There is no way to say this in a way that doesn’t sound shameful. But I am an addict. To what you may ask? Well, it’s not to anything substance related. My weakness is for social media. The almost drug-like high feeling of seeing my followers retweet my work, the fun interactions, the browsing of media content, all of it is a rush for me. Heroin doesn’t hold a candle to the instant gratification of penning a tweet that gets likes. Seeing my blog do well gets me jazzed to the point of distraction. And I should be happy! But unfortunately, this gets in the way of the real crisis. As someone currently unemployed (having just quit my waitressing job), social media has been kneecapping my dreams.
By putting all my energy into my online presence, my real life situation has stagnated. I haven’t studied like I should for the tests I claim to want to take. My application for jobs lately is admittedly half-assed, wanting to just send in my resume without putting in the extra ten minutes to make it appealing to the actual employer. I can explain in part, that social media is something I’m good at and my deep fear of failure is crippling me. But of course, that just leaves the ugly solution staring me in the face. If not quitting cold turkey then at the very least highly structuring my online activity such that it doesn’t ever encroach upon my real life ambitions to such a degree ever again.
Social media is addictive to people like me. And when I say people like me, I mean people with executive dysfunction/ADD. A lot of bloggers struggle with mental illness, and I’m not any different. My struggle is one of self control, anxiety and maladaptive coping. I cope with my feelings of inadequacy and fear badly. Sometimes I get into funks where I don’t eat and don’t buy groceries because I feel stuck in my own brain. And the way I’ve been coping with this illness until now has been harmful to me and to the people who believe in me. And so something will have to change.
I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t painful to write this. As I think of it now, I’m ashamed to show anyone these words. It’s tempting to hide this post in a journal entry and forget about it. But I need to make a stand here and now to tell not just myself, but everyone that I’m going to discipline myself and recover. That I’m going to get my life on track and seriously pursue my ambitions and once again commit to putting in the hard work.
So what does this mean for this blog? Is this a fiery declaration of imminent shut down? Well no. I still believe this blog is important. It’s brought me into a wonderful world that I honestly believe has made me a better person. What it will mean is that I’ll be taking a much more structured and scheduled approach. I’ll be less active on my Twitter, being reachable there for just a portion of the day. I’ll set boundaries and deadlines and work on them in a way befitting of a professional. In short, this is not the end, merely a restructuring for the benefit of myself and others.
There is one note of brightness. I know I can do this. I have the most supportive friends and family I know. My partner loves me deeply and will help me get through this. I’m going to get better. For everyone who believes in me. My parents, my partner, and my friends all want me to succeed, and I haven’t been worthy of that support. Not yet anyway. But I will be working to be worthy of these people.