I’ve been restricting my social media for close to 8 months. It’s been most helpful to me, especially when my panic attacks were at their very worst, to be selective about what I allow into my mental space. Unfortunately, that has included a lot of social interaction.
That said, I am still visible through posts on the Babe’s IG or other family members’ posts. Because of this, I often wonder what things people say when they see me smiling or otherwise appearing “normal” on the pages of others. Do they assume that I’m “fine” and just being standoffish? Or worse, do they believe that now that I have a kid, I’m focusing so much on him that I’ve kind of “got the goody and gone”? Do they think I’ve abandoned my infertility flock, in exchange for the “bliss” of parenthood? I hope they don’t. But I know they do.
Infertility was so very much a battle because it is a disease that debilitates you from the inside. Your heart and mind battle with one another at all hours of the day and keep you bound in this inner turmoil that affects your outer attitude. But no one can see it. You’re fighting for your life, and nobody knows how hard. It’s one of the many invisible ailments that humans often suffer from. Now that I’m supposedly on the other side, I’ve been placed in yet another one.
Depression isn’t always dark rooms and tears. (though I’ve had my share of those also). Instead, depression can be smiling in photographs while battling obsessive and intrusive thoughts. It can be nailing everything at work, while fighting through panic attacks in your car at lunch. It can be experiencing pure elation at the thought of your infant, while also experiencing sheer terror at every turn.
Depression doesn’t look like people think it does, and so they don’t respond to you the way you hope they will.
So I’ve tried to be as honest and direct as I possibly can with people while I’m on this journey to recovery. When they ask why I’m not on Facebook, I tell them the truth. When they invite me out, I try to give a real reason for my not going out. When someone asks me how I’m feeling, I give them more than they bargained for. And I don’t apologize for it.
But that doesn’t stop me from
wondering obsessing about whether or not that’s enough to keep from hurting, offending, or upsetting those I love or like.