The Dreaded Facebook Syndrome

7 Jan

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Lately I think I’ve been bitten by the evil Facebook bug. The one that tells you that everyone else has it so easy (even when you know that’s not true). If I were telling this to my mother she would tell me that I was having a little pity party for myself, and that is true. But it doesn’t change the fact that sometimes it can be hard to look at the good tidbits of 150+ friends and then *gasp* compare them to my own life. And since I can barely handle my Facebook newsfeed, you can imagine the anxiety that The Daily Planet inspires in me. Evil is lurking around every corner these days, did you know that?

Dave and I have been trying to get pregnant again for the last 9 months. A lot of women have spoken up lately about how difficult it can be to be miscarry, and how they need to grieve. But what do you grieve when there never is a baby? How often are you allowed to feel grief? Every month? That gets exhausting and I don’t need to be depressed every single month. So then, is it only if you ever get pregnant and something goes wrong? Some months I don’t mind Aunt Flo but some months, the months that I have hope, that I think I am pregnant again, are the real killers.

Maybe every 9 months of negative tests and your monthly menses you can call that “the missing baby”.

I am so overjoyed when I see friends and family pregnant, but sometimes it feels like the universe is laughing at me. Over the last nine months I’ve had at least 30 friends either have a baby or announce a pregnancy. I know it’s just that time in my life when people are having babies, but sometimes I just want to say “Come on, really? Another one? What about me?”

And then the house. I’m sick of talking about selling our house and continuously working to improve it. To top it off, lots of friends have bought houses in the last year, and it seems to all work out for them so easily. They’re either renting when they buy, their condo sells in a weekend, or their jobs pay for their moves, and yet, for us, I don’t understand why we don’t have a hundred people on our front porch wanting to move in. Or at least one! Most real estate agents want to sell our house but not bring buyers by. They also want us to sell our house for so cheap that we’d be paying people (more) to take it off our hands, when the agents are the ones getting the easy profit. The economy isn’t that bad, folks. This is a great house. This shouldn’t be rocket science.

And to top it off, the thing I was spending most of my spare time on, being a deacon at our church, has turned into such a bad scenario for me, so draining and infuriating, that I no longer want to darken their doorstep. It would be difficult to go into detail and not write a novella, so let’s just say I tried being a very involved member and it’s just not working out anymore. I would say that I don’t even know what I believe anymore, but that’s not true. I think I know now better than I ever have before what I believe. And I love the people at our church dearly, but maybe Groucho Marx/Woody Allen are right: “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.”

I’m trying not to lose hope here. I know someday soon that all the cards will fall in to place and I’ll be the person with all the great, happy stories… full belly loading the moving van… but some days, hope is simply hiding under a large, too-heavy-to-move rock. And I cry.

Being able to write this down and share this brings me closer to the constant knowledge that I have it good. Real good. I am amazed by our clean, running water. That we give away cell phones for free. Quick, cheap, and safe vaccinations. Choice. Freedom. My little boy.

Maybe there’s a line in the middle of all this, the line that signals peace.

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8 Responses to “The Dreaded Facebook Syndrome”

  1. Kate January 7, 2015 at 7:51 pm #

    I just try and remember that slow and steady wins the race. Trite but true.

    • mamajohnston January 12, 2015 at 9:04 pm #

      Like the turtle vs. the hare! Yes it is true, but sometimes it can be forgotten in the emotional moment!

  2. boblarkin January 7, 2015 at 9:47 pm #

    These are real, legitimate frustrations and pressure points in your life. The fact that you are able to journal about them gives you a leg up. I hope you got some relief by doing such. You are healthy, smart and blessed with a great husband and treasure of a son. The MAJORITY of humans do not have that wonderful mix. The other stuff is not nearly as important. It is nice to get the other stuff, but don’t want it so urgently. Simple as this song title is, it is great wisdom …. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!” That is where I hope you can go. When you do, everything else will unfold as it should. In addition to the above wonderful mix, you Katherine, are very special. Make sure you appreciate yourself.

    • mamajohnston January 12, 2015 at 9:03 pm #

      As always, Bob, I love your comment. Thank you for responding to this post particularly. It was mostly just an excuse to share my recent frustrations, and I have to say that it brought me the relief that I desired. Sometimes holding in all these feelings makes it harder than it needs to be. And having friends like you reach out to me was like icing on the cake. You are very special too, to me. I hope you know that!

  3. Ellen Maybe January 8, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

    Hi. You don’t know me, but I go to your church, and my husband showed me your post on facebook. You are going through some really difficult times right now, and I am so sorry that is happening. Sure, you have it good. But saying you have it good, doesn’t make the pain go away. It’s like saying that I’m really depressed, but I have all these great things, so I shouldn’t feel depressed.

    I’ve only just “met” you by reading this blog posting and a couple more, so I don’t know what you mean by “people like me” not belonging. Resign the deaconship (if you haven’t already). And just show up when you can. I’ve felt like I didn’t belong for a lot of my life, too, and am discovering that sometimes all you need to do is just show up. It doesn’t have to be so hard.

    Finally, I read your post about your professor, and if you want to contact me, I know a thing or two about suicide, as my dad committed suicide 24 years ago. For that matter, I know a thing or two about depression (and mental illness in general). (From personal experience, I’m not a therapist, but have been to plenty.)

    I hope that I’m not being presumptious, but if you would like to contact me, I would be more than happy to than happy to listen (or read an email). I think we’re in the church directory, too.

    Ellen
    ellenbehm at gmail dot com

    • boblarkin January 8, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

      Kat. I really like what Ellen has to say. I hope you take her up on her offer. XXOO

    • mamajohnston January 12, 2015 at 9:02 pm #

      Dear Ellen,

      Thank you so much for getting in touch with me! I’m glad that you got to know me a little bit too 🙂 I am so sorry to hear about your father, even 24 years later. I can’t imagine. I hurt because of my friend and we had nothing of a relationship compared to father/daughter! My sister-in-law’s mother committed suicide and she’s devoted her life to becoming a family therapist and studying parental suicide. What a complicated and emotional subject!

      I certainly have been around my fair share of mental illness, most of which I have dealt with myself. I spent almost a decade suffering from major depression, so I try my hardest not to go back there! It has been really nice to hear from friends (both old and brand new! ha) after reaching out in this blog post.

      About church, I would certainly like to show up again. I have missed that for the last two years as a deacon. Most of the time I have really enjoyed being a deacon and what it has brought me (namely closer friendships and a taste of leadership), but lately there have been circumstances beyond my control that have left me frustrated and sometimes downright angry.

      I certainly hope to see you at a Fellowship hour or something like that! Thank you again for reaching out! We should grab a coffee sometime!

      • Ellen Maybe February 18, 2015 at 2:12 pm #

        Hi! I am so sorry that I only just now saw your reply. I seem to be terrible at multi-tasking, and got distracted, and well, here it is almost the end of February. And we are bad about just running out of church without going to Fellowship. Have you been at church? I will keep my eye out for you, and now I have replaced my long lost nametag. Also, I don’t have red hair anymore like in that little picture. That was apparently a mid-life rebellion or something, and it’s now back to its regular blonde.

        We should have coffee!

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