Social Media and Mental Health

Social media can be a game changing tool for anyone, especially people in the SMA and disabled communities. I've chatted about this before – it allows homebound individuals to make friends, talk to doctors, and explore places we wouldn't otherwise get to. But, there's a flip side, and that's what I'm getting into with this post.

Everyone out there having fun

Sure, social media keeps us connected and in the loop, but it can also mess with your head, when you see friends and family doing stuff you can only dream of. I mean, we all grab our phones in the morning, right? I sure do. It's my link to the outside world, and I'm itching to see what went down while I was catching sleep. That’s my first mistake. Turning to social media as soon as I wake up. It often tends to set the mood for me and either make me feel semi okay or even worse some days.

On good days, no sweat – I'm cool seeing pictures of old classmates and friends with their children or couples on cute dates. It's heartwarming, and I'm genuinely happy for them. I cannot stress this enough. I am so happy for them. But on those days when I'm in the mental health trenches, it's a different story. It stings. I'm sitting in my wheelchair, wondering why I'm not the one at the pumpkin patch with my toddler or shouting about being engaged or moving somewhere cool with my bestie. It’s a hard difficult pill to swallow seeing daily how your life hasn’t turned out how you hoped it would have, at no fault of your own.

Social media causes an emotional rollercoaster

It's like a rollercoaster of emotions. Some days, I'll scroll through Insta, smile at a post, and life's peachy. Other days, I'll put down my phone and be tearing up – it hits that hard. I wish people would open up more on social media about the tough times more often, you know? Break that whole stigma around social media being this perfect world.

I'm working on rewiring my brain to get that not everyone's living their best life 24/7, despite their Insta game. I didn't sign up for this disabled life, and trust me, I wouldn't wish it on anyone. But over the years, it's made me feel things on a deep level. So yeah, some days are sunshine and rainbows, and others, I'm wiping away a few tears. I’ve learned when I feel myself getting down and that lump forming in my throat it’s time to get off social media and distract myself with music, books, movies. But sometimes that sadness creeps in even when I’m trying to enjoy fictional characters. It just comes with the territory of living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA.)

Finding joy

Bottom line – it's okay if social media messes with your vibe; it does the same to me. But don't forget, what you see on the screen isn't the whole picture. Embrace the real stuff – the highs and lows, the good and the bad. Find joy in those everyday moments, even if they're not jet-setting beach vacays. I’ve learned, nope, I’m learning to romanticize my life and enjoy and celebrate the little things as well as the bad things.

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