Posted in Addiction, friendship, Goals, inner peace, Learning, Life, Mental Health, People, recovery, relationships

Facebook Fast, Day 7

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You might have noticed that I have been posting a LOT this week. I think I published three blogs more than I intended to, but…well…you see…the truth is, I think I may be suffering a little bit from Facebook withdrawals. I don’t think I mentioned here that one of my New Year’s resolutions was to do a detox from the social media site so many of us love to hate. So, starting December 31st, I have been FB free.

The first few days didn’t bother me a bit- to my surprise, I hardly even thought about it. If anything, I just felt relief, and maybe a sense of freedom. By day five, the relief felt more like emptiness- I had the nagging sense that I was supposed to be doing something, but I couldn’t remember what it was. “What IS it?” I kept thinking to myself, wandering around the house, looking for the…the thing, whatever it was that was missing.

Yesterday was rough. It was Saturday, and I had a lot of free time- more than usual, actually, since I am kind of on a self imposed quarantine. Not because I am sick, but because pretty much everyone else here on the peninsula seems to be. I didn’t go to my Saturday morning meeting, I didn’t go to the gym…come to think of it, I didn’t even leave the house once yesterday. Whoa. Anyway, I was home, alone aside from a seven year old who just wanted to be left alone with her Roblox game (I think that’s what it’s called), with a lot of time on my hands. This would be the time when I would normally jump onto Facebook and start scrolling away.

Okay, wait, I just lied. The truth is, there was never a time when I wasn’t jumping onto Facebook, scrolling away. That was part of the problem. The thing is, and you may not agree, but remember, I am talking about ME right now- the thing is, my addictive behavior can manifest itself in a myriad of ways. It goes WAY beyond drugs, into all sorts of compulsive BS. Listen, not only was I blessed with the gift of addiction, but I am also a genuine, medically diagnosed ADHD “sufferer” (I say this only because I think the people around me suffer from my ADHD way worse than I do!), with the added bonus of not being able to take medication for it because…well, because the medication they give you for ADHD is a LOT like the “medication” I had a big problem with. To put it mildly.

So Facebook lights up all the synapses for me- I can satisfy compulsions, it’s fast and sort of gratifying, I can go back to it again and again and again, I can post funny little snippets of my life and get the reward of “Likes” and comments, kudos and agreement. Yuck! Definitely an element of narcissism in there too, isn’t there? Yeah, it just started to be bad for me. No, it was bad for a long time, actually. Not only was it bad for me in that way, but it really fired up all my character defects, too. I judged the fuck out of everyone on there- for their level of interesting (“Oh God, you are so boring, no one cares!”), for their number of selfies (I literally have NO BUSINESS saying shit about this one- didn’t stop me from thinking it, though), for their “If you agree, type AMEN” posts (Um, no.), and for their spelling. I mean…how do you mess up so badly when spell check exists? Look, we all make mistakes at times, but I have seen posts that were indecipherable, and I don’t get it. Facebook started to make me feel bad every time I went on, and I went on about a million times a day.

So, I stopped, and yesterday was the first time I missed it, but then I realized something. I didn’t miss Facebook at all, not really. What I missed was the false sense of connection, of involvement in people’s lives, that it gave me. Yes, this year, one of the things I am striving for is connection, but not like that. Not pretend connection, and me sitting at home, judging the spelling and choices of others. I want real connection, with people in real life…and I think I may have forgotten how to foster that. I was actually a little bit lonely yesterday- that’s what was going on.

Today, I am going to practice reaching out- I have been doing that a little bit lately. I left an incredibly awkward voicemail message for my friend recently, and I can’t help but laugh just thinking about it. He still hasn’t called me back, either, the jerk, but he’s an old friend, so I’m not worried. It’s kind of weird even picking up the phone and calling someone these days, in this world of texting as the main form of communication. But this year, I want to hear voices, and see faces. I want to get together IRL, you know?

Oh, and the Facebook Fast is only supposed to last through January, but who knows? Maybe I’ll keep it up even longer. Then again, maybe I won’t last the month.

No, I totally will. Thanks for putting up with all my chatter this week! I’ve found a lot of new blogs to follow, and have connected with a few new bloggers, which is great. I’m really curious what your experience and habits with Facebook are like, so please feel free to fill me in in the comments!

Talk to you soon! (You can pretty much bet on that)

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Posted in Blogging, escape, family, Learning, Life, love, People, reading, writing

Why I Write

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I woke up a few minutes ago, and did what I always do- started my coffee, grabbed a cigarette (I know, I know, I’m working on it…), and went out and set down on my front step with my phone. I checked Facebook (that evil time eater), then I checked my WordPress account. I had an overnight “like”, so I did what I always do again, and checked out their blog. It was a photography blog, but I only saw one picture, which was very good, by the way. What I did see was a letter she’d written to her husband or lover or whatever. It was very sweet and heartfelt, and told me a lot about the person who wrote it. It also reminded me of words my grandmother might have written, or thought at least, about my grandfather. 

What in the world, you may be wondering, does this have to do with why I write? Well, when I read those words, I was so reminded of my grandmother, Eileen, that I wanted to write down the story of my feelings for her- that she was so beautiful on the inside I could not have told you if she was truly as beautiful on the outside as she seemed to me. I was blinded at birth by her inner beauty. I know she had pouffy white hair, green eyes, huge boobs and tiny, beautiful hands. I know she loved children more than anything in the world, except for my grandpa, who was the center of her universe. I wanted to find a way to tell you that she lived a life that most of the world knew nothing about, but to me, she was an anchor in a stormy sea. When she died, I lost the last piece of my true home, the tiny corner of the planet where I could still be a child, and feel safe. 

Everybody has something they are talented at, feel passionately about, are very interested in. If they are lucky, maybe all three. I am not going to try to guess here how talented I am, but I can tell you this- writing is my passion, my interest in it has never flagged. Well, maybe briefly, but never for very long. I told my mom yesterday how I knew that what I wanted to do more than anything (still) was to write- I told her, if I were to lose my job tomorrow, that would suck…but I would get another job. If someone told me tomorrow that I could never write again…I wouldn’t know how to go on. Writing is that important to me. 

There are a million stories inside me, all the time, clamoring to be written down, wanting to come out. There are moments like this morning when I felt compelled to come in here and tell you a little about my grandmother, Eileen. Some of my blogs are like that- the best ones, the ones that people love the most. Those tell themselves. I always joke that when I am writing my best, it’s like I’m just dictating for some invisible entity speaking through me. I can hardly keep up. 

I can’t imagine my life without this love affair with words. It is who I am, a huge, natural part of me. Maybe even the best part. Happy Monday (whatever that means. 🙂 ) See you back here soon.