For days I contemplated the decision to deactivate my Facebook account. This isn't my first "so long" to Facebook. I pressed deactivate once or twice before only to return to the social media giant months - sometimes only weeks - later. I'm convinced Facebook has its own gravitational pull. In the spirit of Arnold Schwarzenegger I can practically hear the deactivate button laughing at me. "You'll be back," it says. And it's right. At least it always has been.
This time around I'm not making any false claims about my Facebook deactivation. It may be forever but, then again, I may be back. If I've learned one thing over the years it is to never say never. But for now I am stepping away from Facebook. For the sake of my health and, more importantly, the spirit of my heart, I am on a Facebook hiatus.
On my way to deactivation I was met with a number of "deactivate" buttons and "clicks to confirm." Near the end of the long Facebook goodbye a page full of options required that I select my reason for departure. "I spend too much time on Facebook," was one option. True but not why I was leaving. "I don't feel safe on Facebook." Not being one to act out of fear I couldn't honestly claim that rationale. None of the answers fit quite right. As I read through the deactivation excuses I realized that my reason for leaving the social media world wasn't going to turn up on any list.
For lack of a better option I chose "other" and went on to supply my own rationale in the box below. In my own words I told the Facebook world that I was leaving because looking at the lives of my peers having adventures, meeting life milestones and celebrating their accomplishments reminded me too acutely of the world I had always thought I would be a part of. Growing up I envisioned my future and my life as a twenty-seven year old and it looked like the pictures I was seeing on Facebook - pictures I wasn't in, pictures I had no part in creating.
After observing the lives of others from behind my computer screen for far too long, allowing myself to become far too melancholy, I came to realize that the real danger I was facing was not of wasted time or of accepting friend requests from complete strangers. The real danger was in allowing my heart to become discontent, my spirit envious and my soul dissatisfied. Every time I logged onto Facebook I threatened my peace and serenity. I became restless and even envious.
When I was on Facebook it wasn't a specific person or a specific picture that pained my heart. It was the parading of the worldly life in general that left me lamenting my lonesome lot. It was the very fact that hundreds of friends, family members and near strangers had news to post while I had...what did I have?
It was facing that reality that led me to disconnect with Facebook. I decided to step away from the world I didn't fit into in order to free myself to pursue a different world, a reality I wasn't seeing on Facebook. The Lyme world.
For those who have followed my story on Pippy Love or through Facebook, you know that I have MS. Or at least I thought I did. As it turns out, my case of MS had really been misdiagnosed Lyme Disease all along. Early last month, I finally received the news that the cause of my seven year saga is all thanks to a tick - or another mystery carrier of the devastating disease known as Lyme.
Now I am on the road to recovery. This road is going to be long. I have been warned that it could take two years at best, but I'm all in. I've been sick for seven years and I'd easily give seven more to get well again, so two sounds like a deal.
Embarking on this journey to beat Lyme was a major factor in my decision to disconnect from Facebook. This journey to regain my health was also the major factor in my decision to connect with a new online world, the Lyme world, on my new blog called Surviving Lyme.
Discovering that I have Lyme has pointed my life in a new direction, a new path towards recovery. I know this road will have ups and downs, hills and valleys, but God is faithful. He has brought me this far and I know He is not about to leave me now. With God's help I'm surviving Lyme.
So join me on the journey. It won't be on Facebook, but I'd love for you to share this road to recovery alongside me. See you on Survivinglyme.com!