Here endeth the cleanse…
What an interesting ride it has been. My biggest fear upon entering this cleanse was that I would feel isolated and disconnected. The opposite has been true. I feel more Connected now than I have in a long time. There are people everywhere around me, good, kind people, all over the city. When we look up from our phones, we see each other. It’s a simple thing and an important one to make a habit of and to remember.
Another important thing I’d like to share is that I am no longer having heart palpitations. This is huge. I had been getting palpitations most nights and sometimes during the day, for months. I tried cutting out caffeine, deep breathing, magnesium, you name it, I tried it. Nothing worked. I come off social media and within days, my heart beats at a normal, healthy rate. Let’s please look at this for ourselves and then check in with the younger generations. How are their stress levels? Are they anxious and if so, why and how much of a part is SM playing?
A real challenge for me during this process has been facing the addictive nature to my relationship with social media. As with any addictive behaviour, there are uncomfortable truths lurking beneath the surface desperately clambering for acknowledgement. By removing SM, a constant source of distraction in my life, my suppressed feelings naturally rose to the surface.
I’m a 35-year-old single woman, currently living by myself. Although I have thoroughly enjoyed the perks of being single for a long time now, I am very much done! I’m ready to be in a loving relationship and living with a partner. Over these past two weeks, on the nights where I haven’t gone out with friends or family, I’ve chosen to sit in the discomfort of my own feelings of loneliness. It’s been tough. I’m aware as I’m typing, I feel a little embarrassed sharing this. To feel lonely is a natural human experience. So why am I embarrassed to admit to feeling it? Where’s the shame? Is this something I have put upon myself, or have we as a society created a taboo around feeling lonely? I am absolutely certain that feeling lonely is not something reserved only for the 30 something single woman. I’m sure there are mothers, wives, husbands and grandparents out there who also feel lonely at times. Could this shame be linked to why we’ve allowed technology to make us more and more visible and less and less private? Is privacy still a thing…?! Are we all just desperately trying to prove we’re busy and popular out of fear of being seen as anything else?
Sitting with my feelings and my truths during the past two weeks has been a transformative practice for which I am truly grateful. I have reconnected with myself at a deep level. I have remembered how to listen, trust and honour myself. I’m not going to pretend that it’s been a bundle of laughs, it hasn’t! However, it has been real and that’s where true joy begins. True love, true inspiration and true connection can only come from truth. These things don’t exist anywhere else, so we must begin with our own truths in order to access them. Personally, I would rather dive into the depths of the messy, in order to become brand spankingly clean and new, than to avoid the mess, stay put and gather dust. In other words, let’s be brave and face ourselves a little more.
The obvious question now is, will I be going back on social media tomorrow morning…? Yes, I will. I didn’t delete my accounts, I just deleted the apps. So I will reload them onto my phone. I will indulge in the “likes” and comments I have missed over the last two weeks. I’m excited to look over the photos my closest friends have been posting. Others I’m less interested in seeing. In fact most people’s photos I won’t even bother looking through. I am very keen to observe how my body reacts. Will I be hit by a dopamine tidal wave? Or will I feel tense and irritated by people’s loud opinions and mundane, useless crap? We’ll see…
I have promises myself that if I feel even slightly anxious, I will remove the apps from my phone and only check in with SM on mylaptop a couple of times a day.
I’ve also decided to continue blogging! I have really enjoyed writing and consider this blog to be a gift to myself, from myself, for having completed this challenge!