Journal

Too many emotions

A Bookish Baker

“There’s going to be a nuclear war,” my friend looked at me, his eyes wide and sincere. “This will escalate, honest. We need to be prepared.”

I looked at my friend in horror. A friend I admired and respected. My stomach lurched and a knot of apprehension started to swell and grow. A seed of worry, planted there by the media, becoming fertilised and nourished by that one sentence.

I felt a dark cloud settle on me that day. It was the 1990s. A few months before I’d come out of a long-term relationship, been involved in a car crash, and taken my finals at university. All at the same time. It’s fair to say I was a little vulnerable.

And now this. I think it was the break up of Yugoslavia. Or it could have been the Gulf War. It might have been neither.

Thank God then there was no such thing as social media.

Fast forward to 2016. When a tragedy occurs, or a major event that shocks the entire country happens, those who use social media turn to it for solace. They express their shock, their anger, their grief. It all comes spilling out. A stream of consciousness, a fast river of emotions.

To see them, amplified, by seemingly millions of voices, millions of thoughts exiting urgently out of my phone into my (limited) head space, it’s too much. Especially when I’m still in recovery mode.

I have to back off. I have to tear myself away and, temporarily, I delete facebook from my phone. I mute (temporarily) voices on my twitter feed.

Their thoughts and emotions make me anxious. It is affecting my own thoughts and emotions. It is overtaking my own thoughts and emotions.

I am taking in millions of people’s thoughts and emotions.

Can’t. Breathe.

Whispers of a dark cloud start to form in my head.

So I turn, instead, to writing. I turn to real-life friendships, dog walks and baking. I would turn to gardening, too, but the rain is thwarting that.

I love social media. It is responsible for a lot of good that has happened to me in the last decade. But I make no apologies for backing off from it when it becomes too much.

And incidentally this is not, in any way, a complaint about people tweeting about their emotions. People have every right to do that.

However. My own mental health requires me to step back.

When it stops raining, do come and join me in the garden. I’ll provide the cake.

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8 Comments

  • Reply Cerys {mascara & mud}

    I know others who have had to step away from social media for a little while too.

    I love a good ol victoria sponge. 😉

    29th June 2016 at 1:17 pm
    • Reply Helen Redfern

      I love Victoria sponge too, Cerys. Simple but classic. :)

      1st July 2016 at 8:00 am
  • Reply Sarah

    I’m with you, it all feels a bit much at the moment! Eating cake in a sunny garden sounds like heaven :) x

    29th June 2016 at 9:00 pm
  • Reply CJ

    I completely understand, I feel exactly the same. Sometimes I just need some peace and quiet away from it all. It’s particularly crazy and particularly distressing at the moment and I must admit it’s all been getting me down.

    29th June 2016 at 9:09 pm
  • Reply katie

    This really resonates, I definitely get to the point of having to just opt out, even if just for a few hours, and take comfort in some music, baking and reading. x

    3rd July 2016 at 9:54 pm
  • Reply Penny

    Yes, yes, and yes. See you in the garden x

    8th July 2016 at 7:05 pm
  • Reply Mareli Thalwitzer

    Beautiful post!

    27th July 2016 at 6:46 pm
    • Reply Helen Redfern

      Thank you, Mareli!

      17th August 2016 at 4:41 pm

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