So the question is: Why is she comparing herself to all of the other moms on social media? In what ways has it become a competition and why? As a single mom, I've started to realize that when we focus so narrowly on those few goals, we forget the journey we're on. And my friend is not alone in her battle. I see it everyday! Don't you catch yourself taking multiple pictures before finding just the right one before sharing it with your 500+ friends? Some of us adhere to messages from society that indicates a need to have it all together. On Instagram, Facebook and even Snapchat, people show off their lives in such a way that concludes that they have reached all of their goals. Sounds simple, right? What we forget is that there are so many parts of our friends' lives that they aren't posting. Heaven forbid we run into them in public with no makeup on, sporting yesterday's clothes with breakfast stains.
So how do we approach this in ourselves? Acceptance and Commitment. I challenge you to accept where you are in life right now and understand that we have to let go sometimes so we can focus on what we are experiencing in the present moment. You don't need to share all of these details, because this is just for you, without creating judgement or trying to alter the situation... a change will occur. A shift will happen within yourself.
There's an additional approach: Changing and challenging maladaptive thoughts, cognitive twists and actions by promoting emotional regulation since your are TRYING to target current problems.
My friend's thought that things couldn't turn around, and her life was spiraling into a dark hole... is very relatable. I asked her to show some validity to her statements. Prove them to be true. Find the facts. The fact she found is that she needed to be in therapy.
Therapy is very much available these days, but everyone has an opinion on it! You don't have to hit the floor to get help. You can reach for help as soon as you recognize that you're going to need it! It lets people open up without being judged. You get that much needed validation, simultaneously challenging your beliefs and encouraging you to open up some doors and look and the journey you're on.
Do you want to look like you have the perfect life or do you want to feel fulfilled, where you actually feel your emotions that you've been portraying? Be vulnerable. Ask for help. Life isn't a competition.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.