Mental health and social media


Disclaimer : I am NO MEANS a mental health expert, professional nor have I /will I ever claim to be. The content below is from my own PERSONAL experience & observations. Please bare that in mind while reading this entry.


After retiring my former Instagram {DeVito and Crew} I had for 5+ years with well over 7,000 followers as a professional advocate- it didn't really hit me on how much social media was influencing my anxiety until after I deleted my account.

There is alot of folks who find me as an oddball for deleting my successful account. "Who the heck would walk away from 7K+ followers and their career?". Well, me.


I’m simple. I’m all about the small blessings that lead to big memories. I learned to slow down in life and understand that my Instagram platform was honestly emotionally draining as much as it was rewarding.


I used my account for advocating and spreading factual awareness on Congenital heart defects, Lupus SLE and special needs parenting.


Although, I met so many amazing families / warriors who inspire me to this very day & we celebrated so many victories, we also faced many tragic events too, such as alot of babies and children lost their CHD battles and died, alot of my fellow lupus warriors lost their battles too and died. And after COVID-19 hit, and personally losing loved ones from the virus on top of losing friends I met in the CHD and Lupus communities, it mentally took a toll on me and drained all the energy I needed for my own self care and for the attention I needed for focusing on my own family.....I deleted DeVitoandCrew permanently.


I do miss passionately fighting for the medical and legal rights of these families and warriors, but everyone has that moment in their life where they need to step back and ask "Is this really good for me mentally?".....for me that answer was "No.".


I made sure to help train and educate other CHD Adult patients who had the drive I had starting out in my journey of advocacy to make sure they were equipped to the lead / take charge for trips to Washington DC to speak in front of Congress to advocate for federal laws and funding for research and proper medical care no matter someone's condition, age or income, race / gender / ethnic backgrounds and how to professionally do it by removing their emotions while still sharing their personal experiences.


But for me, I found myself, "burnt out". It was no longer fun, it was no longer joyful, it was no longer beneficial to my over all health and it legitimately through me into a very sad and deep state of depression, self-doubt and questioning my worth and identity. I always and will always help others, but I found my kindness and passion being taken advatage of by so many - I would drop everything and run to help them, and yet, not a soul was around for me. In life you can not tolerate one-way / one-sided relationships or you're going to drain yourself like I did. Always try to be a good person, but understand that it is very lonely place doing the right thing for people if you let it lead your life like I made the mistake of doing and not setting healthy boundaries and limits. I have no harsh feelings to anyone and I wish them all the best. I just need to focus on my own family in this season of life.


Deleting my advocacy account reminded me that YES, I have CHD and a child with CHD, YES, I have lupus....BUT I AM NOT DEFINED BY THESE ILLNESSES NOR ARE THEY ALL THAT MAKES ME WHO I AM NOR SHOULD IT.


I am Francesca, I am a mother, a wife, a simple lady who enjoys bargain shopping, exploring local beaches, natural trails and just being with my kids at home.


I love crafting, painting, cooking, cleaning, photography, collecting flamingo themed art and listening to music......I don't like fancy things or expensive trips. I like to be low-key and keep to myself and have pretty much no local friends because my focus is my family and our hobbies.......


And I just so happen to have serious medical issues.


I know I came across as a big voice and big personality on my DeVitoandCrew IG, but honestly, I am extremely introverted, keep to myself and just want to be left alone from the chaos of the world. LOL.


It has been since Mid-May since my DeVitoandCrew account has been gone and I am at peace. God exposed who is genuinely my friends and "support system" per say.....and after factoring in I had 7K+ followers and well over 400+ families I would engage with on a daily basis, about 4 of those CHD families talk to me offline...FOUR out of 400.....really eye opening huh?


***I do have a personal account for Instagram that I purposely limit who I share with , but gone are the days of me using my platform to highlight my medical journeys and allowing any and everyone who was curious to follow along.


When social media is wiped from our access, who do you have? I have my kids, my small circle of trusted friends and most importantly I have God.

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