A Work In Progress

A Work In Progress

Thursday, June 25, 2015

I Used Facebook to Feed My Approval Addiction - For 8 Years!

Those words were hard to type. 

I've thought long and hard about my motivation for writing this post.  I've come to realize that my motivation for writing this post is NOT for approval.  It's not for likes or comments that I may or may not get.  I'm writing this because I feel I owe an explanation to my FB Friends who have "followed me" loved me, supported me, and encouraged me over the past 8 years.  I want to explain why I am hardly on FB anymore and most importantly, why I rarely post anything anymore.  So here goes it.....

When I first joined FB in August of 2007, I was not in a good place in life.  I had recently lost my job in Milwaukee, I had moved back to South Bend, leaving 15 years of Friends behind in Wisconsin.  I was unemployed, I had no money.  I was 33 years old,  I was Single, and I was living with my Grandma.  I didn't have close friends in South Bend yet, and didn't know many people here either.  All of that would be stressful enough for anyone.  Yet, on top of this, My Mom's cancer (she had been battling cancer for 7.5 years since my Dad passed away) was in her bones, and my 12 year old Nephew and Godson was awaiting open heart surgery for a birth defect that was found a month or 2 before that.  I was lonely, anxious, worried, stressed, and I could go on and on, but I won't.  You get the idea!  Playing the victim (my default) didn't help matters any at all, as you can imagine!

Facebook was my way of being able to keep in touch with Friends and Family who lived far away.  It made me feel loved and connected.  It made me feel like I belonged, like I mattered.  Because back then, I didn't believe that I mattered.  Sad, huh?  More that that, it gave me an outlet to post my feelings.  So, did I overshare?  Yes.  Have I continued to overshare?  Yes.  I'm a people person.  Sharing who I am and what I'm feeling is part of who I am.  I'm so appreciative of all of the support and encouragement I've received during my single years, my engagement, my marriage to Jonathan, our getting debt free after 1 year of marriage, the loss of Jonathan's Dad, my surgery a few days later, my Mom's continued battle with cancer, our extreme weight loss, and most recently, my 37 year old Brother-in-Law's (Father of 4) very rare Sarcoma cancer diagnosis.

I knew I was addicted to Facebook.  What I didn't realize until recently, was that I used Facebook to feed my approval addiction.  I was actually more addicted to approval (likes, positive comments, etc), than I was to Facebook, I just didn't realize it until now.  My choice to overshare, let people know about what was going on in my life, without even having to make an effort.  That was my fault. 

Emotional intimacy is not something that has come easy for us (me and Jonathan), especially for me.  I can be the center of attention in a big crowd and it takes no effort, it just comes naturally for me.  However, one on one emotional connection has always been more challenging for me.  Jonathan, by nature, is not an initiator.  So when I would sit on FB, he would watch TV and/or play games on his phone.  July 8th will be our 4 year anniversary.  We have been thru so many difficult and life changing events since getting married.   We are strong, both as individuals and as a couple.  We love to travel together and bless others.  God has been So Good to us!  We are so Blessed!  Most recently we have decided to start saving for a house, which we plan to purchase in the Spring/Summer of 2017. 

I don't want to say I've wasted 8 years of my life on FB.  That is not true.  Have I wasted a lot of time on FB?  Yes.  I would post something and then check over and over and over again to see if anyone or anyone new had "liked" it.  Come on!  I KNOW I'm not the only person who did that! LOL

Over the past 3 weeks or so, Jonathan and I have spent lots of quality time together.  You know what?  We don't get nearly as irritated with each other for "interrupting our FB/TV Time"!  You know why?  Because we are making each other a priority.  Quite honestly, I think we needed some "adjustment time" between getting married (after having been single for so long!) and having so much quality time together.  I regret some (not all) of the time I've wasted on FB.....but I don't regret encouraging others and sharing my story and our story!  I regret looking to FB for approval, instead of my Savior.  I regret giving people the power to help or hurt me simply by liking or not liking my status update.

So, will I post here and there?  Yes.  I'm not deleting my FB account.  I just am not on FB as much.  I don't post as much b/c a little bit of posting.....feeds my addiction, just like a little bit of alcohol feeds the addiction of an alcoholic.

We are enjoying spending time with each other, our friends and our family.  I am equally enjoying not needing to inform FB about every detail of my life.  I also don't feel like I'm missing out.  I'm more relaxed, less anxious, more at peace, and living my life, instead of thinking about how I'm going to documenting it.  It's SO FREEING not worrying about why someone is "liking" the statuses of others, but not liking mine. 

I'm free, and I couldn't be happier!! Happy 4th Anniversary to the Love of my Life and Happy 40th Birthday Honey!  I'm Blessed to have you in my Life, for as long as the Lord allows before He chooses to take either one of us (or both of us) Home to Heaven.  You are my Greatest Earthly Blessing! :-)  Thank you for treating me like I belong and like I matter!

Thank You to all of my FB Friends, for EVERYTHING!! :-)  I would love to email/text/get together for coffee/talk on the phone, or whatever.  You are loved, by God and by Me! :-)