why I logged off

Taking a break from Instagram seemed to be daunting but served to be a larger learning lesson than I ever thought it would and I was only gone for three-ish weeks. Do you know how much of our world revolves around this platform? Or, how many times I thought “well, I’d like to hang out with this person but I don’t even have their contact info, we just follow each other on Instagram.” It’s been a tough season (not winter, but like, period in life) for me and I’m sure you’re tired of me talking about it but I thought I’d do some self reflecting and figure out what was causing me to be so angry at myself/those around me. 

Someone I was close with but no longer am, referred to me as being a “negative person” and for some reason that stung more than it should’ve. I’m sure that person has said way worse things about me in the past few months but being called negative is never a good thing, ever, and I’ve had to self reflect on that. I feel like I’ve always done a good job of knowing my faults and knowing when I’m being a raging emotional bitch, so though that sentiment wasn’t surprising, hearing it hurt. Do you know how hard it is for someone who excelled all throughout school, who did everything she could to make sure she’d be set after graduating, to now being in the real world and repeatedly told “no” which translates to “you’re not good enough”? You start thinking of all the reasons why everything has gone left. And all of the reasons why you’re not good enough. And all of the reasons why this and why that. You start wondering if going to a different school would’ve helped. Or if by having rich parents you’d climb the ladder much quicker. You start thinking that you’re not that talented and not actually that smart. 

And then you start thinking about relationships and how you’re in love with a guy who never could commit because he just didn’t want to. He didn’t want you, at all. He wanted other women, but not you. He never wanted you. And then you start thinking about how undesirable you feel. And how you wasted your time for so long. And how you’re not sexy or in shape and therefore you’re skimmed over at parties. And then you think about how maybe cutting your hair was a mistake because guys think it’s weird. So you’re struggling with the thoughts of not giving a fuck about men (but actually) and loving your short hair.

And then you start crying. And crying. And crying. And you sit in your bed on Saturday night while your peers go out for drinks, wallowing in your negative thoughts. 

And those thoughts suffocate you to the point where you feel like you didn’t belong on this Earth anymore. You don’t do anything about it, but you just feel it. Everyday. Every second. Every time you walk through the streets on your way into work. Every time you open Instagram. 

It’s not that serious, I know, but for some reason I allowed it to be and I had had enough. I couldn’t look at one more picture. I couldn’t see who wasn’t liking my photos compared to who was. I didn’t like looking at photos of those who I used to be friends with only a few short months ago. I didn’t want to see someone who I thought was my best friend going out without me, with no text-invite in sight. I didn’t like seeing congratulatory posts. Or people in new relationships. Or people getting new jobs. Or people being invited to cool events. Or people going on vacation. So I muted them. But like self torture, I’d go peaking on their page again. Seeing them doing things without me. Seeing them so happy, without me. 

I couldn’t bare it, so one day I decided to let go. I deactivated my account so that when you searched me I wouldn’t come up. I was still active on Twitter but most people on Instagram don’t follow me on Twitter. I mostly say stupid shit on Twitter. 

During those three-ish weeks I got one email. An email asking me if I was okay and where I was. 

You may think this was a cry for attention, and maybe it was. 

Yeah, I guess it was.

People, in person, told me they had tried to look for me on Instagram but couldn’t find me. Some people didn’t even notice.

Surprisingly—but not—being off of Instagram was a breath of fresh air. I had hardly any urges of coming back. I thought about quitting completely but then remembered the root to why I love the app so much. Creating content drove me back. Connecting with others made me stay. 

I was hesitant to log back on. Yesterday’s #instagramdown was probably the Universe telling me I need more time off. Whenever I get a pang of envy or anxiety, I let go again. I’m probably going to go back to therapy, because I need it. Everyone does. I also need prayer, but that’s a work in progress. 

If you pray, would you mind praying for me? 

I’m working on being a positive person. I know the first step is letting go. Please don’t shame me because of this transitional period. I’m trying and fighting everyday to smile. To not be grumpy. To laugh. To tell myself I’m pretty. To look at those pretty pictures and smile. To ‘like’. To comment. To genuinely feel happy for the people I love. 

I’m doing my best. 

LifestyleRania Bolton