(This is a modified re-post from July 2014. I still find computer addiction is an applicable issue. I’m getting better…I think. Maybe YOU’RE the one with the problem, now Since).
Put me in a 12-Step program. I’ve been through one before, but that was eons ago.
12-Step programs offer fantastic structure with “rules for accountability and living.” Back in the day, it was clear whose shit was whose right from the start, and yes, ahem… I did make a small, negative contribution to the “problem.” In the walls of those meetings, I made friends who were seeking healthy boundaries and I learned to sniff out abusers, so I wouldn’t repeat my choices. I had a sponsor. I’m not sure if anyone would man-up and sponsor my recovery with my current problem.
My name is Michelle and I have a computer problem.
I need to take 12-steps back from my computer…way back. (click to Tweet)
It’s affecting the quality of my life and work. The black tar social media is the worst.(click to party with me and Tweet this) It’s become a nag, a constant, driving, whiny beast, tugging, clawing at the corner of my mind each time I try to focus on something truly productive. When I do break free, I feel elated and light spirited. I’m mindfully engaged. I’m not sure what’s rewarding about lighting up the screen again, but I know from my previous training, there must be a payoff for the dysfunctional behaviour to continue. Seems I’m gettin’ my fix.
The red flag – one of them – was when I realized I wasn’t practicing what I preach on the topic of time management. I’m scheduled to teach a workshop for artists in the near future. I’ve taught time management for years and know how it’s done. While ironing out some details, I realized I have a Rhesus Monkey on my back. Or maybe it’s a Silverback Gorilla…who knows? Sometimes it feels rather heavy and I buckle under the weight, but other times it just tickles my armpits and asks to play the accordion – I digress. Anyhou, it begs until I relinquish my precious time – time in the studio, time to exercise, time to create a healthy meal – and I’m taking another hit on Facebook, or LinkedIn. Lord help me! (click to Tweet again).
I’m not alone, right?
I have an accountability partner…a wonderful artist and friend who I connect with each week to discuss our tasks and 12 Step Computer Addictsstrategies. Last week, when I murmured in a hushed, breathy, whisper that I had this concern, she echoed it back to me. Not about me, but her! This makes me feel less alone, but also like there’s one less potential sponsor in my life. If you think you may have a problem, Dr. Oz offers an Internet Addiction Quiz.
The computer is how I write and largely how I build and run my business. I guess it’s kind of like being a food addict…you have to partake in the poison to a certain extent just to survive. You can’t just stop eating. Me, a writer and business owner, I can’t go cold turkey. I can’t quit you, computer! (click to Tweet and prove it!)
Oh, I know. I’m gonna be getting’ all kinds of hate mail from y’all. Hard core addicts, people whose lives are piles of rubble due to disease and disorder will come after me with clubs for such a petty grievance as a computer addiction. The lynch mob followed me several weeks ago when I mentioned “madness” might be an asset, at times, for artists (NOT the DSM V kind of classification). Well, bring it on! This confession is tongue and cheek – kind of. I’m not dismissing the disease of addiction, but TRULY, I know this is interfering with my productivity and perhaps my relationships. Really, I have compassion for addicts…now, if I could muster some for myself.
In the evenings, after dinner, I’ve noticed a lot more classic car television while I bang away at the keys. Honey, do we need to talk? Seems we’re in the same room, but maybe not so much. I think I have a problem.
So, you might see this as a cry for help. Kind soul, you might say to yourself, I should reach out and give Michelle a hand up from her vacuous plight. Truly, you don’t have to go down that road. What I’m seeking is a tribe. I want to know I’m not alone. I want to create a tribe of computer addicts, so I can feel validated and in good company. (click to Tweet) I’m also considering creating an online support group…what’da you say? Feel free to leave your comments here…I’ll be checking frequently.
I’m sure if I want to, I can stop anytime,
Michelle Andres is a writer and artist who cultivates her own Well Lived Life by drinking in the beauty around her, following her passion, respecting others and doing her best to own her own dookie.
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