Monday, May 17, 2004

The beginning of healing

These notes are transcribed from a handwritten journal that I don't want to have around the house.

Today I entered my first session of therapy. I am seeing NP, a licensed social worker here in B'hem. For a first session, things went well. She focused too much on insurance, but I understand. As we got to the point of me telling her why I came things went well, as I was able to focus on the primary and urgent thing that brought me (online addiction) and sort of go out from there to talk about my issues of loneliness and isolation.
She gave me three assignments to work on. They will have to be broken down into short term goals, but they are:
1. Wean myself from the Internet (non-essential use)
2. Develop a wider social circle
3. Improve communication with my husband.
Some interesting things that she said was that she had seen I'n men who were very passionate and affectionate. She also asked how difficult it had been for me to assimilate in Pa.
Regarding my addiction, she initially said just stop cold turkey, but then was willing to concede that I could say goodbye if I felt that was more appropriate.
In breaking down the issue of weaning myself from chat, after the session, I set these sub goals for myself:
1. ID people who are not clearly important or interested and delete them from my list. E-mail others to whom I feel I owe an explanation.
2. Don't accept any new IMs from new people and don't seek out any new people.
3. Eliminate extra IDs.
For the most part, I am not worried about what I'm going to say, but rather with a couple of folks how it will be received. Specifically, I'm thinking of S., Mrk, Sal, and maybe even G. I'm also thinking who are the people I'll keep on the list and how I will manage that. BV goes without question, same for Anil. Saying anything to E. is questionable. We'll see how that progresses.
As for the other parts of the assignment, let's see what I can come up with.

Last night before I went to bed I had to go online, but I controlled myself to about 30 minutes and I erased a whole bunch of names. This morning I woke up and almost immediately went online to see if I had any messages. I think I would have probably done that anyway, but I think it was more of a draw because last night my husband and I made really hot love and in his usual style, he rolled over and went to sleep. Then this morning he got out of bed without so much as a kiss, and woke me up, angry because he could not find the duster to dust off one of his books. His actions leave me feeling that he doesn't want to hold me and that there are things that are far more important to him than I am. His books, his job, all these things.

The real test of my resolve will be at work. I have a lot of work to do today and also a lot of catching up to do. I will also want to write to BV and Anil -- which will put me at the computer. I will eliminate the other ID today.

I did "fairly" well yesterday in my attempts to wean myself from the Internet. I eliminated one ID, deleted several screen names, refused to speak to a couple of "new" chatters. However, I was pretty active online in the afternoon at work.
I IM'd E. about some BDSM stuff in a book I'm reading and also sort of "looked for" S. all day until he showed up and then I talked to him for about an hour before leaving work, then talked to him on the phone and then again online at home.
I did get some work done at the office, but ignored some work for the non-profit. I simply am not doing the routine work, including paperwork and e-mail. I think I will shut down the computer this morning and try to do a couple of errand outside the office in the afternoon.
I think I'm feeling very addicted to the attention S. is giving me. He says things like, "you are beautiful, I feel so good when i'm with you or talking to you, you make me feel so happy," all of these things I want to hear.
I have to keep telling myself that I'm responsible for me. See, there's a draw to go and sit at the computer now. Not to sit here and write these things, but go see if I have any messages. Instead I need to be sending messages to myself that I am accountable and that I need to be responsible. I need to be to work on time and I need to exercise. That's the bottom line. The draw is very strong. That doesn't mean I have to give into it. I just crave one little message.
(more to be added)

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