I had a completely different post planned for today, but things have been a little hectic lately and I just wanted to get here, let everything out and kind of chit-chat. This is a more personal post and although I mostly share beauty related content, I also like personal posts that reveal the true identity of the writer. I love reading these, so I hope you enjoy this one.
If you haven’t read my about me, go and check it out. But for now, I’ll tell you, if you don’t know it already, I am Puerto Rican. And if you don’t know it either, hurricane María hit the island on September 19th. It was a category 5 hurricane and Puerto Rico had not experienced a hurricane of that magnitude since almost two decades. The results were devastating. Many people lost their homes, they lost communication, supplies, and electricity. People died trying to save others and some died from illness and lack of med or supplies for their condition.
Why am I bringing this up or what does it have to do with social media?
After hurricane Maria passed I could not communicate with my family or friends. I was stressed, desperate and needed some time to heal. Logging into social media only made my situation worse. Seeing all this chaos, how the island was left, everyone suffering, not knowing if their families were okay, was overwhelming, but most of all, heartbreaking.
I was lucky enough to speak with my dad and grandmother the day after hurricane María passed, but I had no news from my mom. It was hard to wake up every morning, go to work and deal with everyone asking how was I doing and how was my family doing. I put on a fake smile and said, “they’re okay, thank you”. It’s hard to deal with this, it’s hard to be reminded every day at all times of your family, the chaos they’re living in and the situation happening back home. It is hard to continue with your life even though you have no clue of how your family is doing, or if they’re okay. Don’t get me wrong, I know they wanted to make sure I was okay, but being reminded every day of the situation was not the ideal way of making sure I was okay, or wanting me to. I even posted a status on Facebook that I was not ready to talk about it, yet I dealt with it every day. Then again, I understand they are looking after me, but I needed time to heal, I needed time for myself, I needed time to get emotionally stable again.
Social media was making me worse. All the news on the situation back home, the despiteful comments from the president and other Americans, people begging for help and not being listened to, people worried about their families, pictures, and videos were making me cry every single time. I had to leave social media, so I left.
I have never felt this way before. It is frustration, sadness, impotence, but most of all I felt scared and hurt. I felt scared not knowing how my mom and grandmother were doing. I felt hurt that my little place of heaven and gold was destroyed. The place where I was born, the place that watched me grow, the place that made me into the person I am today. I cannot explain how much hurt and sadness I felt. I kept calling my family with no answer in return. I kept hoping and praying they were okay. I burst into tears every time I heard something and every day that passed and I had no answer or call from them.
11 days after hurricane Maria destroyed my island I finally heard my mom. All my fears washed away and a weight was put off my shoulders. I cannot explain the excitement and relief I felt after knowing she was okay. Now I can continue with my life and be the person I was again.
I left social media because it wasn’t healthy for me, I needed time to rest, heal, cry and feel good again. Hearing bad news every day was killing me and I could not bear the idea that my family and friends were suffering. I scheduled pins, tweets, and posts to keep everything going and I left, for good. In the meantime, I worked on new content, pictures and ideas for the blog. It really helped me to get distracted from all this situation and chaos happening back home.
Now I feel renewed, calm and more stable emotionally. Now I can hop on social media for a little bit, not too much yet. I’m still digesting everything that happened, healing and getting better. I do feel more calm and comfortable, although I still don’t like to talk about it. Repeating what happened brings back memories, makes me sick to my stomach and open wounds were not completely healed. My friends and family are still going through a hard time and it still hurts. Little by little I’ll get back up again and I know they will too.
What I learned.
· Taking a break from social media is okay, besides you don’t owe anything to social media, so take as many breaks as you want.
· Taking care of yourself is important. If we’re not okay, nothing else can be and nothing else can work or function. If our mind and heart are not in the right place, nothing else makes sense. It is important that we feel comfortable with ourselves before we continue with everything else.
· Crying is okay. Letting everything out is also okay and sometimes it’s what we need to feel better.
What you should take from this.
· When someone is suffering, emotionally unstable or having issues it is okay to reach out and let them know you’re there for them, just don’t push it too much. By this I mean it is okay to ask how are they doing, but not every single day or push them to talk to you. Let them know you are there for them whenever they’re ready. We want to hear we have someone for emotional support, what we don’t want is to be reminded every day of the situation we’re in by people always asking. We need time to think, cry and heal. We get that you want to help and we appreciate it, but asking every single day how are we will not help in our healing process.
What I want from this is to let you guys know that I am very grateful for everyone who reached out and was concerned, but I also want you guys to know how the other side feels and in another occasion, just offer to help when they’re ready and let them heal at their own pace.
I want you guys to know that social media can be toxic, so it’s very important that we know how to manage it. It is okay to take a break and it is very important that we take care of ourselves. Have taken a break from social media before? How was it?