Sunday, June 3, 2012

Who knew social media could elicit such feelings?

It is so easy to get sucked into Facebook. Someone once told me looking through other people's profiles on FB felt like a form of voyeurism. According to this person, most of the "friends" on your FB page aren't really even friends.  We just know who they are and are being nosy. The more I thought about this, the more I thought they might be onto something. It never fails, I see something that piques my interest and I just have to delve deeper looking for the back story; the history. I click on the picture and get sucked into the life of someone else. I'm a relative stranger looking in. Observing through pictures and comments; piecing together every day life or at least their life at that moment. It's an easy trap to fall into and I admit it: I become a FB stalker. At least in that moment. 
For whatever reason, you may find yourself (or, at least I do) with hundreds of friends on FB and you may actually talk to an eighth of them on a regular basis in real time. You "friend" them b/c you went to high school with them, but haven't seen or spoken to them since graduation. They may be a friend of a friend, but because you hung out as a group one night, they have become your "friend" on FB, but not in real life. You run into someone you haven't seen in years who asks, "are you on Facebook?". To which you respond, "I am! Look me up!". I recently just fell prey to this last one. I was so surprised to hear myself say it. It was as if the words never really left my mouth.
I have just recently attempted to be more social on FB. I cruise the wall, make comments on random things, "like" others. I used to not be a very interactive FB'er, but everyone else was doing it and I didn't want to seem antisocial, so what the hell. Unfortunately, my attempt at being more interactive has brought on feelings I have only allowed myself to experience a handful of times over the past year.
As I look at other people's pictures, I see happily married couples and families. People seemingly smitten with one another. Even though I am certain they aren't always that happy with one another, the sight of it makes my heart ache and with great effort I try not to cry. I become deeply saddened at the loss of my family. It pains me to no end realizing I walked away from it. I made that choice. I sometimes think back and ask if I could or should have done anything differently. I left my husband with our two very young children a year ago. It is absolutely surreal to me. One, that I left. Two, that it has taken me this long to feel any sense of myself. Three, that I still mourn.
I look at my two boys and can't help but feel this suffocating grief and fleeting, but overwhelming regret. This wasn't what I wanted for them. Even more so, I didn't want them to keep experiencing the insanity of living with two sick parents. I wanted so badly to get better and I have. I just knew there was nothing left to do in my situation. Or, was there?? Even though I felt confidant in my decision, I still question it sometimes. I made sure I had done everything I could to salvage my marriage before I walked out. I hate to think how much worse I would be a year later had I stayed and survived. I am convinced, had I stayed, I would have killed myself or (after our last fight in April 2011) he would have killed me had I challenged him again. 
Either way, I can tell you I lived every day with the most overwhelming sadness. I operated and survived on flat out, fucking rage. I experienced a resentment that completely consumed me. I became OBSESSED with trying to control things completely out of my control and then behaving like a lunatic; a literal mad woman. I don't know I will ever be able to fully explain it to someone who hasn't experienced firsthand the literal insanity of addiction and codependency. I don't say that in a, "you have no idea" tone. I say that in a "I thought I knew until I lived it" tone. I had no idea I was capable of some of the things I had done. I never thought he'd do some of the things he did. In my wildest dreams (nightmares really) I never thought I would become the hateful, violent, person I once was. I never knew it was possible to not only lose all sense of self, but to hate yourself with a passion.
I don't really claim to know much. I know what I feel and I know what I think. However, this fractured mind isn't always the most reliable. Details often get lost in translation. One thing I know for certain is I am going to continue to make mistakes and have to ask for forgiveness. I will continue to be humbled and I am completely OK with that. I also tell you, I like the person I have become a whole hell of a lot better today. I used to live consumed by regret, resentment, and remorse. I didn't eat. I didn't sleep. My hair was falling out. I had constant chest pains. I even scowled, I think. I felt like I was drowning. I don't have to be that way today. It may have taken me longer than I expected to get back on my feet; to get back to everyday functioning. The reality is, it's been a year. Seems like much longer, but really not long at all. Not in the grand scheme of things. Especially looking back at how sick I was. In fact, I would say I am doing remarkably well given the demise of my 5 year "plan". I am no longer suffering in silence.
I may become mournful over pictures I see of seemingly happy and madly in love people because those moments don't exist for me anymore. The reality is, those moments were few, far between and typically substance induced. The moments in between those snapshots of eluded happiness were so horrifying, it started to not be worth the Kodak moment. I have no problem posting pictures of just me and my boys on FB having a grand ole' time because a year ago, I had no idea how to enjoy them. I can tell you for certain, those moments are genuine. And the times that carry me to Kodak moments today (even though chaotic) make me smile more often then not.  

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