In a world of social media it may seem like everyone is an open book. Their lives are on display through Facebook updates and Snapchat stories and everything always looks perfect!
But that’s hardly the truth, right?
Everyone’s lives go through periods of rest and periods of turmoil. Social media is a haven for presenting your “best self” and your “best life” so it’s easy to feel down on yourself if you’re comparing your real life to the glamorized ones posted online. Influencers spend hours taking photo after photo, contorting themselves into poses that they feel will get them the most likes and follows. Youtube stars make elaborate tales from the most benign of events. And everything in your world may seem a bit dimmer compared to that shine.
But that’s not their truth either.
When we are put on display, we become actors. Actors playing the role of who we want people to think we are, or playing how we think people want us to behave. This isn’t just happening to you, it’s happening to your friends too. There is a fear of showing vulnerability by not being that “best self” and having that “best life” and with how prevalent social media is in our day-to-day lives that acting bleeds over into real life too.
Check In Often
Check in with yourself and your friends. Spend a bit of dedicated time, just a few minutes every few weeks, to reflect on your moods and behaviors. And the moods and behaviors of those you care about. Do you notice any new trends? Someone being more distant, or someone being more forcefully happy? Maybe your mood drops after spending time with a particular person, or maybe it perks up?
A mood tracker can do wonders to keep tabs on what activities or events are impacting your life in a negative, or positive way. It may seem like no big deal to sit on the phone for an hour while your ‘friend’ talks your ear off and never asks how you’re doing. But if that’s tanking your mood down every week? Maybe it’s worth it to cut that call short, or let it go to voicemail every once in a while.
Change happens all the time around us, and it can happen quickly or slowly. Just as a flood may move the earth faster than a stream, that trickle of stream water will still change the landscape when given enough time. Things that may seem small and insignificant could be having a greater impact than you know. Taking the time to stop and check in with your emotions allows you to notice those things they may be streams, slowly eroding away at the landscaping you want your life to reflect.
We can try to be as logical as possible, but as humans, our emotions hold more power over us than you may realize. Emotional responses often happen subconsciously. You might react to something and not understand why you felt so strongly about it. We can’t control our emotions if we don’t acknowledge them and give them the respect they deserve.
By trying to run from our emotions, we hide from solutions to our problems. It may seem so much easier to ignore the problem, numb the pain with drugs and alcohol, avoid anyone or anything that might remind us of what we’re trying to ignore. And then before you know it your life has slipped past your control and now the only way to keep surviving seems to be using the crutches of alcohol and drugs that you’ve leaned on for so long.
But that’s not true.
There is always hope. Humans have an amazing capacity for change and while the effort may be hard at the beginning, momentum builds, and the view from the top after you’ve made it is so worth the effort. Plus, you’re never alone. We are ALL human, we all make missteps, walk down the wrong path at times, some times for longer than we should. But we all have the capacity to reflect and grow.
A Running Start
The sooner you notice a negative trend that’s leading to drug and alcohol abuse, the sooner you can work to redirect that path. Whether you notice the trends in yourself or in someone you love, there is help right here.
Family Life Center is dedicated to helping those who suffer from drug or alcohol addiction regain control of their lives. Our dedicated team has been there, and they’ve tossed away their crutches and leaned on friends and staff to make that climb to regaining control of their lives. Now they are ready to help you. Join us, and let us help you take back control!
Call us today at 256-697-0770 or make use of our Crisis Line 24/7 by dialing 256-888-1234. You can also visit our Contact Us page and leave an electronic form if you’re not comfortable speaking on the phone.