Like many Americans, I suffer from a chronic condition with side effects that can severely impact my everyday life. It’s more common than people think yet many are unaware they have this condition and it is no respecter of persons as men, women and teens suffer equally. You won’t find the description in a medical dictionary because it doesn’t have an official diagnosis, but I’ve given it a name and hope to find a cure…I call this condition, “Scrollitis.”
There is really only one way to catch Scrollitis and it’s from spending too much time on social media. It’s kind of like the common cold in the sense you know what causes it and you try your best to prevent coming down with a bad case, but sometimes it’s simply unavoidable. The first symptom is a gnawing feeling of discontent that occurs when I scroll through my social media feed and see pictures of people enjoying things I want. I look at the fun adventures other couples are having or zoom in on their new house, boat, car, … yadda yadda yadda… and my thoughts start to spiral downward. My inner voice bemoans, “If only we had more money, we could do that or go there or have this” or whatever the case may be. Ugh. I was perfectly satisfied with myself and my marriage until I tapped that tiny little app on my phone and got sucked into the black hole of comparison and self-pity.
The next symptom is found in more severe cases of Scrollitis and leads to a distorted reality. Again, scrolling through pictures of couples relaxing on tropical beaches, setting records in their 5 am workouts, watching Insta stories of wives whipping up Whole 30, Paleo friendly, ketolicious, superdooper low carb, low cal, gluten free, (probably yucky tasting, kinda kidding) dinner … makes me question, “What the heck is wrong with me?” I begin to wonder and worry, “Is my husband still happy?” Chances are, at the exact moment I’m looking at these photos, I’m alone on my couch eating a sleeve of Club crackers in my stretchy fat pants trying to come up with an idea for dinner that includes the only remaining items in my fridge – an onion, jar of salsa and two leftover chicken breasts. I admit, I start to think their life is perfect and mine is, well…not.
I know there are other side effects to Scrollitis and while I haven’t found any medication to help, I have discovered meditation does! Before you conjure up an image of me sitting crisscross applesauce in my bedroom with nature sounds playing on my Bluetooth speaker, let me quickly explain. Meditation is biblical and simply the process of deliberately focusing on God’s word, reflecting on His truth and acting accordingly. So, it is imperative that if I wish to alleviate the above symptoms, I need to meditate on the fact which is, “Just because they have, doesn’t mean I have not.” We all have different situations and stories and while they are living theirs, doesn’t mean mine – or my marriage - is of any less value. I have many blessings to be thankful for and I’m guessing you do too. I believe Scrollitis can kill our happiness but by intentionally focusing on what we have, instead of being discontent and disillusioned over what we may not, will ensure our marriage lasts until “Death do Us Part.”
“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. “Joshua 1:8 NLT