A Portal to Mental Health?

How I used Instagram as a tool to regain my self- esteem

​Having experienced various forms of depression in the past year, my mind began to fall in a rut around two months ago. As a result I can now acknowledge that it is possible to drown in your own thoughts, because my mind and spirit spent a rather significant time underwater. I realized that should you weigh yourself down enough with statements of worry, concern, fear, and devalue, the layers will begin to pile up and you will lose yourself in the growing vastness of your mind. The deeper you sink into it; the less light is able to reach you. You continue to drown but don’t die.

Movie complex 
Most of my life, I’ve had a movie complex. That’s what I call it when I wish that my life was a movie. The excitement and passion and possibility that is compressed into a two-hour film wheel is something I desire desperately to find in reality. In a practical sense it’s unhealthy but there have been times when I’ve been successful. When a moment in my life has seemed just as beautiful as a moment on screen.

Yes, these two details are related. The second simultaneously contributes to and resolves the first. The sheer fact that it’s unhealthy to seek something aside from reality is my downfall but if if I’m able to simulate the possibility of a movie in my real life, my self esteem and general mood improves.

Changing the lens
As a writer, it is easy for me to get stuck in my own head. Buried under my own thoughts. Should I be able to reflect my thoughts at a different angle, perhaps they wouldn’t return to weigh on me. So enter the mind of another person? No. Look at my life as if it’s someone else’s? As if it were a movie. Maybe

In movies, we romanticize the people on screen because they’re not us. They haven’t felt the pain that we’ve felt. They don’t know boredom and waiting like we do. So why wouldn’t we want to be them?

New perspective
Social media serves as a lens of it’s own. It allows us to control how the public views us. Instagram being a visual platform is particularly strong to this effect. We post the pictures of ourselves that we like, and the things that make us happy so that’s all other people will see. It’s also all we see when we enter that platform. When I isolated my view of myself to Instagram, it allowed me to pull myself out of the ocean of thoughts I had been drowning in.

Resurfacing
I see photos of things that make me happy on Instagram, and it encourages me to do more of those things in my life. I want to travel, be outside, try new foods, put energy into the clothes I wear, take time to write and make art, spend time with my friends and the people I love. I see photos of me in a happy moment, and I like myself. I no longer believe that I’m not good enough. I can see that I radiate energy, that i’m passionate and caring and capable of so many things.

Instagram allowed me to return to a point in my life where I didn’t rely on other people to make me happy. I’m fully in control of who I am and the way I portray myself. It’s a platform where im surrounded by the things I care about and individuals who are passionate about the same things. Fashion, feminism, art, animal cruelty, travelling, love.

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