For all the ways I fear social media and technology are destroying our abilities to communicate face-to-face with whole sentences and brain-washing us for the final takeover of the world…..those same social media and technology demons sure made it easier for me to feel less alone and more loved yesterday. Despite the fact that I never washed my face or got dressed. In fact, I think I only left my room twice. Both times to cook chicken nuggets.
I am depressed. But we live in a world where that seems weak to admit. While I sympathize with other people’s weaknesses, I cannot tolerate them within myself. Do you ever feel this? That you need to just “suck it up?” Even as I was typing the last blog, it was an inner fight to honestly write how sad I am. Because I know, and we all know, there are people dealing with things much worse than my feelings. Hunger, abject poverty, slavery, disease. I was thinking “Rachel, you are ridiculous. Who cares. Children starve, there are wars, think of the homeless.”
But I also came to realize that no matter how “small” our problems seem in the context of the whole world of problems, if they hold us back from being fully-functioning, kind, loving, giving, awesome adults…then they are important and we need to talk about them and figure it out. It never helps to compare ourselves with others, or belittle the emotions. Like I have been trying to do for a while. Conversations with myself go like –
“Yeah, every sound and my own thoughts scare me and keep me up until 3 or 4am every night, so then it’s all I can do to get out of bed before 10am. And sometimes I sit on the floor in front of the fridge and eat everything. But I’m just being silly when I cry in Target when they ask if I need help. So I don’t want to burden anyone.”
So to blog becomes the passive way of burdening, because no one has to read it, but it is there. I’ve unloaded all word vomit and the act alone of defining is incredibly therapeutic. I start typing and after a few minutes, read what I’ve written and go “my God – that’s what I feel.”
And what’s really cool, is then I saw community happen. It was and is hard to be vulnerable, but then people sent messages/emails/texts saying “I’ve been there! I know that darkness! You are not alone and it will get better!” Girlfriends offered virtual happy hours via Skype, I felt covered in prayer (God’s got a sense of humor – I write a blog about how mad I am at Him, a hundred of my church peeps email me), people offered ideas and encouragement and tough love.
Yesterday it rained all day. All day. And I stayed in bed all day. I read, I talked on the phone a little, more job searching. Reached a new low when I watched a Youtube video to help me pass a level in Candy Crush.
I got up, made the bed and told myself “you are not allowed to get back in bed until you go to sleep.” (I can not overstate how huge this is.) I have a list of things I want to do, things I need to research for my internship, and am signing up for a 5-mile race that’s in two weeks.
I picked up cat and tried to get it to cuddle with me, thinking that would help. It scratched me. So I threw it outside.
Can’t win em all!
And I keep reminding myself – misery has a shelf life. You are not alone. There is good out there waiting for you so go outside. There is a lemon Chobani in the fridge (my fav flavor and hard to find!) and Pumpkin Spice lattes. You are not alone. Pick up the phone and reach out for help – this does not make you weak, this makes your relationships stronger. Find your theme song and sing it. You are not alone. You are loved. Go.
You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face
And show the world all the love in your heart
Then people gonna treat you better
You’re gonna find, yes, you will
That you’re beautiful as you feel – Carole King