Social media is a dangerous place for a girl like me.
It highlights our most sparkling moments and does a spectacular job of hiding our less than perfect days. The days we don’t get out of bed until noon, the days we never put on makeup or make our hair “just right” are seemingly nonexistent without any proof of it.
Sometimes seeing other people’s posts will motivate me to get up and get out. I’ll see a post that makes me want to try a new hairstyle, make a new dish for dinner, or write a post on the blog. Other times, times like now when I’ve been sidelined from much of life, I find that social media only makes me feel like a blob of nothing.
Even though deep down I know that it’s all surface, that these photos have been hand-picked to show just the right moment in the very best light, it is nearly impossible to scroll Instagram and not be reminded of just how much I’m not doing with my life.
It’s not surprising that when a pain flare ties me to my couch, or a recovery requires me to stay in bed for days I would start to feel like I’m falling behind or missing out on life. I doubt there is a person out there who finds those types of timeouts productive.
I do my best to find ways to keep myself busy during these down times by planning documentaries to watch, movies to catch up on, books to read, bible studies to enjoy but honestly, it’s all the sitting that does me in. It makes me feel so restless.
I’ve tried planning for my return to “normal” life (normal is a relative term and you can read my true feelings on the matter here) to help get me through the living in my bed or on the couch parts, but it mostly just makes me despise the time on the sidelines even more. I’ve tried avoiding social media while I’m out of commission but then I start to really feel like a shut-in because I’ve lost the only connection to the outside world I have.
So that sort of leaves me back at square one: feeling like a blob on my couch.
What’s weird is that when I was working I rarely felt like a blob. Even when I was going through my longest post-op recovery (4 weeks out of the office) I recognized it as necessary time out and once I was back to work it was all behind me. The mantra “you only have one chance to heal properly” was so important to me that I made sure to take my time getting back on my feet.
Come September of this year it will be five years since I left my job and filed for disability. While I can’t say that I regret the decision to stop working, I definitely miss it. I miss the structure and consistency having a job provided. Even with all of the routine needs my family has I often feel as though I either have way too much time on my hands with nothing to fill it, or way too much to do and no way to get it all done.
I have tried to create my own brand of structure with consistent wake-up times, scheduled writing hours, gym sessions and social outings and it goes well for a time but then a pain a flare, a surgery or (most recently) an injury comes through and knocks me off my game.
Over the past few years, this has gotten so frustrating to me that I’ve adopted the structure-less attitude of going with the flow of how I feel each day. This worked for a while but mostly it just feels like floundering around.
Some days I wake up early and feel like I used the day well and other days I open my eyes to see 11:15 am on my clock and the next thing I know the kids are getting off the bus and I’m still in my jammies. While the sleeping in after a crap night of sleep is really nice it tends to create this feeling of panic because I didn’t do much more than breathe that day.
I’ve talked about this extensively in therapy and just after my emergency surgery I had decided to try the structure thing again, only in baby steps. Step one was to conform to a sleep schedule that only flexed when it absolutely had to. (Sleep is super important when you’re in pain 24/7 because the more exhausted you are the worse your pain feels) Then I would start to work structured writing time, workouts and meditations in around the standing appointments we have each week.
The sleep thing was going great and I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing. All I had to do was get cleared by my Gynecologist and I was off to the gym. Three days before my appointment I broke my stupid foot.
So for the last 23 days I’ve been stuck at home 90% of the time since I can’t drive, and most of the time I’m at home I am sitting because it’s a lot of work to stand on one leg all the time. This brings me back to the whole blob on the couch thing.
Goodness am I struggling with this. More than I ever have before, honestly. I’ve never been so motivated to find a way to get back on my feet and I literally can’t be on my feet. I’ve been looking at Pinterest searching for “ways to workout with a broken foot” but honestly, I lack the core strength to do most of the things on there. (Courtesy of six too many surgeries on my abdomen) which makes me feel more blob-like than before.
Since I spent most of September through November recovering from the surgeries my brain is melting from all of the TV I’ve watched, and I get cranky trying to watch something now. I’m desperate to do something mentally and emotionally stimulating which brings me here, to the paper, to you. Whining about how the shiny pictures on social media make me feel like a blob.
I have accepted that there is nothing I can do but heal, and I’m doing my part by elevating, icing and resting my foot. I’m taking supplements and trying to eat more protein to give my foot all the fuel it needs to be flip flop ready come May, and I am counting the days until I can start the journey back to weight bearing.
There are just so many hours in the day and so many ways I cannot fill them. So until I find something better to do, I’ll be here. Rambling on about my mushy brain and wishing my life was as shiny as Instagram makes yours look.
Social media is a dangerous place for a girl like me.