Facebook – the biggest double edged sword in the Borderline world.
It’s almost like a fantasy realm – at least to me – where people I’d like to be like deign to interact with me. I can live vicariously through their lives and pretend its real life.
Because real life for me shuttles between the four walls of my office and the four walls of my house.
I live too much on Facebook (don’t we all?) but it is my mirror on the world. And I can spill my guts there as well.
Of course, there’s the but. . .but it’s also a place with the dark side of BPD comes out to play as well. Insofar as I allow that dark part of me free rein on Facebook, it is one of the most destructive places to fuel my BPD.
So, so many people let in and cut out – by me. Banished to the corn field for sins real or imagined in my mind – and then mourned as lost friends when I come to my senses.
Just like in real life.
Time and again I come back to a problem as old as America Online message boards in 1993 – misinterpretation. In a given moment, I can be offended by almost anything – just like in real life. I can feel somehow ignored – just like real life. And then I lash out and disappear people – just like real life.
If my mother were still alive she would probably ask me how I expected to make and keep friends on Facebook or anywhere else online or off for that matter, by holding their interactions to the impossible standards of Not Offending Keith? After all, she would say, you’re not a great judge of people and not everyone is going to like you.
That last one always hurts.
I’m no different than anyone else on Facebook. I threaten to leave, maybe leave for a few days but as Michael Corleone said in Godfather Part III, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”
Where else are we going to go anyway? No one wants to actually call anyone on the telephone anymore.
So I have tried to start practicing the same rules on FB that I am trying to do in real life:
- It’s not always about you
- People don’t wake up in the morning thinking of ways to piss you off
- The insult is probably all in my head
- Sleep on it before responding
- You probably don’t know the backstory
- If you respond now, you’ll probably regret it.
Well, that should do it – I’ll print it out and stick it on my computer. But there is one more rule I should practice before I even light up the screen – when in a crappy mood, stay OFF the damn Facebook.
Because studies show that being on Facebook during manic episodes, depressive episodes, or borderline smoldering rages, will just make a bad mood worse.
I’ve already put my fist through one laptop screen (yes, I did do this and, no, I’m not proud of it), and I really don’t need another humiliating trip to Best Buy for another computer.
Facebook is a wonderful place to play at real life. Enter at your own risk.