12-Steps and a Trip

(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).

Computer AddictionPut 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 Computer Addictionbusiness. 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 Writer, Artist, Coachcultivates 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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11 Replies to “12-Steps and a Trip”

  1. Online support group…Ha Ha Ha…Love it! I call Facebook the great time sucker, yet, I too am addicted. I was told that social media was the new best way to get one’s art ‘out there’ and noticed, but now it robs me of studio time. Get me on that list for the support group!

  2. Funny – had a computer failure last night (on Easter Sunday) and was more stressed over that than the hole in the living room ceiling caused by my house roof failure. Found a resource pronto to get back in business with the laptop. It’ will be a few weeks on the roof (I can live with tarps in the meantime). Guess I better sign up for your tribe. Curiously, I was laughing at what seemed like a barrage of articles designed to help people get off of the 24/7 cell phone addiction (I forget to charge it, bring it, hear it, look at it . . .). One man’s . . .

    I feel for you, Michelle ;-).

    1. Oh, wow, Nanette. I can so relate. More than you might think, because the day AFTER Easter I doused my laptop with a bottle of water. It’s still in the shop, but can be saved ($200 later). I just dropped my cell phone in my art studio and the screen cracked. Good thing I have a dealie over it that holds everything together. #Badelectronicsmonth I’ve been thinking about this social media hole and the intensity it provides. Writing tomorrow’s blog right now, looking for solutions. Thanks for sharing your story. I hope, at least while there’s a hole in your roof, sunshine rains down upon you. 🙂

  3. I discovered recently that the reason we are all so busy is because we have added this social media dimensions to our lives. That may seem obvious, and perhaps I already knew it, but if you think back 20 years or so, what did you do with your free time? Now, we have so many sites to check and shows that we could watch. What did we watch back then? It’s kinda crazy.

    Well, I hope you get some help. I will let you know if I do!

    1. Thanks, Amy. When it rains it pours. The social media thing came to a head today. I’ll explain in the next post. I don’t know if I got help – not really – but I did get what I deserve! 😉

  4. Now that I’m not working a job, I have noticed I spend too much time on Facebook. I don’t feel guilty when I’m looking up things I want to research, but I get that dazed look sometimes when it feels as if nothing has changed in awhile. As a result, I have several half written blogs, a folder with some great ideas – and I’ve discovered I was more motivated when I worked – now I don’t have deadlines – and I got to my moms every day (which is 24 miles away). I could use the group!

  5. Count me in….Before, in my previous life, I had extremely limited time on the computer, maybe an hour a day! Now, that my business relies on being on the computer or social media, I find it just like you mentioned. I don’t find the time to exercise or make super healthy meals like I used to.

    UffDa! Let me know if you create a support group that comes us with solutions/ideas because recently I got way back on my FB groups also. I was in over 60 groups. Now I am down to 10, I think. I don’t want to add any more time, just productive ideas and accountability. thanks!

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