Saturday, March 11, 2017

Seeking Peace Through Stepping Away

For those of us who tend toward the depressive, personality-wise, the past four months have been a constant battle to keep from sliding into that pit from which it is so difficult to escape.  In fact, there's not much motivation to climb out, because what's above doesn't look any more inviting than that into which we are steadily sliding.  Between the weather and the political miasma this winter, we hang  in a space between active panic and silent despair.

A friend commented on another friend's Facebook post that she didn't know what we were supposed to do with any of this Trump mess.  To which I replied,

"Makes us all sick to have that controversy swirling around us 24/7.  But if you try to distance yourself from it, you feel guilty because the situation is so dire you feel you have to be doing SOMEthing about it.  It's a disaster on every level."

And so it is.  But behind it all lingers the resolute belief that there are positive measures I can take to relieve some of the emotional burden of the circumstances in which we find ourselves.  And puzzling out and employing those measures is of primary importance... lest I end up in a straight jacket, or worse. 

One logical approach is to limit the time one spends swimming around in the cesspool.  And, of course, Facebook provides the most convenient slide right into the middle of the muck.  So there's part of the answer:  Limit Facebook time.  But for someone like me, where social media is pretty much my only community, to cut ties with it is to condemn myself to the equivalent of solitary confinement.  In spring and summer, when I have other things to occupy me, that isn't necessarily a bad thing.  But this time of year, with this gray, sodden winter that will not give us a break and will not go away, taking away social media would be very difficult.

It is possible, of course, to be on Facebook without wallowing in the pig trough.   There are at least a couple of pages I belong to that are connected to my other interests, notably photography.  So another avenue of control would be to pledge to only spend time on non-political interaction on social media  Maybe even start a non-political page of my own. 

I think maybe a more attractive approach would be to dedicate one or two days a week to taking a break from politics.  Mental health days, as it were.  In fact, it would probably be smarter to do politics only on one or two days a week, and get away from it the rest of the time...but I honestly think it has become a sick addiction from which I shall have to wean myself in a measured way.  Cold turkey is not an option.

So.  How to make this happen...  I think will try a couple of things:

1.)  Declare weekends "wallow-free" times.  If  I do go on the internet, it will have to be with intent other than to survey the political landscape through my liberal social media bubble--where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth 24/7.  Avoiding that unceasing howl for two days a week is essential.   Avoiding the computer all together would be optimal, but since I know I won't be able to do that, why set myself up to fail?  Let's just say we'll stay away from politics, and see what happens.

2.) Declare 1 day a week, possibly Wednesdays, as Purely Positive Post Day.  Anything I post or share on social media or on the blog will have to be upbeat, informative, encouraging, funny (but not snarky or cynical)...just a rainbow in the storm-ravaged firmament of the internet.  Even if no one else reads or cares (and given my high-profile social media presence, that's a given...) I can at least create a small pocket of positive space for myself.

Whatever happens, however I may have to change or recalculate these steps, I feel it's good to be taking steps; rather than just letting all the shrieking and wailing wash over me in uncontrolled wave after wave.  Stepping away for some time every week will be a good thing. 

Each morning, I entreat Heron to guide me toward balance for the day.  Here is some positive direction toward achieving that balance.    

1 comment:

  1. **\Whatever can get you through. After 9-11, I became addicted to the news. I wallowed in it, frantic to find answers, to KNOW. Finally I realized it was not good for me, my life or my outlook. I cut it off and stopped cold turkey. Now I am very careful where and when I get my news. All I can really do is try to live my life to honor Christ. Barbara from Life & Faith in Caneyhead