I stand looking at the person staring back at me in the mirror. I wonder who she is. She doesn't seem like me - overweight, exhausted, aging, with hollow eyes and this aura of lackluster. Who is she? Is she REALLY me? Have I changed that much in my life that I don't even recognize my face in the mirror?
I feel empty - like I'm just living on the surface of life, not digging deep, not grasping at the things that need to be held on. I'm barely there, trapped in my own self-focused world.
Is this what addiction feels like? Unable to separate myself from the one thing that is destroying me? That is leaving me feeling numb, depressed, lonely, isolated, unhappy, defeated?
I look around my house. The disaster is evidence enough.
And my children. Oh, my children. Who love me unconditionally, but are more than aware of the challenge I struggle with. Whose actions show me they need me, and still - I can't pull away. They are second, even though I want them to be first.
How do I break free? How do I become me again?
Some people will shake their heads at me and think I'm foolish. I'm not doing anything destructive - no drugs, or cigarettes, or alcohol. I'm not gambling or watching porn or shopping continuously or anything like that.
It's a lot less intense than those. And it's more secretive too.
I am addicted to the internet.
Apparently, Internet Addiction is still undecided in the world of addictions. None of the "professionals" can agree if it's a real disorder or if it's just nonsense.
But from my point of view, I'm inclined to feel it is real. I wake up in the morning and the first thing I do in my day is slap on my internet, check my emails, check facebook, check everything. And I don't stop. I HAVE to be on my computer all day. I love online gaming - virtual worlds and puzzles, brain teasers and mindless nothing.
I am setting a horrible example for my easy addicted children. I already see them struggling to be in control of their computer/gaming times. It scares me. And yet - I do nothing.
If I try to shut it down, I get very anxious and end up cheating by checking my connections through someone else's computer, or (more recently) through my smartphone. The one thing I didn't want a smartphone for. I do NOT want to become the person that ignores real life people for my phone. I will NOT let this happen.
But, here I am at home. 100 lbs over my ideal weight. In pain from disused joints. Ignoring my kids. (Tuning them out at times). Annoyed when they interrupt my computer work/time. Not doing the things I dream with them. My house in chaos and miserable disarray. Myself in complete depression and disinterest. Fooling myself into thinking I'm "working". More able to connect with online friends than create in-life relationships. My faith weak and unsupported.
What can I do?
But I want to look in the mirror and be proud of the face I see. Not wonder who she is.