Okay, I admit it: I have a problem. It’s gotten pretty bad, and I don’t know how to solve it.
I know acknowledging the problem is always touted as the all-important first step– hey, you recognize you have a problem, that’s great! Now you can do something about it!
Yes, but what? I’ve always known I’ve had this problem– what’s step two, please?!
I’m getting ahead of myself.
For all appearances, you would be excused from thinking that my problem is that…I have an addiction to my computer, my phone or more generally, the internet. It’s the first thing I turn to when I wake up, it’s the last thing I look at before I fall asleep. As long as I’m not officially occupied at work, I will be seated infront of my computer. I surf the net when I’m eating, when I’m commuting. My hand reaches for my phone every couple of minutes regardless of what I’m doing, regardless of whether there are any new messages or calls. I spend hours every single day in front of the computer. My smart phone (and accompanying addiction) is relatively new, but internet surfing is not.
However, if you look beneath the surface, the computer, phone and internet are just the mediums, I believe, for my addiction to escapism and procrastination.
When I reach for my phone only to discover no new messages, I don’t just put it down again. Sometimes I stare at the screen blankly, swipe from page to page, back and forth. I click to facebook (nothing new in the last 2 mintes), click to twitter, click to the one or two games I play regularly. Scroll through my whatassp chats. Up and down, back and forth, open the apps, close the apps. I just want something to read, something to occupy myself, distract myself.
When I open up my laptop, I always go through my ritual before I can even think of doing anything else; check facebook and read everything in the newsfeed, opening any interesting links in new tabs. Check my blogs, check my emails, check my friends blog, check the handful of webcomics I follow. When I have nothing left to check, nothing left to read, I can easily spend the next couple of hours trying (desperately) to find more things to check, more things to read.
However, it’s not the internet that I’m yearning for, chasing for when I pick up my phone or open up facebook or a friend’s blog for the umpteen time. It’s two other things: distraction and connection.
It’s gotten so bad that it’s become extremely difficult for me to get work done; even if I manage to physically get myself away from my computer and phone, I can’t concentrate at all. I want to think about my work but my brain is just constantly throwing a tantrum, saying ‘not now, not now…’ and wants to be distracted, doesn’t want to think.
That part of the brain thinks of this (vegging out in front of the computer reading stuff) as enjoyment, as relaxation. The rest of me feels trapped. This breeds extreme frustration and stress, and zero satisfaction to know I’ve just wasted more hours of my life doing nothing.
I don’t know if this comes from the break up, but I think the break up (or my methods of coping with the break up) definitely worsened it. That how I got past my depression: distraction. The addiction and hunger of escapism and distraction may in itself be bourn of a deeper problem that comes as a direct result of the break up: Loneliness and a general discontentment with my life. I miss having that deep connection with another person so much, and the happiness that I derive from it, that I desperately try to find something to replace it, but nothing does, leaving me watching funny youtube video after youtube video, chasing that high and contentment that never comes.
I’ve been trying to talk to people more, start more chats with people, connect with friends more, make more new friends, but that just leaves me staring at the dead whatsapp chat or stalking their blogs or facebook page, wishing for a much deeper connection and not getting it.
This isn’t very well written because I’m just writing it quickly at one shot, without thinking or editing. I know blogging has also become just another means of procrastination and distraction to me, and I really want to get away from this screen as soon as possible.
Any suggestions on how to get my brain and focus back in order would be nice.
I have the attention space of a goldfish right now.