Motherhood, mental illness and beyond

Facebook is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand it enables me to talk to friends without having to see them face to face – as I’ve said before, I’m much better at writing things down than I am at being honest in person. On the other hand it means I get to see all the petty, inane drivel that people come out with sometimes (and yes, I include myself in that!).

Earlier this week I was really struggling to hold myself together (see this post if you want details). And I started looking at my friends on Facebook and thinking, are you really a friend? Are you someone I could call on in the small hours of the morning if I needed to? Are you someone I trust? The answer for most people was no, of course. Friends like that are rare and precious – but I wasn’t really thinking straight at the time.

So I went down the list clicking delete, delete, delete… Most were people I’ve been meaning to get rid of for a while – other mums who I only know because we have children the same age, people I was friends with at uni but have barely spoken to in years. It felt good to get rid of them, like decluttering or spring cleaning.

As my mood has settled, however, I have found that there are a few I regret deleting. I’m not sure what to do about this, especially as hardly any of them know about my mental health problems and even those who do don’t know the full story. Do I just chalk this up to experience and move on? Do I contact them, explain and apologise? To be honest I doubt any of them have even noticed – certainly no-one’s contacted me or tried to add me again. Which just compounds my feelings of confusion and “Well they’re obviously not proper friends anyway”.

To make things even worse I’ve had another, similar day today (someone who responded to the earlier post called it a mixed episode, this period of flitting rapidly between up and down). So I don’t know whether I’m thinking straight now either. I don’t trust my own thoughts, my feelings, my instincts. My mind is like a Gordian knot at the moment and this incident is only one strand of the rope.


Comments on: "Why I shouldn’t go on Facebook when I’m struggling" (14)

  1. skytimer said:

    I think I would worry too about whether or not I had deleted the wrong person in a friend purge on facebook. Hang in there πŸ™‚

  2. I recently did the same thing too but in the end I didn’t regret it. All to often we have ‘friends’ that we could pass in the street and not be acknowledged. My hit list was people I didn’t see, people I didn’t speak to, people I disliked (there were a few I’d accepted for political reasons) and people who didn’t I didn’t interact with on the site. I put up a post saying that I was doing it and I hoped to see the people in real life, then if they’re bothered enough, they’ll get in touch.

    If you regret it, you could always contact them and say you did it by accident after you came in drunk one night, but I wouldn’t read too much into their silence; we all have to many FB friends and far too few real ones!

    Hope this is helpful, hang in there lovely x

  3. awww, *hugs*

    Mixed episodes are not fun. Feeling both a high and low at the same time. Tears, anger, frustration and confusion. Go slow, Don’t do anything serious during them.

    The people deleted. If they care they will notice, and like you said, if they don’t notice, then housecleaning is good.


    • Thank you. I think I’ve learned my lesson – wait until you feel calm before doing anything drastic!

      • *nods* if you are having a mixed episode, it can be a dangerous time, impulsive actions often based on extreme anger, frustration and depression too. Many times in a foggy sort of mind.

        so a personal invasion, are you alone with your children?
        so that you can avoid answering, if you feel moods that are like that, it is nice to be with someone that understands them, and puts up with your emotions because they understand them. Someone that is there to watch over you. πŸ™‚

      • My husband is home a lot as he’s unemployed atm. Although this is causing financial problems tbh I’m grateful because it means that I’m not on my own with the children every day. He does an equal share in parenting and is extremely understanding when I’m struggling – in fact he’s often aware of it before I am.

      • oh good, being alone is when struggling is terrible. If you have someone that understands, then you have a great support system in place. mess up his hair and tell him thank you… but don’t say why πŸ˜‰

        The more he understands what torments you and what you go through the better. It is very important to share everything.

  4. Paranoia and anxiety often play a part in thinking about these things, and most people do it. But with mental illness these feeling become enlarged and can take over our thoughts. It probably doesn’t really matter and you’re right that many people will not have noticed – they are on auto-pilot like most of the world!

    If you are worrying about friends that you shouldn’t have deleted then just try to add them again or send them a message if you feel like it. Try to break the worry loop by doing what you think will stop the worrying or by telling yourself it probably better not to worry in the first place.

    This is where I think clinical and psychological symptoms can sometimes be separated, and we can work on the psychological stuff ourselves. Sounds simple and easy – it’s not, but it’s worth trying. Look up the mindfulness mediation I have spoken about before and see if it’s something that might be helpful. And don’t be afraid to visit your GP to discuss the clinical worries or use the support forums for added support. Bipolar UK have a great online community for anyone needing support – diagnosed, undiagnosed, supporter, or just someone increasing their awareness.

    Take care

    PS. I’ve stop using Facebook because they don’t pay their fair share of taxes, if you need an excuse for a break πŸ˜‰

  5. Thank you, I’ll have a look at it later. πŸ™‚

  6. markrobotarm said:

    Sorry. Late to the discussion.

    Personally, if there are people who you regret unfriending (urgh!), I’d get in touch, explain briefly and leave the ball in their court. If they’re anything like decent, they’ll understand and you can be friends again. If they don’t, well, screw ’em. You don’t need people like that in your life, anyway.

    I find social networking very difficult. Sometimes have to walk away. But there’s a compulsion within me, an addictive tendency, which means I usually go back.

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