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Internet Addicted Monkeys

August 29, 2010

I’ve been observing and reflecting on my own behaviour pattern  after reading a post by Daisy recently.

Daisy touched on the topic of substituting behaviour in recovery. Junk food in particular.

At the therapeutic community I lived in, food was a common substitution. It was rare for a resident to not balloon out a bit. Myself included.

What dog?

I still “comfort eat” a fair bit, but can moderate this with generally healthy eating. A fair bit of exercise. Enough balance to stay in the healthy weight range. Or thereabouts. I’m OK with this. For now, at least.

Alcohol had for years been a way to temporarily comfort my discordant psyche. That was how it got its claws in. Once the addiction becomes physical,…the teeth are in as well.

Developing or reawakening a dormant capacity to self-soothe is hard. Some of my psychiatric symptoms, for example, have been at times powerful and persistent.

Taking alcohol out of the picture has been the best thing I have ever done for my mental health. But it fought tooth and nail for years. I fought tooth and nail for years.

Oh dear

Then realised that I needed to accept that gorilla and make it part of me. To integrate and incorporate this aspect of myself. My personal experiences. The paths I have walked.

The journey of internal self-management is one never finished. We all have our monkeys.

If I occasionally treat the monkey to this:

or this:

Well, that’s not a major worry. Comparatively.

If I’m lapsing into craving too much of this type of external self-soothing behaviour, then I use it as a wake up call. It tells me I need to reflect. Take a step back and see what’s running through my head and heart.

Find where the wave of crave has started.

I am spending far too much time wandering aimlessly about on the internet. Spending far too much time trolling through sites bursting with humour, trivia, and distracting interactions with the abyss the internet can be. I have spent most of the day today substituting this false reality for the world outside my door and inside my heart.

This behaviour is a form of avoidance and substitution for me. Avoiding being present within myself. Of experiencing the loneliness that fills many of my days.

As someone recovered from PTSD and familiar with social anxiety, avoidance is a beast I fear. I can see the void that I am trying to fill. It will not be filled with chocolate, cheezels or Chris Onstad.

On days like today, I need to turn off the computer. Smarten myself up. Walk out the door.

Which I shall now do.


One Comment leave one →
  1. Daisy permalink
    August 29, 2010 9:26 pm

    It’s very easy to wander from site to site and end up with nothing but a lot of wasted hours and a vaguely grimy feeling.

    Hope you have had a refreshing day out and about today.

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