Friday, November 14, 2014

It's An Instagram World

A couple of my husband's young, hip co-workers informed him of a crucial shift in the "coolness" of social media. Basically, Facebook is dead and Instagram is where it's at. I filed this information in the way back recesses of my brain, and went about my life. The love/hate relationship I hold with Facebook hardly inspired me to invest my time and energy in a whole new facet of internet networking. Then I got bored one night a few weeks back, and decided I wanted to be young, hip and cool. So I started an Instagram account. After a few days of trolling through random pictures and catchy slogans I got it. For a girl who can hardly stand Facebook, and is utterly done with being bitched out for every innocuous comment I had the audacity to post, Instagram is an inherently more positive and rewarding experience. Within a matter of days I was hooked.

I decided not to use this new forum as a way to promote Fibromyalgia awareness or keep up with friends and family, although those are components I'm enjoying. Instead I decided to use Instagram as a tool to discover myself. Or rediscover myself. Or find myself. Or do something with me, exactly what I'm still not sure. The last time I was this preoccupied with myself I was in my late twenties and hadn't gotten sick yet. Then life started bitch-slapping me with epic problems, and everything quickly became about pure survival. I don't know the future but so far, I've survived! But my life's a shattered mess I'm working tirelessly to put back together again. After four years of smearing my failures and heartache all over Facebook, I'm ready to turn over a new leaf. Enter leahtylerthewriter on Instagram. 

Tapping into the younger generation's narcissistic, self-obsessed mindset is kicking me out of my comfort zone. Painfully. Initially I wondered if my life was even interesting enough to bother photographing and posting. Realizing it probably wasn't, and then doing it anyway, has been good for me. It's forcing me to see the beauty in my daily routine. Forcing me to challenge my perception of myself as a reclusive shut in with no life. And it's forcing me to grow. Exponentially. I'm sharing my journey in a totally different way. I'm focused on health, not sickness. It's about what I can do, not what I can't. What I do have, not what I don't. For the first time my Fibro friends and real world relationships are all collected under one account. I've even gotten comfortable with taking a selfie every day and posting it, although it still feels attention-seeking and weird. 

But I know if I want to get my book published and educate the masses about what it's like to live with this wretched illness, I have to get comfortable with self-promotion, as shameless as it may seem right now. I have to get to know myself again, and become comfortable in my own skin. And I need to understand how what I put out there is perceived. So far I've learned I need to cut about four inches off my stringy, raggedy hair I should wash more than once a week, and may or may not have a lazy eye. But in good light my wrinkles don't look as bad, either. So I'm sharing my life. All my conspiracy-theory health-nut practices. How much joy Yorkie and Porkie bring to my days. How sarcasm and being positive are the only way I survive. And I'm trying to answer the question everyone keeps asking me. What exactly did I do to get so much better?

Thanks for joining,

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