You hear people say “don’t believe all you see or read on social media”. Life isn’t a Pinterest picture or an Instagram montage. For me when I had postnatal depression it was my mask. I hadn’t entered the realms of Facebook until I had my second child. I did so because I had this silly notion of missing out on things. Friends were talking about it, laughing over photos I hadn’t seen, this made me feel quite paranoid. Now commonly referred to as FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out. So on New Years Day 2011 my first photo posted was a photo of my youngest daughter looking happy. Likes and congratulations messages all round. I had finally stepped into the modern world that is social media and joined the masses.
However I was in the throes of postnatal illness and I wasn’t well at all. Paranoid thoughts were a constant in my day to day life. I would rerun conversations over and over in my head. Should I have said that? Did that’s person take what I said the wrong way? Were they offended? Did I upset them? What would they be thinking about me? Would they say to their friends I had upset them? Whatever had happened I would replay it over in my head to think if I could have said something differently.
Despite my better judgement Facebook, which I had been quite openly verbal in my dislike for it, had now become my mask. I would put photos of my daughters on there or happy statuses to show others I was okay. I was definitely sucked into the pretend world of Facebook. It was like a new friend, I wanted to spend lots of time with it, find out more about it, it was fun. However I was trying to live my life as if I was a Facebook status. Strange as it sounds I would compile posts in my head to match a situation. Combining this with how mentally unwell I was feeling it wasn’t a good combination.
Now I am well I know that social media has its place but it is like a good book on a shelf. I can pick it up if I want to. Read it or just glance over the cover. Enjoy it, recommend it to others or just know that’s it’s there.