Everyone is struggling.
Nobody wants to talk about it.
I'm more of an Instagram person than a Facebook person these days. Facebook is full of mean, hateful people who regularly call me an idiot because I think or act or vote differently than them (just a day or two ago I also learned I'm brainless, so that's great I guess). Facebook isn't fun anymore. Instagram is where it's at for me.
I post a lot about what I eat and my exercise (and lots about my dog because she's the best) and I follow a lot of people who post about what they eat and how they exercise. I've noticed some of my friends don't follow me anymore, and that's okay. They don't care how I eat or what exercise I do, I guess. It's probably pretty boring, but for some reason lots of people find it interesting and ask me questions. I learn a lot too, like recipes and stuff. New exercises. New people to follow. New products. I like Instagram.
It's perfect though, and shiny in ways that other social media platforms aren't. I've often wondered to myself (and probably aloud), "Who are these people sitting by the pool at 10am on a Tuesday?" "How do these people just fly to Dubai whenever they want to?" and (because again, what I eat and exercise are my main topics of interest), "How do these people just afford eleven pounds of steak on a random shopping trip? What is this life?"
I see a lot of people who are losing weight every month, who are rocking workout routines, who are never having setbacks, who are posing (some of them every.single.day) alongside old pictures of themselves showing every change they've made in their bodies. I cheer for these people and I support their endeavors. I guess it sounds really strange but I am super proud of so many people that I've never met.
What I almost never, ever see is someone saying, "Hey, I'm having a really hard time."
I mean sometimes you can tell. Sometimes people just stop posting or they keep posting insisting that everything is okay, but you can tell that the pounds are creeping on, or they are posting things about having a lazy weekend every single weekend or whatever. But rarely, almost never, does anyone say, "This is hard. I'm not motivated. I'm struggling. This is real life."
Almost no one says, "My husband is sick and I'm increasingly isolated and alone". No one says, "Hey I've lost over 200lbs and maintenance is the hardest damn thing I've ever done in my life." I have never seen anyone say, "I constantly worry about my job, my future, and where I'll be in ten years."
We say, "I'm on an egg fast this week!" or "Here's everything I ate today!" or "I made bulletproof coffee this morning" or any number of things that really don't matter in day-to-day life. We take picture of the gym, or the numbers on the treadmill after we finish, or our Garmin to show how many steps we took today. We don't show the bloody blisters or how bad our ankles hurt or how we had to practically bathe in icy hot because we're forty-three and running is hard.
We don't talk about our fears, our doubts. We don't talk about how this isn't getting any easier, even though by now we were positive it would be. We don't talk about the changing relationships with our children or our parents. We don't talk about the antidepressants we take to just feel normal. We don't talk about how scared we are.
It's all pretty and shiny and perfect. Well, my feed isn't because I'm a horrible photographer and boring. Really boring.
Probably because I don't talk about anything very real.