Have you ever noticed that along the journey to wellness you find yourself becoming more and more aware of the behaviors in your life that are unhealthy? It is as if, suddenly, you have put on new glasses, and can see the world more clearly. As I am working towards wellness in my life, pysically, emotionally and spiritually, I am becoming more and more aware of the areas in my life in which I need to achieve balance.
When I first took notice of some of these areas I thought to myself, “I am just going to sit on this a while, maybe I don’t have to change that behavoir, I will watch it and see if it is really a problem” Part of me was able to accept that there might be a problem, but another part of me was not willing to fully accept it. As time went on and my awareness developed further, I acknowledged to myself that “yes, this is a problem in my life and I need to achieve balance in this area” but I did not share my newfound knowledge with anyone or even write it down…I did not express the reality of the situation or behavior. And finally, I have come to the point where I am ready to acknowledge the problem publicly and address it. I think, and hope, that is is a somewhat normal process and healthy process to go through, I am also grateful that I have not been stuck for too long in any one of the first couple of steps, as I am now at the point of being ready to make important change.
The most important issue and behavior that is out of balance in my life right now is my internet usage/computer time. As a person who suffers from anxiety, depression, ptsd, fibromyalgia, etc … I have, over time, become more and more reclusive. I have found great solice and friendship on-line and established some very meaningful and important relationships, but I have also allowed far too many hours and days go by without interacting enough with my family or friends…
I have lost friendships because of this behavior. I have chosen my on-line life and friendships over my “real world” friends. I have chosen my on-line world over my “real world” and I have neglected my home and family to an extent that is not acceptable to me. I have used it as an escape and as a soothing agent. I have used it as a resource but also as a replacement for the face-to-face interaction that is most healthy for people.
I believe that the resources available on-line for connecting with others, making new friends, finding support, etc are a real and honest God-send, but like anything else, in excess, it can become toxic. When something is toxic in our lives what is that we need to do? Either remove it or find a way to neautralize the toxicity.
So, for now, I have promised my children, primarily my oldest child, and myself, that I will be reducing, by a large amount of time, the amount of time I spend on the computer. I am ready to re-engage in life. I am ready to be a participant in my life. I am no longer willing to stand on the side-lines and watch it pass-by.
In no way am I minimizing the importance of the friendships that I have made on-line, but I can see clearly now that I have neglected my family and some very important aspects of my health because of the ease in which I find social interaction in on-line activities. I also find myself “losing time” on the computer, as do many people, since it is quite easy to lose track of large amounts of time when on-line. And I am tired of “losing time” as I want to make my moments count more.
I believe I have allowed this to happen in my life because it was a way for me to cope with a lot of loss in my life. I believe the fear that was controlling me for so long also led me to this point. But now, I am choosing to no longer be controlled by fear and poor coping mechanisms. There is a healthy balance to be found in most things, and I believe that achieving that balance is key to finding health and wellness for me.
I may not see you on-line as much as in the past, but I will still be visiting. It will be a delight to be able to focus on what is most important in my life now. I believe there is a great freedom in making choices like this…choices that really matter.
I invite you to take a close look at your life…what are you using as a “crutch” or as a “numbing agent” to keep you from experiencing life the way you would like? I believe most of us have one of some kind and at varying levels of severity. Keep yourself in check and don’t lose yourself, for each moment is precious, and we never know which one may be our last…