The Looking Good/Feeling Good Enigma

Sometimes I’ll be out there. I’ll really be out there, putting myself into the world.

I will be drawing small things and posting them to every available social media outlet.

I will message people I haven’t spoken to in months on the pretext that “It will be nice for them to know I was thinking about them!”

I will take photographs of whatever is around me; my cacti, my cats, myself, the sky, the sun… Anything that looks remotely happy or aesthetically pleasing, I will then post online.
I will update blogs and websites with new posts and share the updates on social media.
I will text friends and family throughout the day, sending them small things I find online or out and about.
I will tag people in posts online, share things, make comments…

Outwardly, I’m having the time of my life. I am sociable, I am connected and I am happy and blithe and sharing my happiness with the world.

Inwardly, it is an entirely different story. Despite the surface bubbling with radiance and contentedness I am actually a paranoid wreck, shaking uncontrollably and on the verge of tears.

I hate myself. I hate everything about me. I am filled with an intense self-loathing and no amount of praise, ‘likes’, shares, comments, conversation is enough to fill the void.

The feel-good factor online is short lived at best. No one wants to spend three hours swapping anecdotes back and forth in the comments section of a stale, week-old photograph.

People assume that these are the days when I am performing the best; or when I am doing really good, and have everything under control. The reality is that I am curled up in a ball in my room, desperately waiting for a notification or any form of contact from someone else.

With hindsight I know I am not out there actively saying, “I could really do with someone to talk to.” whilst expecting the same results, I become consumed by the cycle and eventually I know it will stop the only way I know.

I will end up self-harming out of sheer hatred for myself and my pathetic vying for attention. I can’t bring myself to ask for help, or someone to talk to. I will be taking up too much of people’s time, people don’t want to help me anyway if they don’t even like the post I made. I am in too far an emotionally bad place to see anything else.

I am all to aware of exactly how pathetic this sounds. I understand exactly how I shouldn’t be searching for emotional support in Instagram likes. But to me, when everyone around me seems too busy to communicate with me, it must mean that I am not worth their time. It reinforces my fear and dread of feeling inferior or abandoned.

It becomes a constant irrational cycle through of emotions. The desperation of posting something – followed by the anxiety of the wait, hoping at least ONE person will respond – then the elation when you receive a response – only to come crashing down when the communication ends – to begin again…

Sometimes, I want it to end differently. I want it to end with me being satisfied that I had a nice talk with an old friend, or satisfied that a few people appreciated a post. But sometimes I am blind to this simple way of thinking. It seems so painfully simple, to just walk away and forget it, move on, distract yourself. But sometimes you are just blind and there is nothing you can do.

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