How often do we reveal the truth behind our carefully constructed social media identities? There we smile, we dine in beautiful restaurants, we drink fancy cocktails, surrounded by many friends. We travel the world and have the best romantic life, virtually living a dream.

But how often do we talk about the less glamorous side of our lives? Our health problems, work failures, relationship setbacks and personal struggles? Not talking about those things can be dangerous, painting a very skewed picture of reality. When you are going through a hard time and it seems that everyone else around is living a perfect life, it reinforces your struggles and makes you think that something must be seriously wrong with you.

Well, guess what, everyone is going through shit in their lives. Most mighty, outgoing, beautiful and adventurous people there are. They all go through shit.

 

I wasn’t an exception. In 2016 I was going through a divorce. It was a heart-breaking experience that took a lot of figuring out and dealing with conflicting emotions before the decision was made. I took a few months off work to have the time and space to think things through. In that time, I travelled to many beautiful places – Scotland, Japan, South Korea, Italy and USA. My Instagram was bursting of beautiful pictures. Each week I was in a new exotic country, eating local delicacies and smiling like I’ve got it all figured out.

In the background I was capturing a different kind of feed. Something I didn’t dare to look myself at for a long time. I was depressed, torn and heart-broken, finding myself in tears many times throughout the day. I found myself crying at home, in the office toilet, at my desk, on the street, on the tube, in fancy hotel rooms, on the plane. You name it.

While most my friends thought I was having a blast, I was in pain. In pain that no one else could see. In that time, I once tripped over while running on the streets of London, training for a marathon. I hurt myself quite badly, having a swollen knee for weeks after. As I was trying to get home, covered in blood, many people stopped, asking if I needed help and if I was ok. While I wasn’t great physically, the question struck me that I am no at all ok emotionally.  I’ve been dealing with the divorce all by myself for months in a foreign country. So badly did I need someone to ask me if I was ok and just give me a hug. And maybe tripping over was a subconscious attempt to get noticed, to have a stranger stop and ask if I am ok.

Next time you are going through a hard time, remember, everyone has their struggles. It’s part of life. Next time you see someone’s beautiful Instagram feed, don’t assume they are ok. Maybe they need a hug.

Crying out loud

'Crying out loud' is a story based on personal experience where I reveal the brutal and painful personal truth behind my seemingly happy and glamorous Instagram life on a quest to expose the realities of modern day social media craze. 

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