Social Media is killing you.
I’m not even kidding. I’m going to get pretty dark here, but it’s something that I feel needs to be said, even though for some of you it might be a little too much information. If you’re one of those, get lost.
If you’re on any of the social media platforms you put too much stock in it. The world has basically become the episode of the Black Mirror regarding it already, where not enough likes, hearts, and shares can ruin your life. That’s a pretty pitiful existence. I have to say that I absolutely despise all of it, I’m ok with instagram because it’s just pictures for the most part, but it can still be pretty toxic. I haven’t even messed with things like snapchat because I don’t care. Facebook and Twitter are a combination of keeping up with the joneses “extreme edition” and one big ass argument. One of the first things I did when I could afford it business wise, was hire a social media manager.
For those of you that don’t know I started this thing 1. as a creative outlet but also 2. its been a dream of mine since I was a teenager.
6 years ago, I watched as my little brother became unraveled by grief and depression, and took his own life. He didn’t even start to work towards his dreams, he was barely an adult, and I knew that I had to start working towards mine. It took me a while, but eventually C.F. Maidlow was born.
Something you should know about me is that I have always worked to help charities that help out with things that I personally have struggled with. I help DonorsChoose because I had a helluva time getting a good education. I help Toys for Tots because for many years, those were the only Christmas presents I got. I’m a HUGE supporter of Movember, and my support for them will only grow. I haven’t done a ton as far as fundraising goes, because I haven’t figured out how to be good at that yet. But I believe wholeheartedly that is much more MANLY to take care of yourself, then to bottle things up, or let them go unchecked.
Last week, on Thursday I believe - I made a facebook post letting people know (reminding) that Movember would be starting soon, that I’m a big supporter because not only did my little brother end his own life, but that I am also a suicide survivor. A little over a decade ago, i laid helpless with a bottle of xanax and most of a bottle of scotch in my stomach praying for death. Completely paralyzed, fading into the black, and welcoming it. I’m not kidding, not even a little. (I should be dead, I don’t really know how I feel about higher powers most of the time, but I should be dead.) But I told people in the post, I don’t want you to think this is a cry for help, I just want you to know why I believe in this cause, and I think you should too. Men approach suicide like its going to buy a pair of fucking shoes. It’s not hard to do, and way too many of us have tried it more times than normal.
The people that saw it that day, understood it. I got a few likes and hearts from the people I suspected I would. Good enough for me.
Tuesday of this week rolls around, and with the way that facebooks stupid algorithms work, everyone else is just now seeing this post from me, not really paying attention, and messaging me telling me they’re there for me, anything I need, they’re available to talk. Could you guys read the post, I explicitly said, this isn’t a cry for help, if anything I’m here for you.
So here’s where it gets dark folks. Here is where I’m going to show you that social media is killing you, and you’re probably ok with it to be honest. I’ve got to build some more back story for you - so here goes.
I’ve been a depressed dude my entire life. Had a terrible childhood, and just one thing after another since. I’ve lived with the depression and just coped. Outside of that one time where it got so bad I didn’t want to deal with it anymore, I’ve just managed. To meet me, you’d kinda get that I was always a pretty mellow dude, but honest to god, I was incapable of being truly happy. 6 months ago or so, my wife had talked about us maybe seeing a marriage counselor, and it just kind of clicked in my head. She thinks it’s ok? (Like I know I pretty much should have been seeing one years ago, but I didn’t want to not be a man about it.) But I mean, yeah, maybe there’s something to this? I’m kind of over just being in a horrible mood all of the time. So I set it up. I wont say that talking to my counselor took all of the weight off my shoulders the first day, there’s 30+ years worth of shit on my shoulders. Maybe a few pounds? I felt good though. Not happy, but better. I saw her 3 more times, and she told me flat out that she thought I should try out some medication, and asked if I’d be open to it. I said sure, and she set me up with the Nurse at their office who handles the medicines.
To cap that story off - it took a few months to get me in to see the Nurse, but she actually was able to diagnose that I have a pretty severe case of ADHD, and clinical depression. I went and picked up the meds, came home, and popped the first two pills. My life changed in about 30 minutes. I could talk openly again, the pills are absolutely the reason I can write this post, and I can think! I couldn’t rationalize clearly for the longest time. And I went through so many people, from my past, and my present, and apologized for being who I was, and letting them know I was full on working to fix myself. Just on Friday!
Get ready for the dark -
What the Nurse had told me, and what I didn’t really notice until it was very nearly too late, is that the pills would cause kind of a roller coaster of emotions until they leveled off and reached a sort of equilibrium (which they’ve basically done now.) Saturday when I woke up, i got the third dose in me, and knew that I still had to get some stuff ready for Faire Debonaire yet. My wife had a lady date night planned with her friends, and my kids were going to their grandparents to spend the night. I was all alone to tackle what I needed to get done. The problems with that were two-fold. I needed someone to talk to, and there was a downward mood swing coming, and coming hard.
By 7 o’clock Saturday night I was losing my mind.
By 8 o’clock Saturday night I had sent text messages to 11 people just trying to talk about anything, to take my mind off of whatever the hell was going on. Where the heck are all of my friends?
At 8:32 pm I was walking out to get in to my truck with the intention of driving to our downtown area, walking out on to one of the bridges, sitting on the railing, and if it felt right? Slipping away in to the cold dark Mississippi River.
Also at 8:32 pm - My brother in law returned my text message. I sat in my truck texting him for about 5 minutes before I came back in the house, continued working on what I needed to work on, and eventually the mood swing passed.
(Side note at about 9:30 pm - my oldest daughter sent me a text that about made this grown man cry, turns out I just had something in both of my eyes at the exact same time)
Here’s the thing about suicide for those that have never found yourself in the horrible situation - once you’ve accepted it as the best outcome once? You don’t have to talk yourself into it anymore. There’s no working up to it. It’s as hard as taking the garbage out. That’s something I have to deal with for the rest of my life.
But this - is what I took away from that whole experience.
Thursday I made a post about why I support Movember, and it took people 5 days to really see it, and volunteer to “be there for me” If that had been an actual cry for help, I’d be dead. Was it all coincidence? Yes. Is it still pretty tragic? Yep.
I’m telling you this not as a businessman, but as a friend -
Don’t put faith in that garbage.
Get the heck off of social media, and go talk to your friends.
Customers waiting on orders - I’m so, so sorry, I’m working actively to get things out. Yes, I’m taking time to apologize - me being a lunatic does not change the fact that you paid me for goods. I’m perfectly fine now, was just really rough for the last few weeks, and I kept forgetting to shut down the store.