10 years ago people didn’t have to “go dark” when they had a down spell. I think we just kept to ourselves a bit. We didn’t accept invitations, certainly didn’t invite anyone over. And then, enter social media.
We live in the age of letting everyone know what you’re doing at all times, so “going dark” ain’t what it used to be. So many of us use social media for business as well as socializing, and that makes it extra tricky. Have you ever had a tough month? A bad quarter? How about a rough year? I’ve had all of those in my lifetime. I think I’ve even had a succession of years that kind of sucked, let’s say 3 or 4 in a row (it’s much easier to look at those with a 15-years-out perspective. While in the midst of it I’m sure I don’t know what the hell was up). I happen to be going through a rough patch right now (length to be determined) and it feels different than when I went through something similar 5 years ago, because now…well, now social media is EVERYWHERE. And what are the rules about all that?
I’ll be honest, I don’t know. I’ve avoided social media as much as possible lately, and have hoped that astute friends would see I’m not posting much and not judge me for it. I’m on social media here and there, bingeing at times (hello, 48 hours post-election). I take care of what I need to. On some days I feel better and you may see some likes from me as I peruse other people’s posts. On other days I lay around in my pajamas and curse the life choices I’ve made. Such is life, eh?
At my family Christmas last week, I spoke to a cousin who said she felt such relief when she recently deactivated her Facebook page. She had 15 friends. I get it. I have over 950. Damn.
We’ve been listening to a lot of Diamond Rugs in our house lately. That may seem like a non sequitur, but their music has felt very relevant lately. At least my kids jam out to their music so we have some positive movement going on.
I spent some time with a dear friend last night, celebrating her birthday. We are on different ends of the parenting spectrum, but both challenged by what’s in front of us. She’s a 5th grade teacher and in our conversation she offered the book “Things Fall Apart” as a source of support, explaining that human suffering is universal, wherever you stand.
This too shall pass. This I know from experience, although as each month drags out it seems interminable. My Christmas wish for myself and all of you: strength, peace, and clarity. Namaste.
(And for non-Yogis who may not understand the full meaning of Namaste–it can be translated as: “The divine light in me acknowledges the divine light in you.”) 🙏🏻
ADDENDUM: I feel compelled to add an explanatory note to this post. There are many aspects to human health. For some reason, discussing mental health is often taboo while discussing physical health is not. The fact is: we all go through ups and downs in our mental wellness, just as we do in our physical wellness. This post was an acknowledgement of that. We can’t choose the genes we inherit from our parents. Knowing we have a family history of heart disease or diabetes can certainly help shape the lifestyle choices we make or the treatments we seek. The same goes for knowing we have a family history of depression, addiction, or OCD. I speak openly about the ups & downs of mental wellness in an effort to help normalize it. I want my two boys to know that going in for a mental health checkup is just as important and available as going in for a physical health checkup. I don’t want them to feel ashamed about their genetics; I want them to feel empowered about all aspects of their health. For those of you who reached out to me to check on me or send words of encouragement, I appreciate you. I’m okay today partly because I was raised in a family that taught me from a young age how to reach out for support when I don’t feel okay. And for those of you who reached out to me to share that you too have been struggling–thank you for sharing. You are not alone.