I suffer from schizoaffective disorder. I’ve come to learn that some of the normal things in life affect me slightly differently to most others, and i’m going to talk about one area of my life, one area of most peoples lives, that really affects this illness. Social media.
just like many of us I’ve been using social media for years. I’ve used loads of different sites, all starting with MySpace many moons ago. I found I was always getting into arguments online, arguing about silly things all the way up to huge world problems. I would search for followers, try and get as many “friends” as possible, say things for likes, the list goes on. It became a pretty toxic place for me to exist but I didn’t have a clue because I was wrapped up in the connectivity I had with the rest of the world.
I created delusions in my life, which I whole heartedly believed just because someone commented on something I wrote, or liked something i shared. perhaps delusions and paranoia would be affected by the complete opposite. I say perhaps, this happened to me more than once. I can create stories in my head that I’ll easily believe, tormented by lies my mind has created. I even believed I was being sent hidden messages through social media, from people trying to talk to me without anyone else knowing. As you can probably tell, things were pretty dangerous at times, and I did get in trouble.
just over a year ago I realized that social media was so incredibly toxic in my life, I just hadn’t seen it before this. It took a big falling out from one of my past friends, and some rather horrible messages for me to realize that I needed to escape the grip of Facebook, Twitter and others. I immediately left Facebook to try and help save myself. This didn’t last long because I was addicted, like everyone else, to the internet’s connectivity. I rejoined but made a big decision, I was going to choose a new way to use social media. I used to follow groups that would bring me down. There were pages that were full of extreme and toxic opinions. I had to get away from these. I made the decision to make social media a safe space, a place I can go to for some peace and quiet.
I no longer have the big number of friends I used to have on Facebook, and it’s nice. I limit Twitter to the people that fascinate me, rather than the ones that hurt me and have a detrimental affect to my well-being. I follow whatever I want on Instagram, and make sure the pictures I see bring a smile to my face, rather than judgement and anger. I follow these rules for every social media platform because its healthy for me. For more than six months I haven’t really had an issue with paranoia or delusions from the use of social media. It has kept me company while I recover and get my life on track. It has opened up some pretty cool avenues in my life as well, some I’m just starting to walk down right now. The internet is a safe space for me now, a place where I feel comfortable and connected, and in no way feel intoxicated.
Thank you social media for aiding my recovery 🙂