Some friends have been talking about the lack of authenticity on social media. As I’ve thought about their comments, I was convicted of my inauthenticity.
For example, here’s a photo from Disneyland. From the photo, you can’t tell that I’m in a motorized scooter. You also can’t tell that I only spent a few hours at the park and left my family there to have fun while I went back to the hotel. Since my health isn’t good, I can’t walk the parks or even spend a full day in the park with my family, but I will pay the money for the ticket even if I can only spend a few hours with them.
At home, I spend more time in bed than anywhere else. It’s very difficult to drag my body out of bed before nine in the morning. I shuffle around like a zombie for an hour or so waiting for this body to loosen up. I spend most of my time in my recliner. I do therapy exercises one or two days a week if I’m up to it.
What I show on social media is that I’m an author. The truth is, writing provides an escape for me to maintain my sanity while dealing with multiple diseases. But I don’t spend all day writing. I’m lucky if I average an hour a day. Some days I don’t feel well enough to write at all. When I do write, it’s in my recliner because sitting at a desk for five minutes increases pain my neck to an intolerable level.
I also have memory issues because of brain lesions in the memory center so I tend to struggle to keep my books on track. In fact, I keep a list of every character or I won’t remember their names. There’s another list of any place that a character visits or my character may be in San Antonio one minute and Odessa the next.
As for day-to-day life, I need reminders to take my medicines or I forget. My husband has an active copy of my calendar to make sure I don’t miss doctor’s appointments. I make plans with friends and often wind up canceling at the risk of seeming “flaky”.
I said all of this to show that what we post on social media isn’t the “real deal”. In an attempt at authenticity, I’m sharing my struggles with debilitating health issues.
However, in spite of the disabilities, I have a loving family, an incredible church family, and a very blessed life. Maybe we should step back from the images we portray and be open and honest about our messy lives.