The Facebook Experiment Ends…Begins?


Back in June, I created an anonymous Facebook account, as mentioned in this post and back in August I decided to de-activate my real persona account as it didn’t serve me anymore.

Today I decided to de-activate my anonymous account too. I only de-activated it rather than delete it because there are some thoughts I had expressed on there I wanted to capture for my “memoirs”.

When I de-activated it, I was presented with a choice of reasons for wanting to do such thing. I picked the correct one: “I am spending too much time on Facebook”.

Since being back from holidays, and after my internet sabbath, I have realised it wasn’t the internet I had an issue with, it was Facebook. For, despite the fact that I got to choose what I saw in my newsfeed, I was still bombarded by thoughts from others, and that was still addictive.

This life journey of mine started when I realised I had attachment issues and since, I have been adjusting my life so as to have little attachments. Except Facebook became an attachment, again. So it had to go.

I felt a bit lost for a few moments after I clicked de-activate. I ran through in my head how often I checked my newsfeed (too often, certainly from first thing in the morning and last thing at night) and wondered what my life will be like now I don’t have this crutch of sorts. Then I removed the App from my phone, it was taking 222 mb of space, I think my phone will thank me (it is constantly running out of storage space!). Then I started to get excited: a new challenge ahead!

How will I get my news? I never watched the news so why worry.

How will I get my thinking material? I have accumulated enough thinking material via books, podcasts etc in the past six months that I have barely touched.

What will I do with my time? Now, that is an interesting one. Possibly be more mindful of what I am doing. I have a few projects coming up, I think now they will get the full attention they deserve.

It may sound really stupid, but I am actually quite looking forward to seeing how my life is going to pan out without this distraction.

time to live

jess smith2


A New, Better Facebook

Since my best friend and my husband walked off in the sunset some four years ago now, I am realising I have felt let down by people ever since.

And so recently I have made some adjustments in my life to get rid of that feeling. I no longer chase people’s frienships for instance, I have also learnt to accept that people are people and so that’s just the way it is, deal with it.

The biggest change however was removing all the local people from my Facebook account, along with dead weights or highly frustrating people.

I got fed up with having people on there who clearly didn’t care about what was going on in my life, yet were very active on Facebook for instance. You know, if you put something out there on your wall, you are kinda reaching out to your “friends” for their input. If you never get any input then it’s like talking to yourself in front of everyone you know. Pretty pathetic. Sometimes even awkward.

That’s the thing about Facebook: the fakeness, the hypocrisy, the fear of upsetting someone with a comment, the self-righteousness, the passive aggressive, plain aggressive, sarcastic, or preachy comments, the selfies, the fishing for likes, the “not a clue what you are talking about” statusses or attacks, the provocations you can’t respond to as you know your “friend” would get really offended by your views……the list goes on.

When you start looking at it with a bit of reculeas I have because I have very little to do in my spare time (mainly out of choice though, turns out I am a very lazy person on occasions) and so can look into that world in depth.

After a major clear out, nothing much happens on my newsfeed these days and I am finding myself less and less logged into my account and that is not a bad thing.

There is one thing about Facebook that I really got into for a while now though: I love reading comments, and sometimes contributing if the occasion fits, on Facebook pages, especially the most popular ones – Lad Bible being one. I also profile-surf: check out someone’s profile if I like their comment, and sometimes find a whole new world of stuff I haven’t come across before. Real good fun. Some profiles are so open you can really get into those strangers’ lives, it’s quite fascinating, a bit like when you meet someone for the first time in real life and find out more about them. (Except of course, it’s all virtual)

I find it really entertaining, and very educational. It teaches me a lot about human behaviour, and also my own behaviour. It has taught me to look at every side of the argument before making judgments too.

But I came across two problems.

One, peeps on my friends list could potentially see one of my comments appear on their newsfeed (and some of the pages I post to can be quite rude or un-pc), and two, you are really exposed when you comment on those threads, I have seen many an attack on people and they are brutal. I kid you not, a lot of people out there are pretty scary how nasty they can get.

Basically, I started to realise Facebook was turning into a massive forum, except historically, you contributed to those under a username, anonymously mostly. On Facebook, you are opened to the whole world, even if your profile is locked down, your name and profile pic are still available to everyone. And I tell you what I have seen enough shit going viral that there is no way I want to open myself up to the whole world like that. I couldn’t handle it.

Sooo I decided to create another account for the sole purpose to contribute however I see fit on those pages, under a nom de plume (actually, not that clever, just an everyday jo(e)).

Face Book

It took some adjusting – with no friends, it felt like being in a big empty room with no windows to start with – but now I have subscribed to a few choice pages, oh my god: I can be me, I can post/like whatever I want, where ever I want, I am allowed to make mistakes and not feel bad and I am loving it! I’m also starting to get likes from total strangers, for no other reason that they just genuinely liked my comment enough that they wanted me to know, how cool is that for the ego? 🙂

Being able to post what I want is extremely liberating. But do you know, it’s not quite as easy as it sounds. For, even if anonymous to others, their comments will affect the real you so if you are going to put your thoughts out there, you need to be prepared for what comes back. Afterall, these people are not your friends, so they too can be however they choose to be. So not only you need to learn to express yourself in a measured way, you also need to be able to handle any crap that comes your way. It’s a skill. I am very cautious still, I think long and hard sometimes before commenting, especially during difficult threads (threads that have escalated) but do you know, it’s not a bad skill to learn, to think before you talk…a rarity on Facebook these days!

I am not in it to troll though so I have managed to stay out of firing line. My purpose is not about getting flamed or pissing people of. My purpose is about learning more about myself, people, and just being able to be myself 🙂

All getting too much

This morning I woke up to find my latch on the kitchen window broken. It snapped so it’s not repairable. Yet another thing to add to the list of things going wrong in my life. I don’t know what to do about it, it would no doubt cost a lot of money to sort out, money I haven’t got.

So I had a bath to try and chill. What am I going to do? If suicide is not an option, what are my other options? Sell the house I guess and move back to France, where I am from. My dad mentioned when I visited in April that he and my mum, now divorced, would help my return if I ever decided to go back.

I have lived in the UK some 24 years now, longer than I have lived in France. The thought of moving back fills me with anxiety, as my life is now firmly in the UK. But the simple truth is I just cannot cope here anymore.

Yes there has been some happy moments in the past 3 years since being back from Canada, but most were alcohol driven and the rest were what I now know to be manic episodes so now I am on medication, they won’t happen anymore.

The idea of selling my house also fills me with dread. I don’t know I can cope with the process which is quite stressful on its own.

This month I gave myself to be back on some kind of track isn’t looking too good.

This morning I deactivated my facebook account, I had re-enabled it on the 1st January after a 6 week break and enjoyed being back on at the start, especially when I became manic again, but lately it has depressed me more and more. Every time I logged on, I have felt more down, seeing other people’s happy lives, and yes I know not everyone is as happy as they make out to be on there but at least they can give the impression they are, I can’t even do that. I felt it best to close the account.

My world is getting smaller and smaller. I just cannot see a way out of the tunnel. I really don’t.

Why I quit Facebook

Prompted by a comment on my entry about quitting Facebook, I wanted to explain my decision, now I have had time to think about it. As I said, these days I act on gut instincts and then I think of the possible ramification of my decisions.

One thing I would like to make clear is I absolutely loved Facebook. I talked about it in a previous entry on this blog. Facebook, like everything in life, is what you make of it and I loved my experience there.

However, since I have awakened, I see things for what they are these days and I started to see Facebook as a fake reality. In fact like probably most social networking sites, luckily though only Facebook had got its clutches in me. I am pretty sure the same principles and basis apply to other sites like tweeter etc

Only, recently, I started to realise I was part of the machine and I needed to disconnect, it was time to unplug.

Facebook is a great representation of the world today. Some people care deeply about what is going and are trying any way possible to spread their message about what needs changing, others are happy to live their life to the full with not a care in the world, others care deeply about their family and it shows through their posts. Others are very opinionated and have little respect for others and spend their time arguing. Others seek acceptance, validation, some use it as an escape and appear to spend their time playing games, the list goes on. 

I found Facebook fascinating really. A great insight into Humanity.

But there is a danger in Facebook in my eyes that you start to believe your own hype and achieve nothing.

I, like a few awakened I have recently come across, had started using Facebook to spread some of my newly acquired Wisdom. However I was starting to feel this wasn’t enough for me.

I would see the same or similar posters on those new friends’ walls, similar ideas, and I would just mindlessly click Like to give them a sign that I knew what they were talking about.

But as I mentioned in an earlier post, I am getting tired of observing, I now need to walk the talk. And I felt Facebook wasn’t the place to do this. Most of my friends wouldn’t understand where I am at, I don’t even fully understand myself. But I felt it was time to leave them in their little world. It is hard to be honest because I know I will miss this insight in their lives, but I feel my “calling” is taking me somewhere else and I needed to unplug to hear it.

The End of Facebook – Day 1

I was feeling slightly nervous when I took this decision yesterday of ending my Facebook days but also strangely relieved after I put my farewell message.

My heart was warmed by the messages I received and it makes letting it go all the more harder.

I never expected it to be easy. It’s not called a Prison Break for nothing. However, I am taking a leap of faith. What’s the worst than can happen anyway? I come back in a few weeks and pick up where I was. I hope not though. As when I stopped drinking booze, the decision was instant, however the benefits were absolutely unexpected, past the original ride. I am taking a leap of faith that it will be the same for Facebook. I shouldn’t need it to function in life.

Today I am concentrating on wrapping it up properly.

My first thought this morning was, who would I want to find if I reconnected again? And so I have been clearing my friends’ list. Really not an easy task. I didn’t have a big list but many of my friends on there mean a lot to me. More than they probably know or realise.

As I remove them, I think about each and our connection. This is the thing about Facebook isn’t it, it creates attachment. And this is what I am trying to get free of. For I have realised I cannot live the life I want if I have many attachments.

So today I am letting go of a lot of my past. And trying to be as ruthless as I can.

First off, I am removing all the people who live in the same town as me. What is the point of being connected via the web when we can meet up and chat?

Second off, I am removing all the people who wouldn’t care if I am in their life or not. I am pleased about those actually. I have enjoyed watching their lives from afar and seeing it’s all doing well.

Third off I am removing the people I should have removed a long time ago but never dared, for one reason or other. Those feel easy.

So far, I have reduced my list to 45. Still too many but there comes a time when it doesn’t matter who is left. Because really, deep down, my hope is never to come back.

I don’t want to share my life in a virtual environment anymore. I want to live it for real.

And I will tell you a little secret that I now realise what prompted all this for me.

The other day, I saw a comment my husband made on a mutual friend’s wall. Nothing much, just his results to a grammar test our friend had posted. I wanted to like his comment, then I stopped myself. I realised that I still had an attachment to him. I then thought maybe I should ask him to block me again, as he had after we split. Then I realised how silly that was. And then how silly Facebook was. How it had become such a big part of my life. So big, that it prevented me from having a life, despite all the people it has connected me with.

Then I thought about my wall. And realised that all the stuff I shared on it were bits of me that really in the grand scheme of things, don’t mean anything to anyone.

The people I really matter to are my family and we don’t use Facebook to stay connected, thank God.

The friends who really matter are friends in real life, people I see. And I hope me disconnecting off Facebook will help grow some new friendships in the real world too. I had a girl whom I had accepted as a friend who I didn’t have a clue who she was, emailing me saying she would like to stay in touch, so I gave her my mobile number and said we should meet up for a drink. See, I already see a positive to what I am doing.

The other positive that I am quite excited about is that I put a message on the Social Group asking if anyone wanted to take over in my absence, a bit worried as I have a strong idea of how that group should be run, especially the sentiment behind it (kindness) and I have seen many people getting carried away with the power running such a group gives and I was worried how I would select the appropriate person.

Within minutes of putting the message, I received an email from a young lad, that I remember joined earlier in the group to enter a photo competition, I can’t remember his age exactly but I believe he is about 14. Perfect. Still innocent, still fresh, still excited about life. I have asked to meet him, because, part of the reason I am disconnecting is to reconnect with the real world, but I have a feeling he will be perfect to run this group.

Disconnecting off something like Facebook is really a great way to take stock of your life. What matters, what doesn’t. Perfect preparation for what I am about to undertake: building the life I want.

Prison Break – the beginning

Tonight, during my floatation session, I took the first decision of my Prison Break, probably the toughest one. I am going to disconnect from Facebook.

I love Facebook, don’t get me wrong, and, used properly, it is an amazing companion. However, I have decided I want to live in the real world now and Facebook is preventing me.

So tonight I put my farewell message. It’s going to take me a bit of time as there are a few projects I started that I want to hand over properly.

The thought of life without Facebook isn’t easy, I can assure you. But when I look at my future and my happy life, Facebook doesn’t have a place.

Little experiment

I don’t think my Facebook friends are ready or open minded enough to see the new me, the Awakened Paz. So I have decided to open a new Facebook account, as anonymous as can be whilst still being me and explore this awakening without boundaries.

In that account, I shall accept any friend’s requests I get and express myself any way I choose. It’s brand new and only opened today.

If you want to befriend me there, here’s my name: Paz Awakened. The picture below will help you find me…

May be see you there 🙂


Update on this blog

In my previous post, The Secret to End all Secrets, I mentioned that I would be using Facebook as my medium to express myself, I have changed my mind.

Facebook is my playground, there I share posters that make me think, laugh, wonder about the beauties of this world, keep in touch with my friends and family. Here I will talk about more serious stuff.

I like it better that way 🙂



(Sorry, this poster isn’t really relevant to my post but I liked it so much I wanted to share)


I have been a bit quiet of late. The reason for this is I had a psychosis two weeks ago and was taken into care. I am now back home safe and sound, and still happy I am on the right path to living a full and happy life.

I am in fact grateful this happened as this is exactly what I suffered from last time I had stopped drinking completely, back in Canada two years ago, these episodes were what got me interested in Mental Illness.

I will probably talk a bit more about my psychosis and Mental Illness in general, now I have had two weeks living among peers who suffered from various mental health issues.

I have learned so much during that time, my head could be spinning if I hadn’t learnt to keep my thoughts under control, helped by an anti-psychotic medication, Olanzapine, albeit I am taking a really low dosage to help me sleep and slow down my thoughts.

I will post here the entry I wrote on Facebook to explain what had happened. Various people knew I was in hospital but not many knew why. I wanted to explain, from the safety of Facebook, exactly what happened to me, especially to work colleagues so they know before I return to work, probably in about two weeks time.

Writing this entry was a leap of faith for me, due to the Stigma attached to mental illness, however, I believe openness and honesty are the only way to break the barriers down. The responses I received proved me right:

I guess I’d better explain what happened to me a couple of weeks ago, as most of you will know I have been in hospital but not the reason why.

In short, I suffered from what people might call a Psychosis. For 48 hours, I wasn’t myself, at all.

Two weeks ago, on a Tuesday, as I woke up, something didn’t feel quite right and I had a weird experience…erm..blushing smiley… I thought I had a deep connection with “God” all of the sudden (I had been agnostic verging on the atheist all my life) and that I could stop time.

Luckily, for me anyway, I was at a neighbour’s house soon after and someone called for help.

During this psychosis, a lot of emotions surfaced, such as corruption within the Police force (long story, going back to something that happened in Canada) and also (organised) religion, which I am all in all fervently against.

It took a few Police officers to restrain me and secure me so I could be taken to a hospital in Bury, where I spend 24 hours in confinement.

I remember everything that happened, however I had no control over my actions/words. I remember feeling extremely angry too, poor cops received a mouthful!! I also remember having a strength I had never known before, it took a few of them to restrain and secure me, and I even managed to loosen a handcuff by the cheer force of my wrist (I was pretty surprised my wrist weren’t that bruised the following days!).

After the 24 hours in confinement, I felt back to my old self and I am now trying to figure out how this happened so it doesn’t happen again. I do know lack of sleep plays an important part of Psychosis, as well as repressed emotions.

I can see several reasons that brought me to that point:

– inability to deal with the betrayal I felt I suffered when my husband left me two years ago and started seeing my best friend, although I am now absolutely fine with both of them
– the loss of my dog Frodo, which I feel responsible for
– loss of friends due to my newly found need to be honest these days
– a course I attended at work which gave me hope that my company might actually have got the right message these days that people matter more than processes, making me feel really excited that things can change for the better there.

My life had been going good too since I became sober and I started a few too many projects with my newly found enthusiasm for life.

Work had also been quite busy too for the past month and so I was in constant state of “excitement” and began to sleep less and less.

I had experienced something very similar in Canada after my husband left me, except there, I had no-one looking after me. Luckily though I called the cops myself that time.

So, I am now feeling completely back to “normal” – I still am very different to what I used to be like when using alcohol and repressing my emotions – and looking at ways to channel my newly found energy, learning to take it easier (not quite there yet judging by the amount of stuff I have accomplished this weekend!) and also learning to live with being honest, as I used to be a people pleaser and honesty sometimes loses you friends.

I’m not ashamed of what happened to me as, believe me, under the “right” circumstances, this could happen to anyone.

I am also extremely grateful to have discovered really good friends through all this, people who have really been there for me, by talking to me about it or carrying on their business as usual which is also a great help!

My family has been great too, by being there when I have needed them and not freaking out.

My boss at work has been really understanding too, I feel lucky to have had that pressure off whilst concentrating on this new me.

I have also learnt a lot about mental illness during my stay at the hospital, and people. I will invest more time in my findings sometime in the future because I would love for my experience/thoughts to help this “Time To Change” campaign that is running at the moment.

I hope this won’t change the way you see me or how you behave towards me. As, apart from me seeing life from a different angle now (and really appreciating it), and this need to be honest, I haven’t changed at all, some might say I am just a little bit wiser these days  and I personally can say I am much happier:-)

If you have any questions or want to know more about what happened, please let me know as I’m more than happy to talk about it. I’d much rather you ask me direct rather than speak about it behind my back, but hey, whatever works for you 😉



Since embracing positivity I have discovered the wonderful world Facebook can be.

It brings so much pleasure to me these days, like one of my newest virtual friends describes: it’s my playground.

I love seeing what my friends from afar are up to, leaving a comment or a like here and there to show I’m with them, I love discovering new friends, I love sharing my thoughts, I love when they touch someone.

I particularly love finding out about the world through someone else’s perceptive, good or bad. It really is opening my horizons and helping me decide what matters to me most (people, animals and nature as it happens).

I am loving how my world is expanding now I am no longer scared of Facebook as I am happy within myself, confident and strong enough about what I feel that I can use it the right way.

I have recently opened my new wall posts to “everyone” (my past posts are not everybody’s business) and so far, it has been a wonderful thing.

I am seeing so much positive stuff that it has given me hope again, that I am not alone on this journey to living a positive life, lots of others seem on the same path, and together we can help change this world, bit by bit, slowly but surely, we will each have a tiny positive impact on this world and things can change.

And all that for FREE, here, anytime of the day or night – what more can you ask?

However, there is a lot of negative publicity about Facebook and it was bugging me. I saw the dark side of Facebook when I was suffering from mental health issues though, so I understand the debate.

This morning, I saw yet another article blaming Facebook for making people miserable and how people’s lives would be better off without it.

I scanned through the article’s comments and I saw right there what bugs me about the negativity against Facebook. And I decided to leave one comment:

Facebook can bring the worst out of people or the best, you choose which you want to be.

I’m done now trying to convince people that Facebook isn’t the evil they think it is. If they don’t get that (my comment) and what it says about them, their choice. I’m too busy having fun to care anymore! 🙂



Article about Facebook: Bad Facebook bad (read the comments and weep)