Roadblock Reframing

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I got a lot of good advice about yesterday’s panicky, frantically written post on both WordPress and Twitter. I want to thank everyone that commented and tried to talk me down off the ledge; it eventually worked.

More than one person essentially said “this part of the book is not written about you.” I tend to disagree; the subject matter is relevant to my life. The problem that I had is that I saw one phrase and hyperfocused on that, to the point that the rest of the chapter wasn’t even a blip on my radar. I let that one little bit of cognitive dissonance run amok with the book and with my blog, and I apologize for not having better control of the situation.

It’s true, I am on the internet most all day. I only take a break when I’m doing chores around the house or on those rare occasions that I’m watching a movie. But the internet isn’t a situation that I can’t stand to be away from; if it were, I wouldn’t be able to go to SCA events and forget about my smartphone with the exception of it being my alarm for my medications and vitals throughout the day. The internet is my primary conduit for communication with others, and that’s what I crave, a lot more than the usual content. The things I do on the internet are just filler for the times between conversations.

So yesterday’s panic attack was over nothing, as they usually are. Thanks again to the folks that helped me reframe the situation in my mind into something much more manageable.

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Roadblock to Change

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As I’ve said here recently I’m reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. For the last two days I’ve been reading “Guidepost #3, Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness.” I split my reading at the section entitled “Numbing and Taking the Edge Off,” and I read today from that point forward to the end of the chapter.

This section defined addiction as “chronically and compulsively numbing and taking the edge off feelings” and then went on to give examples of what people can be addicted to. The last example given was the internet.

From the moment I wake up until the time I go to bed, all day, every day, I have my computer on and I’m sitting in front of it compulsively searching for anything to occupy my time. Sometimes I spend hours just staring at it hoping that something will change and I’ll actually have something to engage in. I take breaks long enough to get things done around the house, but I’m never far from the internet and I’m never away for it for long, unless I have an appointment.

Am I addicted to the internet?

Do I have a bigger problem than my mental illnesses?

How do I know how much of this is searching for something to occupy my time and how much of this is the complete inability to step away from it at all?

Am I really disabled, or just addicted?

This passage is basically causing me to question everything I do with my day and it’s starting to convince me that what I’m doing with my day is wrong, that I need to shut down the internet and find something else to occupy my time, or just sit and stare at the walls, anything to keep from feeding the addiction.

I don’t like this feeling.

I’m not sure whether the book is even speaking to me with this, but it seems to be because I can’t put down the internet. I’ll skip watching almost any streaming media service like Netflix or our own movies or what have you because I have to be connected. What if someone needs me for something and I’m not available? I can’t have that on my conscience.

I think I have a problem and I don’t know how to solve it.

I HAVE to be on the internet twice a week for my radio shows. The rest of it is just me goofing off and not moving forward. I’m not accomplishing anything with my day at all. i sit and do literally nothing all day long and it’s a problem.

But how do I solve it when I can’t figure out how to detach myself from the internet?

I think I’m panicking for no reason. Or am I? is this what my life really is all about or am I living a lie? Is it impossible for me to get better, because I can’t stop with the internet? Will this completely shut down any further progress on this book?

I was given this book by a former therapist of mine and now I’m kind of wishing she hadn’t. I don’t like being called out for what I actually am – a stupid addict unable to rip himself away from his fix for even a moment.

I don’t like that what this therapist gave me is causing me to panic. She was supposed to be helping me, not making things infinitely worse.

But should I break who I am an rebuild myself entirely into something new in order to overcome my obstacles in life? Isn’t that what I’m supposed to be doing with my disability, fixing the problem and getting back to work? I don’t know how to fix this and I only have a year left before I have to go back in for a review and there’s a good chance they’ll tell me that I’ve been wasting my time not getting well and that they’re going to yank my disability and then I’ll be right back where I was before it kicked in, not contributing to anything around the house and just being a time and money sink that is wasting everyone’s time. I can’t have that. I can’t be that person. I have to get better and I have a year to do it.

I feel so stupid and anxious right now. How could I have let this take over my life as completely as it has? I don’t know what to do.

Has anyone else read this book? Can you help put it into perspective for me so I can stop panicking about wasting the last two years of my life hiding behind a laptop and not actively addressing the things that have to happen in order to get me back to work in a year? I’d really appreciate some feedback. I’m not really expecting any but this is my problem to solve anyway so I better just suck it up and fix what’s wrong with me somehow.

But how?

The Frustrations Continue

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I had a radio show tonight that was interrupted three times by connection failures. The person who was on following me was so stymied by her inability to stay connected to the broadcast server that she eventually threw in the towel and let an automatic streamhold cover the station.

Later on in the evening, I played a video that just – would – not – load. It was a short video, maybe 2:45 in length, but it took me over ten minutes to watch it in what wound up being short, second long spurts.

The connection at my end isn’t the problem. I’ve been testing and testing the connection and it’s always strong. It just seems that every website that I’m trying to connect to today is loading slowly or not at all. On the heels of all the other problems that I’ve been having with my connection, I’m really getting tired of this.

However, today’s been generally good, despite the Internet issues. More on that in a few minutes, in my usual Three Good Things post.

October 7, 2015: Three Good Things

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1. I was exceptionally productive around the house. I started in with a to-do list of four items and kept adding to it and crossing things off as I had the energy to get things done.

2. I think we’ve fixed the internet issues we were once having. We’re now regularly clocking 27/28 Mbps down and around 5.75 Mbps up.

3. I made a joke about not having dinner on the table when my wife came home. Rather than panic about the imperfection, I embraced it, something that I rarely do.

Bonus: today is day ten of complete checklists.

Morning Fun with My Personal Assistant

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This morning has been spent dealing with a headache (mostly gone by now) and dinking around with Microsoft’s personal assistant, Cortana. Those of you familiar with the Halo series of computer games will recognize the name (and the voice behind it). So far, the rabbit hole has taken me to the following commands.

  • Tell me a joke.
  • Tell me a science joke.
  • Tell me a sports joke.
  • What’s your favorite sport?
  • What’s your favorite game? (No surprises here.)
  • What’s your favorite song?
  • What’s your favorite TV show?
  • Do you like dogs?
  • What’s your favorite movie?
  • Tell me a story.
  • Tell me a bedtime story.
  • What are you afraid of?
  • Are you afraid of clowns?
  • Do you have nightmares?
  • Do you believe in ghosts?
  • Are you a zombie?
  • Do you eat?
  • Do an impression.
  • Sing a song.
  • Say something.
  • Tell me something interesting.
  • Tell me something funny.

In related news, the U-verse guys are sending a “senior technician” to troubleshoot the problems that we’re having with the Internet. Their window of arrival starts in 45 minutes so no time to go back to sleep. I can nap later.