Addiction and Recovery

Sheesh that sounds dramatic.

But just being completely honest (cause what else should you be), I was (maybe still am?) addicted to Instagram. It had been a long time since I had broken my bad habit of Facebook and would only log on on the rare occasion to check something specific (homeschool stuff mostly) but I have been lying to myself saying that since I was no longer hooked to Facebook I was OK and that instagram was harmless and much less disruptive…so it was okay.

Well I was wrong.

Here’s the thing, I am an all or nothing type of person. So as you might be able to imagine, me and social media just don’t mesh well, not unless I was going to dive right in head first with my flippers on… And my goggles…and a snack for later.

So no matter how many rules or guidelines or timelines or boundaries that I set it just didn’t work because of the all of nothing factor. I get addicted. Easily.

No, I didn’t spend hours on instagram each day. Infact I probably didn’t even spend 45 mins collectively! In some ways that would have been better than what I was doing. Just get it all over with for the day. Nope, the problem was worse! I would check it for a few seconds then close it and then about 15-20 mins sometimes less, sometimes more I would check it again!! Gah!

I was stuck in this horrid cycle. I was hooked and for a while I couldn’t even see it.

Eventually I did see it. I knew that it wasn’t normal to reach for my phone first thing in the morning. This feeling of occasional hatred towards my phone (sometimes even physically throwing it) wasn’t normal and pointed to something much more serious. I knew that my need to constantly see if there was something new and exciting on was disruptive. And that I was quietly and secretly comparing my life to others. The sadness or emptyness I felt wasn’t what I was going for. I would try to fit in and post the cute pics and add to my stories but it only left me like I was either not good enough or being fake or vain.

I realize how messed up I am and Im sure this all points to some other serious disorder I have and that not everybody who does social media struggles with this. So I’m not judging anyone else who uses social media. Really. This is just me.

I just needed to share my story because of how much it affected me.

The other thing I’ve noticed is that ever since stopping instagram, my desire to write/blog has come back. Somehow instagram robbed me of the desire.

I remember one day not long after I uninstalled the app I was outside with my hubby just laying on the grass under the tramp enjoying the beauty. All the sudden as I flipped over onto my stomach I noticed my phone in the grass! All wet! I literally let out a giddy giggle. I hadn’t remembered that I left it out there and even better I wasn’t even looking for it! For about 6 hours I had left my phone out there and in the process was moving the sprinkler all around to water the grass and completely didn’t care or wonder where it was. It was such a happy and freeing moment.

I should tell you though. I still check instagram.  I only follow immediate family and some extended family so when I get on after a day or two and nothing has changed it’s only helped my ‘addiction’ because I’m realizing I can’t miss anything if I’m only following a select few.

Maybe I still have more to learn and perspective to gain. Infact I know I do.

But for now I am loving this decision and what it’s doing to my brain. My ability to focus. And get more done. Be in the moment. Not be a slave to something I hold in my hand.

I am DEFINITELY happier.