Friday 6 March 2020

I Decided to take a Social Media Break

As of last Monday, I decided to take a Social Media break.

I'd been scrolling on Facebook and Twitter particularly, and had noticed symptoms of my mental illnesses flaring up, as well as a general sheer drop in mood. The kinds of anxieties I had were about friends. I'd found that not many people were replying to me and some were replying in a more blunt way than usual. Naturally, I thought that they were finally getting fed up of me, and as much as I tried to believe that maybe they were having a bad day/week etc themselves, I couldn't help but place the blame on myself and criticise myself for "pushing them away".

The more I ruminated over this, the worse I felt. That, coupled with my worries over getting more ill and having no help from the Community Mental Health team, meant that I was heading towards crisis point. I broke down in my last CBT session and stayed that way for days afterwards. Eventually I decided I had the choice of either returning to a very dark scary place in my mind, where I actually am pushing everyone away and making dangerous decisions, or I could make a vow to change my mindset.

Of course, this is easier said than done, but I was at a point where I could "catch" myself before I went over the edge, At this point, choosing was difficult, but possible.

I decided that because the Community Mental Health Team wouldn't save me, I had to try and save myself. I started with a social media break. I needed to stop scrolling through my timelines; letting everything get to me and being bombarded with bad news and more people to "cancel".

I have taken social media breaks before, but usually this was with the ulterior motive of seeing if anyone noticed and would message me. I often feel like people would barely remember me if I was gone. I also worry no one sees me as close a friend as I see them.

The main reasons for this break were to have time in the "real world", take time for myself to reassess how I feel about friendship, reassurance, and myself. I need to become more self compassionate and self reliant especially.

Although I wasn't necessarily expecting messages, I did get some from a couple of friends. I've missed talking to people (barely anyone texts me these days), so getting some messages has helped.

I've also recently been reading a book called "The Compassionate Mind" by Paul Gilbert. I've been finding it very useful. I can relate to a lot of things in the book (my mindset, things I worry about, things I do etc) and it has a lot of exercises I can do. These exercises aim to conjure up self compassion and compassion for others. It involves a lot of meditative mindfulness tasks too.

Since reading this book, and completing some of the exercises, I have found I've had times where I feel peaceful. I still have a long way to go, but I am doing better than I was. I think I've managed to pull myself further away from a crisis; which is such a relief.

In case I do get to crisis point again, a friend helped me to plan what I could do. This would involve letting my parents know so they could get in touch with the GP who I find is most helpful for my mental health. He would possibly see me for an urgent appointment, and I would get advice and/or emergency medication (depending on what he felt was appropriate). Alongside this, I could also talk to trusted friends and ring my local mental health helpline. They may be able to advise me as to what to do, or help me calm down and think more clearly. The problem with being at crisis point is that you often don't feel in control of your thoughts, feelings, or actions. It can be a very risky time and it is important to have a plan that is easy to follow.

For now, thankfully, I'm not at that point though. I also don't feel as worried about friends who don't contact me much/at all. I know that the true friends will stick by my side and it is important to concentrate on them, as well as being reliant on myself.

I will continue to read the compassion book and complete the exercises every day. I seem to be using it as a guide, and maybe that is what I need right now. My next CBT session is on Monday, and I'm hoping I can give some positive news to my therapist then. I do not feel I made much progress in the last session, but I think I needed to get to that point in order for something to change within me.

So right now, I can't say I'm exactly happy, but I'm OK and I think I'm making slow but steady progress. My next blog post will be about my next Trauma Focused CBT session.


  1. Hey I am looking for some Information regarding "my crazy bipolar life" blog. This woman was a close friend of mine and we lost touch. Iv been thinking about her recently and was wondering if you knew the password to her blog entries?

    1. Hi there, are you the person who followed me on my public twitter account? I do need to tell you something so will dm you if that's ok. I don't have the password unfortunately x