Recently, I experienced a really unfortunate situation. I won’t get into specifics, but someone was upset with me for how much I share my personal health struggles on my social media accounts.
For years, I’ve struggled with endometriosis, PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), and chronic pelvic pain. My diagnosis list continues to grow – much to my surprise and disdain – adding in an awful digestive condition called gastroparesis and a few more that we haven’t quite been able to identify yet. It’s almost as if every time we find a solution, another issue pops up. It’s a never-ending cycle of medical tests, referrals, and waiting for answers that never seem to come.
At this point in my life, I’m pretty open when it comes to sharing my medical problems and issues that I deal with on a day-to-day basis with friends and on social media. What’s more, I’m part of a lot of online groups dedicated to chronic illnesses. I’ve never hesitated to share my struggles with them. Why does there have to be shame in sharing my issues? Why does it make someone uncomfortable to see a post saying that I’m having a bad day due to a flare-up? or maybe an updated status after a doctor’s visit?
Social media is a platform for everyone – regardless of anything – to share their voices and be heard. We all share our daily lives, our hobbies, our dinners, our nights with friends. So why is it any different when we talk about the not-so-good days? There is this stigma around being vulnerable, around showing your raw, authentic, self. Why? Because we’re afraid of how others will perceive us? How others will respond?
We all want to show the world our best selves, and I think that’s perfectly fine. In fact, I think it’s great! Please show me all the pictures of your little ones, your furbabies, your family reunions, and your nights out with friends. Tell me all about your date nights, the movie you just saw, or what made your day so fantastic! But also tell me when you’re having a down day or things just don’t seem to be working in your favor.
We all have bad days. I think we’re so used to seeing everyone’s “picture perfect” social media life that we start to feel like we’re the only ones struggling. As a result, it turns into pressure to keep your struggles a secret and never show any signs of weakness. Let’s face it – we’re humans, so by nature, we’re flawed. Perfection literally does not exist, so why do we always pretend that it does?
Here’s the truth – it’s okay to talk about your bad days on social media! Your friends will support you no matter what and it’s always nice to have someone to talk to. And to be honest, if anyone has a problem with what you post or talk about, the “unfriend” option is a wonderful feature. I highly recommend it because we just don’t need that kind of negativity in our lives, especially right now. So please, never be embarrassed because deep down, we’re all struggling with something.
Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash