self-care and staying offline.
i’ve stayed off facebook.
i logged off twitter.
shut my computer down.
kept my cell phone put away.
that was my weekend. and it was perfect.
i read Gluten-free Girl and dreamt about the delicious meals i could eat. because when you’re restricted from so much, it’s easy to think that food becomes routine and mundane. but it’s not. food is a beautiful thing and Shauna’s book opened my eyes.
staying away from the email alerts, facebook posts and constant stream of news on twitter also allowed me to reevaluate my life and work through what i think may have been my first bout of depression. yes, you read that right. i know that i’ve suffered from an autoimmune illness for years, but it’s only ever impacted me through physical pain in my joints, etc. for thirty-six hours, i could barely get out of bed or function and i wanted to cry about everything. that’s not very me, if you know me personally. i was overwhelmed with work that usually thrills me and it was difficult to communicate with my boyfriend and family. i wondered how i could face life and why my body was being weird and i hated myself. the psychological tension of an autoimmune has never had a greater presence in my life than this weekend and to be honest, it was scary. this only lasted three days, but when will it strike next and how long will it last? after some self-evaluation, i realized that i was constantly interacting on social media. was i addicted? probably not, but too much for me and the illness. it was the last straw.
i walked away from the weekend surprisingly refreshed. i spent time focusing on my breathing (as a former flautist, i’ve had classes in breathing and find it helps at times) and getting rid of stress via good breathing techniques. i wrote down everything that was bothering me, making me feel guilty or annoying me. i even drove to the bookstore, browsed books for hours (that’s when i purchased Gluten-free Girl) and bought a book on autoimmune illnesses. as i flipped through the pages, i wasn’t reading new information. rather, just reading gave me stability and comfort knowing that everything will be okay (well, maybe someday).
removing electronics from my life also enlightened me, giving me hope and a plan for how to keep myself from going over the edge again. this isn’t a public service announcement by any stretch of the imagination, but know that my online presence will decrease and i’m okay with that. i need boundaries to care for myself and i’m not ashamed or afraid to do what it takes.