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Addictive Behaviours Discuss and receive support for addictions not related to substance use, such as gambling, Internet, sex or work addictions, in this forum.

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shanadian Offline
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Unhappy Internet addiction - December 4th 2012, 10:17 AM

So, last Friday, my counselor told me that yes, I am addicted to tumblr. I had suspected it myself for some time but was in denial, of course.

My life is a complete mess and I've been hiding from myself/responsibilities on tumblr for months. I'd come to the conclusion that I'm "waiting" to hit rock bottom before I try to pick myself up, do anything with my life. My counselor asked me to describe rock bottom and I didn't know what it was, but it maybe involved being kicked out of my house, not having access to a computer. (I don't know if I said it that blatantly.)
I didn't realize it until later but my counselor was probably trying to tell me that I have hit rock bottom already and I'm just not seeing it.

Anyway, that very night I did the opposite of what both I (and my counselor) expected [especially since neither of us had suggested it out loud]: I decided to quit going on Tumblr. Cold turkey (very nearly).
I'm using OpenDNS to block the domain, so I have not seen anything of tumblr since Saturday night.

The placebo effect works on me very well--as does the "no-cebo" effect. I knew before I loaded tumblr for the last time that I was probably going to go through some sort of withdrawal. My mom has confiscated both my computer and phone in the past, and I would almost immediately get so depressed/anxious that I felt unsafe. I was concerned this might happen again, especially since I was expecting it. I don't doubt that a large fraction of the unpleasant experiences I have are psychosomatic.

To my surprise, although I missed tumblr and a couple times had to stop myself from going on there, I didn't feel too unpleasant. My mood wasn't suffering much.

However. I stopped going on Tumblr because it was making me stay up all night when I didn't even want to. I thought, "Surely if I cut out tumblr completely, I will have so much more time on my hands that I'll be unable to ignore my responsibilities."
Nope! I have somehow managed to fill my time with sleep, other internet stuff, and Netflix.
Just tonight, I meant to go to bed at midnight. Did I? No. In fairness, I had finally gotten some inspiration with my writing so I spent maybe twenty or thirty minutes finishing up with that. I wouldn't be upset with myself over that.

But then, somehow, I convinced myself that I could go online just for a few minutes.
One thing turned into another and about quarter past two, I shut off my computer and went downstairs for no reason. I had some water and realized that I felt hungry, and have been hungry almost constantly for a few days now, and made the connection.

I am suffering from something akin to withdrawal but it's presenting itself in hunger, which I hadn't expected.

I sat on the couch feeling sad and mentally wrestling with myself over having some crackers (I have a dentist appointment this morning... I have to leave in like three and a half hours.) and getting back on the computer for the sole purpose of changing the block settings to block everything except a few websites that aren't problems for me. A few couple times I felt like I could start crying if I really wanted to.

As you can see by the existence of this thread, I lost the battle. It's after 4 in the morning and I haven't even been in my bed. And if I had brought the entire box of crackers (which was almost full) to my room I would have eaten them all by now but at least I had the good sense not to do that though I really wanted to.

So. I am addicted to the Internet. (This is just like that time I tried to prove to my friends that I could stop self harming any time I wanted...)

I guess I wrote this mostly to vent since I won't be seeing my counselor until the 15th and as it is nearing 4:30 am there's no one to talk to about this.

But I do also want to know what I can do about the "withdrawal" stuff.
I can't ever remember eating in response to stress to a noteworthy extent so I don't know what to do about how hungry I am all the time. I don't know at what point I need to indulge myself and at what point I need to stop.

I feel really depressed and I am a little afraid of what I'll feel like later.
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Ambedo. Offline
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Re: Internet addiction - December 4th 2012, 11:40 PM

The Internet is such an easy thing to get addicted to, isn't it? There are so many different websites available to you for so many different purposes. It's definitely easy to get lost in those. You should be really proud of yourself for being so proactive about your addiction to Tumblr. That's not something that a lot of people would have done and it shows a lot of responsibility on your part.

That being said, you don't need to cut the Internet out of your life completely. Perhaps you could work to limit the amount of time that you spend on the Internet instead. There are websites out there, similar to the one that you used to block Tumblr, that will allow you to set time limits on your Internet usage. For example, you could create settings that prevent you from going on the Internet after midnight. If you can't get on it, you can't get on it. That alone will definitely help you cut back on your usage. Hopefully, after some time without using the Internet past midnight, you will start to realize that it's not absolutely necessary for you to get by. Over time, your need to be on the Internet will probably diminish, until it isn't much of a problem for you anymore.

The hunger that you're feeling might be because you're looking for another way to satisfy yourself. From what you've shared with us, it sounds like the Internet is a tool that you used when you were bored and had nothing better to do. You got some sort of enjoyment out of it. Since you're no longer using the Internet, hunger is manifesting itself as a means for you to get something else you enjoy: food. The best advice that I can offer for this is for you to try to find another activity to participate in when you're "hungry, but not hungry". You mentioned writing in your thread. Perhaps you could take the times that you would be on the Internet (or eating because you're not on the Internet) to take some time to work on your writing. Look for other things to keep you busy as well, such as new hobbies or focusing on your studies. The less time that you have to devote to your Internet addiction, the easier it will be to overcome.

Hope this helped!

wanderlust consumed her;
foreign hearts & exotic minds compelled her.
she had a gypsy soul
and a vibrant heart for the unknown.
-d. marie
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shanadian Offline
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Re: Internet addiction - December 6th 2012, 05:28 AM

You're right about the writing! I had tried that, but that was before I was using a domain-blocking service.

Thank you, that is helpful!

My verbal rejection, if there was one, of whatever you just suggested does not reflect how very useful it is to me, nor how very grateful I am to you for taking the time to respond.

Also I have trouble knowing what is acceptable to say. The above is sincere and meant to be polite/reassuring.
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