Every now and then, something crosses our eyes just long enough to "click." This morning I was reading on the online SLAA list I belong to and saw that someone had set a boundary around "obsessively checking e-mail searching for a hit." It stared at me in the way things look back when they belong to you and you can no longer deny them.
When I first started seeing a therapist after my life had become completely out of control with acting out in my addiction, I told her I was addicted to the Internet. That's what I thought. I had no clue and sex and love addiction at the time. All I knew is I couldn't stay away from the Internet for more than an hour or two at a time, and some days, even work days, I was there all day long, chatting, checking e-mail, writing e-mail and searching, searching for that next "hit." That belief that I was addicted to the Internet was what brought me into recovery, but once I got into recovery I released the idea that my obsessions with the Internet were truly a problem. And honestly, it's still not the Internet that appeals to me -- it is using the Internet to connect to others, that often leads me to my sex and love addiction, keeps me in isolation at times, and keeps my life out of balance. When I am home alone, I spend hours on the Internet, pushing aside all other interests. When I have other work to do, I am still drawn compulsively to check my e-mail, to send e-mails that I hope will get responses, to read and respond on blogs, with the hopes of getting responses as well. As I have gained some semblance of sobriety in my sex and love addiction, it is not that I am seeking "acting out" partners, but I am still looking for external validation and stimulation. I am proscratinating and not taking responsibility for the things I need to do. Using the Internet, like having sex, falling in love, caring for others or eating, is not wrong. But when not kept in balance, it can make me insane and I can use it in an unhealthy way.
So, the time has come when I have to admit the truth -- I am powerless over my addiction to using the Internet to seek connection to others and delay progress in taking responsibility for my life. I am powerless over my obsession with taking every opportunity to use the Internet to check e-mail, searching for some quality "hit." My life has become and continues to be unmanageable because of this powerlessness. I do believe that with God's guidance and help, I can set some healthy boundaries around my use of the Internet and that my sanity will be restored. I am praying today for guidance on setting these healthy boundaries and doing the difficult work of replacing this behavior.
5 months ago