Thursday, February 24, 2011

Alcoholism by any other name...

I'm addicted to the internet. Actually, it's more than that. I'm addicted to distraction. TV, Netflix, music, blogs, it's all the same. I need it, in the background, the foreground, the in between. I spend 90% of my waking hours in front of a screen, and the rest wishing I was. I check Facebook hundreds of times a day. Yes, hundreds. It's a problem.

It started out innocently enough, checking in on email, Facebook, my favorite bloggers at the start of my day, along with my first cup of coffee. But now I get to the end of my 8 hour work day and I find that I haven't worked at all. And it's not just a day, it's every day. I am so behind on projects, by months for some of them. I claim to be busy, and I AM, but I'm mostly busy avoiding any work. It has to stop.

I come home and it's more of the same: I stream TV on my laptop while cleaning the kitchen, making dinner, eating, sewing, folding laundry, making the beds, taking a bath. The same way I used to have a glass of wine by my side all the time, I have my laptop playing something with me at all times. It has to stop.

My daughter was home sick today, and I was 'working from home'. I visited numerous blogs, posted dozens of links and statuses to Facebook, wrote friends, watched You Tube clips, and sat on my ass. My daughter amused herself by playing with PlayDo, watching a movie, making paper dolls, painting and reading. A few times she asked me to do something with her and I replied tersely with, 'I have to work', except I didn't work, I surfed. Suddenly it was 3, and I had to shower and get ready for appointments, errands and more. I didn't even have time to wash my hair, and I hadn't done anything I planned to do for the day. It has to stop.

It hit me today, what I've been joking to myself about for a while now, I'm addicted. I am keeping myself out of the present, keeping myself numbed and deluded with media. I am acting EXACTLY like I did when I was drinking. AND IT HAS TO STOP. Before I lose my job, my kids, my husband, my home. I can be irresponsible no longer.

It's tough, and I haven't figured out how I'm going to do it yet. I work in IT, I develop websites for a living, I have an online store. I can't exactly go cold turkey off the internet. I've tried moderating (only going online after the kids are in bed, deleting all my links on my browser) and it never works. So what to do? I don't know yet, I just knew I needed to get this out.

My name is Jane, and I am an addict and alcoholic.


  1. I can totally relate to this. I also work in website development and find myself looking for mind-numbing distraction.

  2. "Addicted to distraction". Thank you for defining my brain disease. I have to have the TV on ALL day while doing anything. It's sick. My brain seems to need constant consupmtion. I can't read FB anymore however. I get too crazy. I do post to just my profile if I have something to say and only occasionally read the newsfeed. I'm still too sick to read it on a regular basis. : D