FOMO vs. JOMO
Updated: Nov 24, 2022
FOMO: fear of missing out.
JOMO: joy of missing out.
Before I quit drinking, I used to experience FOMO on a regular basis. I wanted to be included in everything, and I lived in fear of missing out. Since probably middle school, I wanted to be part of the group, and I worried what people thought of me if I wasn't included in the party. As an adult, I would scour Instagram and see pictures of people at concerts or parties I didn't go to and wonder why I wasn't invited. I was scared of the things I missed while I wasn't there. I wanted to be at everything. I wanted to go to every party. Every big girl's weekend away. Every huge vacation.
When I drank, weekends would pass and I would feel sorry for myself for not getting the most out of my time - and back then, the most equated to the following: Drinking as much as possible... Staying out as late as I could... Going out to the most places... Going out to the most dinners... Surrounding myself with the most people... There was so much anxiety that accompanied FOMO, that I literally lived in fear of living. I was never satisfied with my life, because alcohol sucked the fun out of it all. I was always left feeling completely depleted.
I believed if I was doing all of these things, I would be happy. I would not miss out on life. Deep down perhaps I thought that alcohol, groups of people and late nights would help bring me joy someday, but these things only pulled me further from that opportunity. It was truly the opposite effect, and I was fooling myself for so long. By the end, I was lost and depressed, constantly chasing something I couldn't find. Searching for a happiness that didn't exist. I was always looking to be the center of the party - the last man standing, simply because I was terrified of missing out on a type of fun that only hurt me.
Once I stopped drinking, I discovered JOMO. The joy of missing out. According to Psychology Today: "JOMO is the emotionally intelligent antidote to FOMO." Psychology Today
It took a long time to realize what JOMO was and how much better my life is without FOMO. Today, I no longer feel the anxiety that accompanies that terrifying and gripping fear of missing out every weekend. The scary notion that I am being left behind, or that the "cool kids" are out doing something better without me. Instead, I feel FREE. I feel comfortable in my skin and who I am. I don't worry about what others think of me and my decisions. There is comfort today, knowing that I am me, and I am okay not being part of a world that robbed me of my true self.
So, today I have embraced JOMO. Yes there are times when my feelings are hurt when I am not included in the weekend events that I used to go to, this is true. But that is not what it is about. For the first time in my life, I know I am doing the things that bring me peace and contentment. I am not searching for joy at the bottom of a bottle or a happiness at the end of a blacked out night. I no longer feel the need to compare my life to others and wish that I had more. I do the things that make me smile everyday, and I don't question my choices anymore. I don't toss and turn at 4AM wondering what I am doing wrong.
Weekends exist for our family. I don't spend my time surrounded by people that do not support me or in places that only disappoint me. Instead, I have pulled out of the fast lane. I have slowed down and begun to appreciate small moments with my husband and children. I no longer am missing out on life because of hangovers, blackouts and endlessly late nights.
You too can find your freedom. Are you constantly gripped by the crippling notion that you are missing something? Let go of the FOMO and start feeling grateful that you no longer have to be part of it all. Because your path is for you. Let's discover your JOMO.