Chronic Pain and Social Media
Social media was created to connect us. Designed so you can share your incredible life, communicate with family and reconnect with old friends. The result now though, is a society where disconnection has never been so prevalent.
I believe social media can be very powerful and positive. I logon daily. In the chronic pain space, however, I worry about the effect it may have on some.
I write this post as a caution. Interact with social media, but always be alert of what information and ideas you are consuming. Does the content make you happy? Make you feel connected or included? If not, reconsider digesting it.
When I first started the @beyond.chronic.pain Instagram, I keenly followed and interacted with any chronic pain accounts I could find. What I quickly discovered, was that some accounts may be doing more harm than good. Whether you consciously believe it or not, some posts and trends may be perpetuating your pain.
Have a think about these problems…
- “I am Bec and I have pain.”
Accepting and acknowledging your pain is incredibly important. It is one of the major breakthroughs in taking back control. There may be a problem, however, when acknowledgment turns to identification.
Chronic pain is a consuming condition, I understand this first-hand. Taking control is also very important. When we let pain and sadness define us, we set an expectation and precedent. This pain identity can be damaging. It causes us to simplify our ability and encourages this to continue.
- Consuming sad = feeling bad.
Your focus determines your reality. Consuming information that is negative, sad or hopeless unfortunately elicits those feelings. You may not be conscious of this, and on some days, you may relate to posts that discuss the hard times.
I am fully supportive of being real, and transparent. Share your journey, your highs and your lows. Just be careful though- after all, are the things you read shifting your emotions or thoughts?
- Ask yourself- what am I seeking when I post about pain?
If I was asked this as a 14-year-old in the worst stage of my pain, I would have been furious. Now, I can rationalise and understand it. Whatever stage you’re in, hear me out.
What are you truly seeking when you post about pain? Maybe support or validation? There is nothing wrong with wanting this… but repeatedly seeking it, might be perpetuating your experience of pain.
Similar to my point on identifying with pain, if you continuously post about your pain, get sympathy, feel heard and gain a following known as the ‘person with chronic pain’… could you feel pressured to maintain this role?
The main message I want to communicate from this blog post is that your focus determines your reality. Social media can be an incredible place to promote support, healing and health- you may have even discovered Beyond Chronic Pain on social media! Be cautious about the content you share and consume- is it encouraging the best version of you?