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Actively Scrolling My Way Through Life

Recently, I read about a study concerning how users utilize their time on Facebook. There are active users and active scrollers. Active users are the beneficiaries of the positives aspects of Facebook. They interact, leave posts, comments on one another’s walls. They participate. Then there are active scrollers. Active scrollers do exactly as the name implies… they scroll down through posts and read over other people’s highlights and achievements. They stew over what others have done that they don’t get to do. They resent other’s achievements and daily highs. As you can imagine, the study found that active scrollers are more prone to depression because they’re constantly watching the highlights of other people’s lives and never participating in them. They have a profound feeling of missing out.

As a chronic migraineur, I already had this feeling of “missing out” with my life in general. Reading this article made me realize that my illness has forced me to become an active scroller in my own life.  I am forced to sit on the sidelines and watch as my friends build relationships, families, and get new jobs. And all this while, I’m stuck, waiting for a cure, and trying out a bunch of medications in hopes of finding one that will get me a few more good days in the process.  It’s disheartening to realize that something that is recognized as a depressant on Facebook, active scrolling, is a lifestyle that so many of us in the chronic migraine community are forced to deal with.  We’re forced to deal with the depression that comes from our medically limited lives. From not being able to attend our niece’s sporting events. Not being able to go to the family Christmas party because you already have a migraine and you don’t want to end up in ER on Christmas Eve.

I don’t want to be an active scroller in my own life, but I guess I don’t know how to fight my way out of it, other than my small daily victories.  Yesterday, I was able to go for a three mile walk without getting a migraine. That is a huge achievement for me.  Three days ago I was able to cook myself delicious soup from scratch. I ended up getting a migraine and the dishes are still in the sink, waiting to be addressed, but the point is, I was an active participant in my life.  I guess what I’m coming to realize, is that I’m having to redefine what it means to be an active participant in my own life.

Six years ago, I wouldn’t have considered myself truly living unless I had a vacation to a far away place planned and coming up soon. I also wouldn’t have been happy in my day to day life until that vacation, because I had no idea how to actively live in each moment, like I do now. These days, if I get to see a friend and have a good conversation while sitting on my couch and drinking lattes I’ve made for us, I consider that day a win. I may still have a migraine that day, but I still actively participated in my life, instead of just scrolling on through another day.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Alison
    4 years ago

    I know exacltly what you mean. Having coffee with a friend is a major win, going shopping with my daughteris a huge win, followed by migraine, getting through Xmas is a major win, even if a week long migraine arrives on Boxing day. I have many days when I scroll through Facebook. However I have joined pages on genealogy and history and I do actively participate in them, helping others doing their family trees who are struggling for example. I can do it on my Ipad in bed once the worst of the migraine is past. After 20 years of chronic, now daily, migraine I have had no choice but to arrive at acceptance, like yourself. I agree wholeheartedly that we really appreciate the little things in life now and don’t take a single good day, or good afternoon, for granted. It’s so good to read your story, to find someone who really understands chronic migraine.

  • Christina Mattoni-Brashear moderator
    4 years ago

    Hi Allison,

    So glad to hear you found this story helpful – thank you for being a part of our community and sharing your positive attitude. We all need to remember to not take a single day for granted and to count even small victories – to that end, you might like this article as well:!
    Take care, and let us know how you’re doing.
    Best, -Christina ( Team)

  • waclements7
    4 years ago

    Thank you! That’s an interesting way to look at Facebook, and applying it to life. It’s really helpful. 🙂

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    4 years ago

    Hi britt,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I couldn’t agree more. Acceptance is an important part of living with any chronic illness, and it sounds like you are there!


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