Unplugged… by JoAnn

A red and white globe with a power cord plugged in.

Today I unplugged. Unplugged from the world of social media by staying off Facebook and Instagram. Refusing to watch any news on the television, both local and worldwide. I also put down my cell phone and did not pick it up for about 16 hours. All in hopes it would help relieve the feelings of anxiety and depression that I have had this week because of the catastrophic happenings all around me. Both around the world and closer to my backyard. And it helped!

Many people find the need to “unplug” to spend more quality time with their loved ones. I feel unplugging gives me a mental break from all the chaos and negativity in our world right now. It’s like taking a mental health day for myself.  

I have always been a rather empathetic soul. Seeing others in pain of any kind is difficult for me to handle. If I allow myself to dwell, it can quickly become overwhelming for me mentally. I used to react personally by crying and being an anxious mess. As I’ve gotten older, I disengage. Taking myself away from the situation and choosing solitude as to avoid anything negative. That is not the best for me or the people who are hurting. Other than praying for them, I’m not really helping anyone. But this practice has become my norm. I feel more in control of my emotions, but I do not feel better. I would rather be more constructive in ways of helping. It is a battle I will continue to fight.

As if all that is happening around the world right now with Covid and Afghanistan weren’t enough, this week we had a disaster hit a town here in Tennessee. Seventeen inches of rain fell within 24 hours onto an already saturated area. The horrific flood in Waverly quickly took the lives of 20 people, many of which were children. Houses were lifted off their foundations and moved for blocks down the road. Homes are completely lost, and it left many homeless with only the clothes on their back. The waters quickly receded, but the damage was complete and permanent. The town will never be the same, nor will its people.  

I can no longer look at another picture of this flood or hear another story of a precious life lost. It was literally making me physically sick. Waverly was a town much like all the surrounding towns near me. Why were they not spared from such a horrific scene? It could just as easily be my very own hometown, and me and my neighbors suffering. The sad stories played repeatedly in my head. And my soul. Praying was the only way that I could help anyone hurt. But as a Christian, I believe prayer is the most important thing to do. So that is what I will continue to do.  

I guess I will continue to unplug to keep my sanity in check. I know many people who watch no type of news, and do not use social media of any kind. I don’t believe I would be happy to go that far, as I get much enjoyment out of social media, and it is beneficial to someone who lives alone like I do. I also like to keep up with what is going on in our world. I think it’s important. Maybe it’s just that there is too much going on right now for anyone to handle! Maybe I am not alone in my desire to withdraw and avoid the negativity at the risk of being selfish. I guess only time will tell. My prayers are we all have that time given to us.

Wherever you are in your world, I hope you are doing well with all life is handing you right now. I hope you can enjoy something every single day and are surrounded by good people.