Why Facebook and My OCD Ruined My Relationships

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Although I’ve lived with mental illness my whole life, I am not a medical professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider, call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclaimer here.

I was never someone who obsessed with wanting to be in a relationship. I never felt the urgency, and I just wanted everything in my life to happen naturally.

But when you’re already depressed, social media magnifies it. Social media will take hold of you, and you might start to question your whole life because of it.

When I found out that I was somebody else’s second pick or side chick over and over again, things began to change.

My self-worth was tested over and over again because of Facebook, and I began to question if anybody would actually want to be with someone like me. The worst part was finding someone I truly connected with and then learning things that would impact me the rest of my life.

Please bear with me with this long post as I explain why my Relationship OCD affected my mental health:

HIGH SCHOOL: JUNIOR YEAR

Not sure what this 16 year old is doing, but I agree with it
Not sure what this 16-year-old is doing, but I agree with it

I knew Mr. Wrong #1 since Freshman year of high school, and we had at least one class together every single year. I could tell just by the way he looked at me that he liked me.

Somebody else liking you makes you feel powerful in a way. I never took advantage of him, but I did feel more confident around him. I never felt a connection with him until the middle of Junior year.

I remember asking him out the day before spring break started. But then I spent the majority of that break twiddling the paper with his phone number on it in my hands, questioning why I even asked him out in the first place.

I soon found out why.

I was leisurely profile hopping on Facebook one day, you know the usual. I clicked on my friend’s page to check up and see how she was doing. That’s when I saw it.

I saw a picture of someone who looked familiar. To double check that I wasn’t seeing things, I clicked on her friend’s profile. I saw him clearly in a suit, clearly smiling next to his girlfriend.

The thing is me, him and his girlfriend were all in the same class the year before. They barely had any interaction, so when I saw their picture together I was shocked. It had to have been taken less than a month before at Turnabout.

The worst part of it all was that he tried to keep it a secret. He didn’t have a Facebook so didn’t know that that picture was out there. He continued to try to flirt with me. I even started to see them eat lunch together the day I switched lunch tables.

For months, I could not wait for Junior year to be over.

I remember seeing him in my class the first day of Senior year. And me being the lovely, social anxious gal I am, I chose to sit next to him because he was the only person I knew.

By the end of high school, he finally made a Facebook account and told me that he only made it because of me. After the last day of school, I was relieved that I would never have to see him again.

He was supposed to go away for school, and he did. But for only one year.

I briefly saw him in the parking lot when I was leaving school my second year of college. It was like a punch to my stomach, because I never thought I would have to see him again.

But, once again, I would have to see Mr. Wrong #1. I already graduated from school, but my boyfriend was just starting to attend. It was my day off of work so I went to go surprise him at school with some food. We were walking around campus, hand in hand, and this guy from my past stopped us.

Later that night, Mr. Wrong #1 texted me saying, “I wish we could’ve talked more.” Even though he clearly saw that I had a boyfriend.

HIGH SCHOOL: SENIOR YEAR

Being a majestic 17-year-old

During my senior year of high school, I was really into this guy. Like literally since the first day of school. I knew he had feelings for me, but I always kind of second-guessed myself.

One time me and a couple friends were talking about if we would ever ask a guy out. I said I would. He was standing there the whole time. I remember the look on his face, and I still think that that’s the reason why he never asked me out.

It was during the last week of senior year that I officially heard through the grapevine that he liked me back.

For some reason, we never exchanged numbers. But we were each other’s friends on Facebook. So I waited and waited. All summer long.

My birthday’s in June, and I was so sure he would at least wish me happy birthday. But he didn’t. And hardly anyone else did. That was when I officially began to feel depression swoop back in.

I never got to say goodbye to him. Not even at our graduation.

More and more, I avoided Facebook. I didn’t want to see my notifications blank and my personal messages empty. I would go on maybe once a week. Then it was less than that. Then I completely stopped going on it.

I spent the whole entire summer at my house. This was the summer before college, and it should’ve been epic. Instead, I stayed in my pajamas all day. I didn’t see any friends. I actually don’t ever remember even stepping outside.

When my first semester of college started, I put no effort into meeting anybody or making new friends. I completely kept to myself and hated anyone who tried to make a conversation with me.

I spent every day wishing I would see him again. I would glance at all the cars in the parking lot, hoping I would see his car. It was like an addiction.

About a year after I stopped going on Facebook, I finally logged back on. I had so many notifications that I had so much to catch up on. None were from him.

But me being me, I tried to see what he was up to. My heart sank even lower when I discovered that he deactivated his account. I had no way whatsoever to get in touch with him. I had to let go of a relationship that never even existed. It sounds kind of juvenile today, but my feelings for him were so strong.

COLLEGE: SOPHOMORE YEAR

A pleasant 19-year-old me sitting on a cold, wet bench

I started my second year of college off with a purpose. I wanted to feel like myself again, and honestly, it was one of the most freeing years of my life.

Still, this is when Mr. Wrong #2 came waltzing into my one class on the first day of school. He chose the seat right next to me, which was in the very last row.

Looking back, I have no idea why I liked him. He was pretty much always late. He worked at a bar, and he went to go smoke every time after we hugged each other goodbye. I think I only fell as hard as I did because he bought this homegirl a chocolate bar.

A month after the semester ended, it was Mr. Wrong #2’s birthday. Instead of wishing him a happy birthday, I unfriended him.

On that day, I saw him change his profile picture to him and this one girl. I tried to talk myself out of it, but I clicked on the picture anyway. Then I saw all these comments about nice catch and yada yada yada.

I was way more mad at him than I was ever sad. I wasted an entire semester believing another complete asshole.

The next semester I saw him for a brief minute, and all I wanted to do was knock that stupid hat off his head. Let’s just say, I got over him really quickly.

But it once again just made my experience with Facebook that much more negative.

MY NUMBER ONE

The picture that got this little 20-year-old a boyfriend

It was only a couple months after Mr. Wrong #2 that I met the guy who I would eventually fall deeply in love with. But here comes a completely different form of hell.

This part is really hard for me to talk about, but I promised myself that I would be as honest and I can be through this journey.

I don’t want to put anyone on blast, but let’s just say having to see your boyfriend’s past is incredibly difficult.

It started out with me just wanting to learn a little bit more about the person I was falling so fast for. But turns out Facebook is an even bigger trigger for my OCD than I ever thought possible.

Because I have a history of sexual abuse, every experience I have in life is different. Intrusive, horrible, horrible thoughts and visions began to ruin my relationship. My OCD never lets these triggering thoughts escape from my brain. My OCD does not let me.

You can’t unsee pictures. You can’t unsee conversations two people had together. You can’t unsee where two people went on dates, or what movie they saw at which theater. You can’t ever get them saying I love you to each other out of your head.

Eventually, I woke up one day and told myself that I could absolutely not trust myself with Facebook.

But it still wasn’t enough. The fact is some of these are harder to unsee, because I worked with one of my boyfriend’s exes until I quit almost 3 years later.

It’s only been two months since, but my brain is finally starting to rewire itself a little bit every day.

Please take my advice, don’t let Facebook ruin the good relationships you have. And never let the love of yourself be tested because of it.

Are you addicted to Facebook? Has any of your relationships suffered because of it?

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More Recommendations:

1. ONLINE THERAPY

Better Help is the largest online counseling platform worldwide. It makes professional counseling available anytime, anywhere, through a computer, tablet or smartphone.

2. THE MINDFULNESS WORKBOOK FOR OCD

When I was first diagnosed with OCD, The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD was the book I turned to. It covers several different types of OCD ranging from checking to relationship OCD (which is what I have). Its approach is cognitive behavioral therapy based, but it’s written in a very compassionate and warm way that makes you feel more at ease.

 

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