Have you noticed how offended people are these days? It's almost as if a speech wizard came down from Planet What The Fuck and sprinkled an evil hex on every single person in the world. Imagine how tough it is for people like me, who say what they mean and mean what they say without using a filter.
One of my pitfalls — and believe me, there are many — is my inability to sugarcoat things; it's probably why friends never ask if "these jeans make my ass look big." Because most people, even though they claim to appreciate honesty, do not want to hear the truth —this might explain why my inner circle is so small.
While blaming social media for causing our demise isn't a hundred percent true, it certainly has not helped our situation, especially considering the amount of bullshit saturating our news feeds. Oh sure, you can mute, hide, ignore, and block until you are blue in the face, but the anger is still there, trolling like a jilted ex-lover who saw Wayne's World too many times.
Three months ago, when global shit hit the fan, my writing focus shifted. After crying for three straight days, the man of my dreams — concerned for my mental well being — urged me to stop watching the news and get off social media. I spent the next month cleaning my virtual house: a painstaking adventure that led down an unexpected path, and here we are today.
Many of you are struggling, punching your way through ignorance, disappointment, heartache, and failure. It would only make sense that the result is anxiety and rage, but what is the cost? Do you have any idea how this affects your mental and physical health? Do you even want to know?
Last year, at the height of a brutal 4+ year custody battle, my best friend stood up from her couch, walked into the next room, and never returned. Her husband found her a few minutes later. She had suffered a massive heart attacked and died on the kitchen floor. In the middle of my annual exam a few weeks later, the doctor's eyes widened. Concerned about the results, she warned that I was now at risk for heart attack. Talk about bad timing; that one nearly did me in.
Holding in fierce emotions is a recipe for disaster. It causes your body to go into "fight or flight" mode, creating a vicious cycle of mental and physical exertion, and the longer you keep those negative feelings inside, the worse it gets. Try to remember that next time you are rage-texting a soon-to-be frenemy or leaving a vehement comment on Facebook.
As a digital creator and humor writer, I am forever making new friends with hilarious individuals that inspire me to churn content. While the banter between us often leads to spitting out our drinks, some of my friends aren't feeling the funny right now, and it's starting to show.
Everything changes when emotions kick in, even the thoughts in your head. When all that stuff was going on with me — Don't ask. — I was a wreck, forever balancing my head to keep the tears from falling and ruining my blouse. Soon, my hair started coming out in clumps, complimenting the rapid weight gain. What the hell was I doing to myself?
Taking my boyfriend's advice to unfollow negativity was a brilliant decision (Shhh! That's our secret). It lifted a huge weight off my shoulders and pumped new life into my work. For the first time in decades, my memes don't include a pickaxe and a photo of my ex. Do you know what else? All the bitterness I was carrying around is gone. Holy shit, my sense of humor is back, as is my will to perform. Too bad my Sour Patch friends are still breathing fire.
It isn't easy to function when you're pissed off at the world. It's even worse when you have kids who mimic that behavior. Thankfully, every day is a new beginning, a chance to restart your engine and move in the right direction. While telling people "where they can go" may feel good, it doesn't get them to where they need to be — a peaceful coexistence with you — and if you're not careful, you may not live to regret it.