Friday, January 31, 2014

Breaking up with Facebook

I recently decided to take a Facebook break.  All of a sudden I felt overwhelmed by all the negative posts, the "my life sucks because of this" posts.  As you may know, I've been exercising a lot lately and it's finally making changes to my mental health.  I feel good about things.  Life isn't just "meh", it's good.  I'm able to see the negative in my life and am working on changing it - either by changing my views on it or changing what is causing the negativity.

I toyed with the idea of leaving Facebook for a couple days.  I didn't think I could do it.  When I finally made the decision it felt good.  It was like a burden was lifted off of me.  However, I'm finding that that unburdened feeling is seeping away and other feelings are coming up, like loneliness. And minor panic (I might be missing something important!) And this was all on the first day.  I've lost an entire group of friends all at once. I sometimes wonder if they're talking about me.  Then I fear they're not.

I've made a lot of friends over the years through online groups like The, iVillage message boards and my local Mothers Club. Not to mention the several friends I've made in the more intimate private Facebook groups.  Most of these people I only connect with over Facebook. Although I haven't deactivated my account and I can still be reached through messages, I still feel completely disconnected from them now.

Back in 2006 a very good friend of mine died.  For months afterwards I would think "Oh, I need to tell Karen XYZ" and then realize I couldn't.  Leaving Facebook is similar.  While I certainly can log back in and tell my Facebook friends XYZ, it completely defeats the point of leaving in the first place. My point is there's a sense of sadness and loss when I chose not to log back in.

A couple times I've had to log back in to check the dates of an event or post in the Virtual Running group and I'm almost afraid to even look at the news feed.  I get a little anxiety over seeing one of those posts that pushed me over the edge.  But I'm even more anxious over seeing a post that will suck me back in.  Breaking up with Facebook is hard.  It would be so easy to go back, fall back into the routine.  But I know over time it will get easier.

(Part of me doesn't even want to share this blog because if I cave and come back to Facebook again, then I'm afraid you'll all think I'm a hypocrite.)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I am a runner.

Six months ago I would have said, "if you see me running, you better run, too!"  And, if you had said "you should try running", I would have laughed and laughed at you.  Me? Running?? Hahahahaha!

But secretly, I wanted to be a runner.  I daydreamed about running along the waterfront like I see so many other people do.  I noticed all the cute running attire.  I saw posts my friends made about how far they ran or what race they completed.  But I was far too self conscious.  What if someone I know saw me?  I resigned myself knowing I was a walker and walking was just fine.  Walking was great exercise, too.

One day I tried it.  Just for fun.  When no one else was around.  While heading downhill.  It was kind of fun.  Exhilarating.  At that moment I decided I needed to stop caring who saw me running.  Who cared if they laughed all the way to work and told all their coworkers about that crazy lady they saw running.

So, I started the Couch to 5 K program.  I cannot speak highly enough of this program.  You can literally be someone who has never run before and this program will turn you into a runner. I went from knowing I could never run to running over 3 miles several times a week.  I feel good, too.  I have so much more energy that just walking didn't give me.

And now I'm in the club.  I'm one of "them".  I understand memes like this:

I nod my head at passing runners because we're both in the same club.  I love that stuff.

So any of you who ever thought you might like to run, but just *know* you can't: try it! You CAN! If I can, you can.  So get out there and get moving!