Social Media Detox: Day 12

So by now I thought I’d be crazy.  I mean, I’m fairly certain I’m already there, but I’m referring to my mental state without social media.  I touched on this a little in my first post about this blog & how I’m trying to live my authentic life.  I’ve had some people say that it can’t be that bad, but they obviously aren’t aware of the obsession  that this started from.  Here’s the back story.

My name is Joycelyn and I’m an addict.  I’ve always had an addictive personality.  I become so consumed by whatever my focus is at that moment that I can’t bear to let things go.  From crafts to relationships, everything I do is a project and I will pour my heart and soul into it until I am exhausted.

From an early age I would colour for hours.  My mom would try to move me to the next activity and I would resist.  I went through my childhood with different things I would attach myself to.  I always had to have perfection.

As a teen I developed a not-so-healthy taste for drugs.  Everything revolved around when I could get high on anything I could get my hands on.  This would be the first time I can honestly say I was addicted.  Luckily for me my mom found out and put me through the worst detox/home based rehab you could ever imagine.  This was replaced with a long running obsession with awesome, irresponsible casual sex.

So now you take this wild child that been around the block a few times, give her a kid, a good job, a stable relationship and what does she have left?  Living vicariously through other people’s highlight reels, striving to meet the same level of falsified perfection.  The instant gratification of the number of likes on a selfie.  This was my life for more than 10 years.

So what changed?  What sort of major life altering event ends a 10 year relationship with a never-ending project?  Nothing.  As I was laying in bed one night, scrolling Instagram, I said to my boyfriend, “I want to quit all this shit”.  The next day I deleted the apps from my phone and logged out at work.  It was gone.  The first day was strange.  I found myself unconsciously tapping the blank areas of my home screen where the apps used to be.  I got panicky, not knowing what to do with myself, alone with my thoughts without the mind-numbing scrolling I was used to.

The moment I realized how bad I had become was when I mentioned to a co-worker how clean my house was, that I’d made time to do some yoga, to write again and had made a real dinner.  She looked at me like I had 5 arms and was standing on my head in a clown costume.  Not with complete terror, but like I was crazy.  I suddenly realized that while i was staring at my phone, completely encompassed in other people’s lives that mine was passing me by.  My daughter is growing up, my dogs are getting older, summer is almost finished.  The laundry will be there tomorrow, but without the constant distraction of my obsession, I have time.

I’ve been able to practice mindfulness, living in the moment.  I have taken a personal inventory of my flaws, and looked for ways to better improve my patience and my hard head.  I’ve made time for self-care, and setting a good example for my daughter.  It’s so hard to believe that a few little apps on my phone that I thought made me so happy, could have led to so much negativity.  Then again, maybe I’ve just transferred my obsession.

 

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Via: The Daily Post: Obsessed

Tunnel Vision

To the untrained eye everything can appear fine.

Put together, polished and posed in the right light. 

Under the foundation on your skin, the foundation you stand on is crumbling.

The feeling of being out of control sweeps through you.

You shake, you sweat and you cry.

You can’t bring yourself to reason with this rock in your stomach that holds you back.

It grips your heart and steals your breath.

Makes you believe you are small.

So you sit and wait for the feeling to pass.

This internal hurricane is fighting for release.

But you walk on. 

You greet the people you meet and the new day with a fearless smile.

An impecable example of perfection.

You exhibit warmth and wealth beyond what monetary values you hold.

Your presence is a light shining through a tunnel of darkness.

Even when below the surface, you’re still in the tunnel.

This post is in response to the daily prompt. Word? Surface

Welcome Aboard!

Well… Here we go.  I’ve come to this point to find something deeper.  Something more meaningful than working a job I can’t stand for money I never seem to have.  I’ve spent 26 years pushing towards the good old American dream.  Where’s that got me?  Not far, not far at all.  Now don’t go thinking I’m some spoiled white kid living a pretty cushy middle class life and whining about my freedoms.  That would be the farthest from the truth.  From my truth.

This started with me stumbling onto an article about “living authentically”.  Well I’m me.  I obviously know who I am… Or so I thought.  As I read more about finding who you are and what you actually stand for, not living to be what society thinks you should be, I realized how lost I really am.  I decided to remove myself from distractions.  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Snapchat were deleted from my phone. 30 days minimum.  I had so much time all of a sudden.  I wasn’t worried about Joe Blow from high school who got charged with driving impaired or Jane Doe who I met 5 years ago one night who had a party last Friday.  I was free to do yoga in my living room.  Actually have the house cleaned.  I made banana bread!

I started to focus on my career more, but with that unclouded focus I realized that I wasn’t actually fulfilled.  Sure I’m compensated with money, but is that it?  What do I get in return?  What am I offering back to the world?  Am I living to my full potential?  Do I want people to remember me as the cynical girl who earned a good living but was a miserable bitch?  No.

What do I love?  Where do I go when I want to, not need to?  I couldn’t focus any longer on this feeling of being lost.  I sat and I wrote a poem and I sent it to my mom.   I pulled out an old journal and read some entries.  I write.  I realized that when my pen touches the page this incredible feeling of being whole washes through me.  I feel love.  On paper I can create a feeling.  I can bring someone to tears laughing, or in striking a nerve I can bring goosebumps to the surface of someone’s skin.  I can forget about the troubles of the world or I can choose for hone in on them to make a point.  My words, about whatever I choose to write or speak about, are my passion.  Welcome to my world!

Today I Went to Church

Today I went to church.

The church I went to as a child with my mother and my grandmother.

The familiar smell and familiar faces brought back a million memories.

The pew cushions and carpet that are a matching deep red and the buttons on the cushions I used to play with.

The metal ovals with the pew numbers on the end of each pew I used to trace with my fingers.

The carving of the last supper at the front that used to mesmerize me, behind the minister who baptized me.

I remember wearing the dress my grandmother made me for pioneer day and making ice cream from scratch.

I remember sitting in the front pew watching my mother in choir practice and watching her sing every Sunday.

I remember my grandmother playing the piano and teaching me the hymns.

But today I found myself in this church for a different reason.

A grown woman, watching my daughter trace the numbers on the end of the pew.

My mother singing Amazing Grace.

A box, with a framed photo of my grandmother sits on top of the carving of the last supper.

The woman who brought us all to this place has now brought us all back to say goodbye.

As we sing Jesus Loves Me, I’m a child, sitting beside my grandmother at her house while she plays and sings.

Then I see my mom, so happy my daughter knows the words and I know Grandma would be happy to see us here today.