Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Life Isn't All Rainbows and Sunshine

*image description - Pink background with the words 'Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what they have been through. - Sam Cawthorn'

I've been giving a lot of thought to authenticity online lately and my eldest daughter said something today that really struck me. She told me about an article she had read that talked about social media making people feel depressed because their lives didn't resemble the shiny, happy stories they were seeing their friends post. This made me think about my propensity for keeping my posts/tweets on the light side and how that doesn't give the full impression of my life. The thought that someone could compare their life to mine and feel that theirs falls short somehow kinda makes me giggle a little.

The thing is, my life is not just all about me. I will happily discuss my anxiety, sensory issues, and problems with social situations but they are my story. I have a husband and 3 kids who do not necessarily want or need me to share with the world what may be going on inside our walls.

This is especially the case with Evie. There are a gazillion blogs out there where parents complain about how hard their lives are because their kids are autistic. This has created the ableist impression that disabled children are burdens and the parents must magically be saints for loving them. I do not ever want to contribute to that nonsense because that's what it is. I much prefer to post cute or amusing anecdotes that illustrate what an incredible kid she is. We do go through rough patches but I don't talk about them publicly. Not because I want to give people the impression that our life is some 60's sitcom kind of perfect but because she deserves to not have her difficulties broadcast to the world.

The other piece of it is just basic therapy for me. Sometimes the only way I can make it through the day is by finding some grain of positive in the middle of a whole bunch of yuck and focusing on it with all my might. I'm really not a Pollyanna (although I recognize that I may come across that way at times) but I just can't see the point in wallowing when I know that counting my blessings will help elevate my mood. I can't do it all of the time, and sometimes it's much easier than at other times, but I try. 

While I'm sure that some people are putting on a false front for the sake of misleading people into thinking their lives are better than they really are, I know that many of us are being genuine. We're just not posting everything that happens in our lives.

I mean, seriously. Do any of you really need to know that for some reason the big toe on my right foot is suddenly sprouting a full head of hair? WTF is up with that even?

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