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Writing As A Cure To Fear of Missing Out

In the Philippines, "Karen" could pertain to a girl legally named by her parent as such, or a person who anybody could drag about anywhere. Taken from the word "kaladkadin," which directly means "haul to a place," the name had become a regular label to people like me— people who have a severe FEAR OF MISSING OUT or FOMO.

Fear by any other name would tear willpower to shreds. 

I'm speaking from first-hand experience that it's categorically unhealthy. It's plainly one of the major proponents for my worsening depression. I've also recently learned that it's also a significant factor for my burgeoning anxiety bouts.

When I first migrated to SF-Bay Area, nobody could keep me away from my smartphone. People had expressed it out loud how I was coarse and disrespectful, assumptions I would ignore as I continued checking my accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Plurk, Instagram, and every available social media service that connected me to my friends back home. 

I had to know everything that's happening to my friends— the newest gossips, vacation plans, who's going to the movie excursion, when's the next convention. These were information that doesn't, in reality, affect my life or my career choice. It doesn't even help me in any way possible. But they felt too important to disregard. As I held on to the desire to know, I had unintentionally forged an anchor too heavy for me to carry. It pulled me deeper, drowning me instead of keeping me from drifting far far away.

I was veritably stalking people online. And along with this, I had made myself miserable in envy, jealousy, and resentment. I wallowed in what I was missing, instead of what I could be doing. I wasted money on trinkets that I thought would keep me in people's minds, which I had later learned was under-appreciated, if not completely begrudged. I obsessed on why people were not communicating with me or stopped sending me postcards, or even "liking" my Facebook posts. I even obsessed on the tone of every written response sent to me. Are they mad? Are they trying to sabotage me? Don't they love me anymore? And if they don't respond at all— don't they care?

My shoulders hunched. My thoughts befuddled. It tore me to shreds. 

On the one hand, my pipe dreams pulled me to the lure of fame and prosperity. On another, I was being pulled down by my agitated brain squeezing my heart and spirit into minuscule-insignificant-trifle-little nothing. 

Forcing myself to write daily not only gave me a sense of repletion, but it also distracted me from my neurosis that is the Fear of Missing Out. Slowly, The substance I lost as I tormented myself into worthlessness has slowly returned. I grow independent of my friends' enterprise every day. I have been thinking more clearly and breathing more smoothly, and I have finally tasted the real flavor of self-respect.

Do you want to cure your FOMO? Go and write!

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