It started with a troublesome mind, shortly followed by sleepless nights which after a few days led me to being driven to the brink of pure exhaustion.
This in turn, eventually forced my body to finally accept defeat and ultimately shut down for much needed rest & sleep.
This however was not the end of my troubles but the start,
shortly after forced sleep, came the weeks of the horrific nightmares –
No, I had not had a traumatic experience of late, I was not grieving a deep rooted loss, I had no trouble or turmoil currently occupying my life.. so, What the hell was happening to me?
In recent times (2015) I discovered more about myself than the last 20 (something) years of my life, ‘pretty big call, right?’ – However It is true.
I have never felt more ‘me‘, more satisfied in my own skin, the person I am, the person I am constantly growing into and the women I have now come to love.
I am constantly attracting positive beautiful people, experiences and things in my life.
I am in love, happy, healthy, have an amazing close family & support network. I absolutely love and adore my work & co-workers, I not only get to travel back to the beautiful Thailand in 4 months but I will also be marrying my best friend and to top it off we get to do it in front of 30 (something) close friends and family, not to mention we will soon be buying our first home and packing up the boys (Our two cat fur babies, brother’s Charlie and Yoda) and starting our own little story.
Sounds Perfect Right?……. It ‘almost’ is –
I also recently discovered I am a perfect example of an Empath ‘101’, a multi-passionate being, who at time’s feels like I’m almost ‘too sensitive’ for the world we now know.
Now while I Love who I am, this other passionate, empathetic, caring, sensitive side of me has taken a toll.
It started driving home from work listening to the news on the radio –
A story about a man being charged for marrying a child bride due to his ‘religion’, another fatal stabbing, a paedophile charged, another shooting and body parts found floating in a river.
The overwhelming grief quickly followed as I tried to process what I was hearing.
“Turn it off” I quickly told myself and although I did, it was too late, I was now torturing myself with the horrifying stories.
I got home, greeted my loved one’s and started preparing dinner.
“I’ll check Facebook” I thought – All I saw was bitching, people whinging about the weather, the neighbour’s dog barking, animal rights pages posting graphic photo’s, local communities posting about crimes, breakups, deaths, job haters, boss haters, life and world haters.
ALL COMPLETELY NEGATIVE!
Anyone who knows me personally, knows I am incredibly and probably ‘over’ passionate about animals and their welfare (any and all animal).
This mean’s I am ‘friends’ with many animal right’s pages, activist, visionaries and shelters and pounds.
That night as I lay awake not ready to sleep yet, I naturally reached for my phone and instantly clicked on the Facebook app as I had done a hundred times or more before. This time though I was absorbed almost instantly into a story begging people to sign a petition to end the dog meat trade in Asian countries (what was I thinking) – I know what I was thinking, I was thinking “I need to help, I need to stop this, how can people do this to animals and in such an inhumane way” ( brief: usually beaten, boiled or skinned alive) but enough of that talk for now!
“Did I sign the petition”? You bet your ass I did!! Right after a stared at an incredibly graffic picture of a dog (which i will not go into details of, as it’s to horrific to even re-count) this *said photo left me staring at the roof till 2am completely heartbroken, Horrified, enraged and sickened this was all happening while i lay helplessly in my bed on the other side of the world. After 2am i had to get up and walk around, I felt physically ill, then the tear’s started flowing.
My fiancé woke and quickly calmed me and after a lengthy conversation about all that was wrong in the world I was able to make it to morning. (Bless his cotton socks).
The next few weeks followed the same, nightmares about animal cruelty, terrorism, rape, mass murder, deforestation and worl destruction. It quickly became apparent news feeds, facebook feeds and radio feeds where having a grossly negative affect on me! Every form of media was Negative, not one mildly, partially or slightly positive story. Then my old chum Anxiety decided to visit.
Enough was Enough, i couldn’t take it anymore – Not only was I having sleepless nights or at least nightmares, it was starting to affect my day to day life. I was tired, stressed, constantly anxious, and starting to get depressed.
THE SOLUTION – For the sake of my own Sanity.
‘Break up’ with media & ‘social’ media..
Now don’t panic, this doesn’t not mean you need to delete all social media accounts, sell your tablets, laptops and phones and dive back into the stone age. Instead evaluate what you ACTUALLY get out of it, Do you really need it? More importantly How much time do you REALLY spend on social media and what could you be better doing with your precious time?
For me it was stopping the Facebook routine, I stopped checking the news feeds only paying attention when someone would send me a private message (seeing as my sister lives in England) it is a useful tool for communication! I stopped reading the news on the internet at work, I stopped listening to the news at night on the t.v at home, unfollowed negative people and unfriended those who were constantly posting offensive content.
My fiancé would play a large part also, only telling me news that was happening around the world that he felt i needed to know, Or asking me if i wanted to know about a particilar story. I am aware I am an adult, i do understand you can’t shut out the world and deny what is really going on but i do believe that media plays negative based news (it sells more) I believe just like self-reflection while small portions of it is good, to much can be incredibly damaging.
There was also another side to this. While traveling to Sydney a few weeks ago for a Harbour Cruise with work, I glanced around the carriage I was seated in to discover the packed train was full of people interacting with their phones. Only one man quickly glanced up from his phone to catch my eye than quickly was re-absorbed back into his smart phone. This unseemingly bothered me….
ROAR came a rushing sound as our train flew out of the dark tunnel and back into the light. Sky scrapers & apartment buildings I had seen before started to look different, i noticed roof top gardens and flower pots spread across window frames, one building had a bushy vine growing along all the window edges, pigeons perched on ledges welcoming the morning sun, it was a beautiful – and no one else noticed.
Two days ago while at a large Intergency meeting we were all asked to name our favourite social media and why we love it so much, out of a room of 30 services only a nurse and myself stood up on our turn and expressed our displeasure around certain social media’s.
I explained while I love I can connect with Loved one’s from a-far & keep in contact with my large & wide spread family, that it ws actually having a somewhat negative affect on my life. That I do love Pintrest for inspirtion & Instragram but only because i am very strict on who i follow (mainly yoga teachures and life coaches). That I love WordPress & that writing Blogs is an incredibly therapeutic hobbie for me which i rather really enjoy. I do not deny i use media, however i am incredibly strict on which types i used and when.
This is why my break up with media and more to the point of the ‘un-social’ media became a liberating experience, I was even suprised at how easy it was. Rather then my head burried in my phone stalking Facebook i now take in my surroundings, who i am with, what i am doing, for me my time is much better invested in Living rather then Online!!
If you find media is starting to have a negative affect on your life, or perhps you’ve been spending to much time online rather than in life – than perhaps it’s time you Break Up with Social Media also.