When the pandemic struck, my social healing network became my friendships I forged on social media.Tweet
Have you ever been in a room with someone, and for some unexplainable reason, you just felt awkward around them? It’s as though there is some unseen force at work. To me, it kinda feels like you’re two poles that naturally repel one another, each party doing their upmost to avoid the other.
What makes this unseen force so interesting to me is that it can happen instantaneously. We’ve all been there, am I right? All you want to do is make a run for the door whenever you and that person must interact.
Under those circumstances, it’s unlikely that the two of you will become close friends. However, that’s not always the case.
The Impact of Connection
While this can make a night out a bit more stressful, thankfully there are those with whom we can instantly feel a connection. Instant attraction, romantic or otherwise, can end up cultivating a kinship that guides both parties through the toughest times in their lives.
The Importance of Human Connection
In these most uncertain times, I would argue that, because we are more isolated than ever, it’s become more important to find meaningful connection and make an effort to stay connected.
Thankfully, we are also living in the internet age – a time when we can interact at any moment of the day and in real time. This was an impossibility only 25 years ago, and even more of a challenge before the advent of the telephone.
As tough as times are today, just think of those who had little to no connection in the days of old. Oftentimes, when tragedy stuck, one’s social-connection network stood a good chance of being wiped out by illness. Nowadays, medical science has made this notion a rarity.
Social media can be a good thing.
The one thing I love about the internet today, is that it can in fact be a healer for many. Particularly for people who are suffering from a mental illness. Mainly, social media and video chat can help. Although social media has its well-documented dangers, like all things, there’s good and there’s bad.
Now that we have established that human connection is fundamental to our well-being, both mental and otherwise, I want to share why it has been a lifesaver for me.
My Social media peer support
Anyone with PTSD and depression can tell you that it can be pretty isolating. I have been known to disappear into the perceived safety of my bed often and for long periods of time. An ever-increasing occurrence now that we have limited contact. However, I am able to pull through it. Why? Well, in part because of the human connections I have made on social media. And with those individuals who are also suffering similar afflictions.
Because The Road To Mental Wellness is an internet-based mental-health advocacy page, I have had the opportunity to create a social-media network with some amazing people. What’s more, I have made that “instant connection” mentioned above.
Being that most of my work is internet-based, I inevitably have to use multiple social-media platforms if I am to help as many people as I can. And in the process of spreading the word about my blog, an unexpected consequence arose.
Astonishingly, these instant bonds online were more than an isolated incident. This discovery of like-minded people would provide me with more than just words in a messenger app or a smile on Zoom, they would become part of my healing network. Or, as I like to call it, my social-healing network.
My online friends have saved me from when depression speaks, from the desire to end it all because of PTSD’s ‘nightmares,’ sudden anger and heightened startle response. Without them, I hesitate to say where I would be.
I can only hope that my support and outreach has done the same for them. To you all, I owe a huge “Thank You!”
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THE ROAD TO MENTAL WELLNESS – THE BOOK
I am excited to announce that I will be revealing my first book cover in mid January. Called The Road To Mental Wellness, it chronicles my lifelong battles with mental illness. Its goal? To help others by telling my story… Check back for updates. However, if you would like to see it sooner, simply subscribe to The Road To Mental Wellness email list and I will be more than happy to send you the exclusive first look at it.
If you are struggling please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada
Contact me on my Facebook page: The Road To Mental Wellness