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Sorry About My Status Update, Sometimes I Just Need To Vent

We live in an incredibly connected world these days. Social media has made it so much easier for everyone to express their opinions on just about anything. So we can now see people’s complaints and thoughts in near real time as people take to their phones to update their status about whatever is racing through their mind at any given moment. Like many of you, I too am guilty of this. So every once in awhile I like to hit pause and take a look back on my social media and see what I’ve been saying. I confess, I’m not always happy with what I’ve posted because I feel like I’m complaining (trust me, my wife can attest that complainers are one of my biggest pet peeves, so to feel that I’ve become one is horrifying). Really thinking about it though, I realize that I’m not complaining, I’m venting and there really is a difference. Not only is there a difference but I think venting is pretty crucial to those of us battling a chronic illness like multiple sclerosis.

The posts of mine that make me cringe with embarrassment, the ones I often regret and even sometimes go back and delete are usually related to my disease. They are emotional, spur of the moment, word explosions that I release upon whoever might be following me. Like many things that people post about on social media, I don’t always give a lot of thought about what I am saying. Although I feel some embarrassment when I look back, should I? My embarrassment is usually because I feel like I am complaining. The truth is, I don’t mean to sound like I am complaining, I am venting. I’m at a point where I’ve had enough and simply have to get it out.

So why isn’t this complaining? Well, the difference for me, is that although I am putting it out there for everyone to see, I don’t really expect anyone to do anything about it or even really see it. In many ways, it’s for me alone. So why put it on social media? Good question, I guess because it’s so easy. Also because saying it out loud to myself doesn’t give me that relief. Deep down, I probably do want others to know. Not because I want sympathy, but because there is just something about telling others, something about getting it off your chest that feels therapeutic.

Venting is a pretty common human response. I think about how many times I’d ask someone to grab a beer with me after work so I could vent about something that happened during the work day. I’d express my derision at whatever had occurred that day, get it out of my system, and then be ready to carry on with life. I’ve had friends and coworkers do the same to me. The difference for me now is that I no longer work. I am at home, on disability. I’ve expressed before how lonely having an illness can be. Some of this venting behavior of mine is certainly related to that. Other than my wife, I can go days, usually a week, at a time before I see a person other than my wife. It’s a massive reason my beloved dog, who has recently passed, was such a massive part of my life. For folks like me, venting on social media isn’t just convenient, it can feel like our only option.

So I know sometimes I will post a sad, woe is me status update (and if you know someone with a chronic illness, they likely will at some point too), but please don’t feel bad for me. It’s not your sympathy or attention I seek. I simply am getting it out in the best way I can, it feels good to me, it helps me. I’m also very lucky to have met many others battling chronic illness on social media, that is my outlet to them. It’s amazingly helpful to be able to vent to someone else who is dealing with the same issues as me (as they say, you don’t “get it” until you get it), and social media is my best medium for doing that. So again, please forgive my occasional sad (and sometimes crazy) status updates, I really am just venting!

Thanks!

Devin

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • mstry
    3 years ago

    So I completely forgot what I had to say. I usually laugh this crap off, but I’m feeling really depressed and I honestly hate having MS. I have a lot of cognitive difficulties along with everything else and the worst part of it all is that my husband who was with me throughout the diagnostic process which takes forever, does not believe multiple sclerosis is a real disease and that my symptoms are psychosomatic. Like when I have vertigo, optic neuritis, or am too numb to walk for days. It’s somehow not real to him. He tells me to just get up and walk.

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    3 years ago

    Hi mstry, I’m so sorry to hear of your situation. I am shocked that your husband doesn’t believe MS is a real disease? Does he not believe the doctors? Does he not believe in science? Does he think the earth is flat too? It just shocks me that someone can have that mindset in 2016. Do not stand for that! I hope your husband will educate himself, there is a lot of information (including on this website) to prove what you are going through it very, very real.

  • Monk
    3 years ago

    Good to hear you adopted a dog in need. Maybe Penny decided to move on so Ferdinand could experience all the love and care you and your wife gave her. There’s a four footed angel flying about.

    Do post a pic of Ferdinand, your description of him is so sweet!

  • JAWilson
    3 years ago

    I find myself not posting (or even saying anything in person) because I don’t want to feel like a big whiner! Even in MS forums! I think, “What if these folks have a tougher course/worse symptoms/ are more disabled than me? I don’t want to seem attention seeking…” Meanwhile, this relapse has been carrying on for 3 months, I am trying to work and walk on numb legs and appear “normal”, and my feet are on FIYAAAAH! And I just want to scream!

    But I don’t. Because I am supposed to stay positive. Right.

  • Monk
    3 years ago

    JAWilson, you are not a whiner. This disease is so very difficult,life never prepared us for this. Someone once told me to be kinder to yourself than you think you should be. The extra kindness will help when you get down on yourself. Please take good care of yourself.

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    3 years ago

    Thank you JAWilson! I’m sorry to hear the the relapse is carrying on. I hope you talk with your neuro and that he at least mentions the possibility of using steroids.

    And remember that it isn’t whining in MS forums, yes, some people may have it worse but for many of us, just hearing that someone else is going through the same thing can mean so much. It may not make a ton of sense, but I know I feel a little less alone when I see people that really, truly understand what I’m going through!

  • skcullers
    3 years ago

    P.S. Give yourself the joy of a new life this Christmas. There is a dog out there needing you.

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    3 years ago

    I will say that, although I have in no way moved on, I have adopted a new dog. I went looking for the oldest, most in need of adoption little guy I could find. Now I have Ferdinand, another dachshund who they think is between 10-12, he’s only got two teeth and a hole in his face. He’s been through a pretty rough life and was left at a high kill shelter. He’s having a blast now and seems so, so happy to be living here with me!

  • JAWilson
    3 years ago

    Agree! I think this is a great idea!

  • skcullers
    3 years ago

    Devin, you so have it right I think this disease robs us of our resiliency. Remember times were rough go and we just sucked it up and soldiered on? Now it’s as if you fall down the rabbit hole and wonder how you can possibly get out. Personally find this time of year a challenge. Everyone is suppose to be cheery and in the spirit. I find it makes me miss my old self and grieve more. You did hit it too. No one understands what is it to have a chronic illness with a schizo body. People either get sick and die or get better. We face the challenge of many mini deaths. Sure wish after 27 years I could be inspirational to someone. Most days just really want to stay in bed and hide but hard to do when the person you want to hide from is yourself!

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    3 years ago

    Thank you sckullers! That was very, very well put!

  • Monk
    3 years ago

    Hi Devon, So sorry about your sweet companion, Penny. Our furry friends have a special way of showing us unconditional love and kindness that we humans can learn from them.
    No worries about expressing your occasional sadness. Having this disease I feel sad at times, too. Reading your post, I feel I’m not alone with these difficult emotions and helps me get to a better place. So thank you for venting!!

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    3 years ago

    Thank you Christine.3, it has certainly been a tough time recently. I already feel like I’m a whirlwind of emotions on a regular basis and when something bad happens, it can really make things worse. There is something about getting it out though that makes things a bit more bearable!

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