Social media often makes me paranoid. Here’s how I intend to fix it

Today’s the day I reclaim my life from social media.

Well, not entirely. But I’m going to come clean about something: Social media causes me incredible distress and is holding me back.

And yet, I can’t live without it because of what I do for a living. And I’m grateful for it.

We have a very schizophrenic relationship, social media and I. So, I’m taking control of it.

Beginning today, I’m limiting my social media time. I have tried this many times before and have failed.

Nonsense. If I can get sober and stay sober for three-plus years (with the exception of the sporadic alcohol relapses that occurred between January and June of this year, mostly on my out-of-town trips) I can put away the cell phone and the iPad.

Read more: Research explains how my writing, not lots and lots of meetings, got me sober

My alcohol relapse could have turned really bad. I’m grateful it didn’t. In fact, I’m grateful to people you may never expect that it didn’t. It was a good reminder that I’m an alcoholic and the slope is slippery.

But honestly, I am beginning to feel like social media is as big a foe to me as alcohol was.

But I can’t walk away from social media entirely. It’s a big part of how I pay the bills.

Why is social media like booze, you ask?

Social media is like booze to me because when I overindulge nothing good comes of it.


Well, toward the end of my drinking, when I would imbibe, I sometimes would become very angry. It never used to be that way, but after dad went into the memory care facility and the dominoes of unbelievably traumatic events began to fall, I became one incredibly pi#$ed-off drunk.

That never will change. I have PTSD and never will “just get over it.” I can only live with what happened to me, and I must do so knowing justice may never be served, and that many people do not remotely understand why I feel the way I do. Anybody who thinks that after 30 years in journalism I would make anything up about what happened to me must not know me a single bit.

Or they are in severe, severe denial. And that is probably more like it.

I always say that after what I went though, there is a fine line between being paranoid and being careful. Unfortunately, I admittedly cross into the paranoid too often.

It’s true that I am an extra-sensitive person, as I wrote about last week. But I’m not always right in my perceptions. I will look at certain posts on social media and overthink it. If I decide it reflects ideals I find offensive, I take it very, very personally.

Read more: It’s true that I’m extra-sensitive, but that doesn’t mean my feelings easily are hurt

In fact, I have blocked every single person who ever has given me the slightest reason to think I cannot trust them. They are blocked on Twitter, on Facebook, and on LinkedIn.

I wonder how many people who truly care about me now are blocked. I may never know.

The good news: I have the tools to fix this

By cutting off communication entirely with the narcissists who indeed do live to torment me, life has improved a lot. When I let the evil narcissists jack with my head it turns me into something I am not. And that’s what they want. Boy, they want that so, so bad. I could write an entire book about their methods.

Ha! I am, in fact!

Oddly enough, LinkedIn in particular can make me very upset and send me into a spiral. If someone looks at my LinkedIn profile who I believe has no good reason to look at it (particularly if I know them and don’t trust them), it can cause very bad paranoia.

Really bad.

Mostly because my writing is my livelihood and I still feel entirely blackballed by my community’s establishment.

So, what did I do? I changed a LinkedIn setting. Simple. Now, I have no idea who looks at my profile. And nobody knows when I look at theirs, either.


Why should I give a s*it what corrupt community leaders think, however? I don’t work for anyone in the Quad-Cities and haven’t in a long while, with one exception. That person has been a repeat client and always has treated me well. I don’t even tell anyone I work with him from time to time because he is so decent I would never want the community nasties to turn on him.

That’s huge. I’m not known for keeping my mouth shut.

Some might say, “Wow, he’s paranoid, he needs therapy.” To that I say, I have had therapy. Two years of it. Twice a week, in fact.

It’s why I’m alive. I’ve got this.

I’m a minimalist and I love it; time to do the same with social media

It’s true that I have a beautiful home. I made it beautiful because I spend all my time in it.

There’s nothing wrong with that. It was my priority, and to anyone who knows my story, why wouldn’t it have been?

Read more: Please join me in celebrating the renovation of my childhood home

I’m not remotely unhappy sitting at home all day with no car, not going out to dinner, and not dating. I’m only unhappy when I can’t pay the bills on time.

And increasingly, since I rarely have money for medical cannabis, I have learned to manage my anxiety other ways. Because there is no way in hell I am going back on any sort of Pharma medication and have my life taken away again.

I am NOT saying that is the solution for everyone, God no. But if someone does better off medications and develops their own coping mechanisms, that should be applauded, not criticized.

Medication has done me wrong every. Single. Time.

What happened when I was medicated? Depression. Unemployment. Obesity. Underemployment. Drugs. Alcohol.

Nobody liked me medicated except the narcissists I surrounded myself with because I was so incredibly insecure.

Those days are over.

Even after the jail incident, when I was pumped full of addictive benzodiazepines after a year sober, the medication eventually stopped working and indeed had a reverse effect. It was making me very, very angry instead of calming me down.

And let’s face it. I eventually relapsed, too.

Read more: Medicine cabinet shakeup: Bye-bye benzodiazepines, hello Lavender Kush

So, all this said, I’m putting away my computer now and creating a social media schedule for tomorrow. And I’m sticking to it.

Social media has become too much and threatens my sanity.

Believe me, I know all about peak social media times and how to get the most bang for the buck. I may find my posts and Tweets do even better. Less truly is more on social media.

Have a great week!

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