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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
~Radio Flyer~ Offline
Please call that story back.

I've been here a while
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Name: Violet
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Join Date: May 12th 2016

scared and avoiding life? - March 12th 2017, 01:13 AM

Hey all,

Since I was a kid, but became more intense as a teenager, I would spend a lot of time sleeping during the day when I came home from school and on weekends and then going on the internet. It's my way of escape and I would spend almost all my free time like that but it's become addictive because when I dont want to face life I either stay in bed and sleep or sit in front of the computer. I am having a hard time enjoying things, which is something I definitely struggled with throughout my life. I have "hobbies" and "passions" but I do not always actively pursue them. This sleep+internet addiction thing started out as an escape from my home environment and stress relief from school as well as procrastinating because doing school work has always been anxiety provoking.

I am not in school anymore but at home when my sisters put loud music or when I am stressed out by not having personal space, I sleep out the day. Being alive for 16 hours is overwhelming so I am only doing other things like significantly less. Maybe out of the 16 hours, I am not sleeping and not wondering aimlessly on the internet (as in not doing actual productive things but scrolling down facebook because I am bored but also too anxious to do anything better) is like on average about 2-5 hours? And during that time I am either cooking or doing chores such as going to stores and grocery shopping or I am eating the food. Yeah that's the other thing, it's like sleeping+internet+emotional over-eating (though many times i actively starve or restrict)

I am having a hard time figuring out what to do with all this time. Not working, no personal money, and that prevents me from going places freely, and stressful home environment even on days when things are 'calm' I am still stressed out at home, just being there is stressful.

And the funny thing is, I am not keeping up with things like the peer specialist training that I started. I stupidly found and read articles about why peer specialists are oppressive or something. I dont know....

Tomorrow there's a holiday party and instead of telling my friend whether I was going or not, I avoided it the whole day by sleeping.
Sometimes I do not sleep for the whole night because of this but then I just go on the internet and i pretty much zone out while on the internet many times so that i am not really doing anything in particular. I might even be just staring at the screen. I dont read 99% of the articles I find, I just send them to my email and now I've been doing that for years. Copying and pasting all the tab links into a notepad and then sending it to my email and never looking at it again. Such a tedious task and yet it takes up like a lot of the time that I'm on the internet.
Also, I was about to make a little side money, about $15 by doing Amazon trade-in and that would have helped me buy my sister a birthday present but I got stressed out by the process and just cancelled it. My sister found out that I cancelled it and told me that I knew she knew how to do it because I went with her when she was doing it for her own items and she would have helped me and I just had to ask. And I basically just went under my blankets and said "sorry" and she said "come out of there, you're not a turtle" but I thought about it and I am wasting my life hiding under the blankets but at the same time, it's too scary to get out and the longer I stay there the longer I cannot get out.
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del677 Offline
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Re: scared and avoiding life? - March 13th 2017, 07:59 AM

Thank you for writing. That is a very interesting story.

I like the way you identify it as an addiction, as it definitely has all the symptoms of addiction. It's done to "escape". The results of continuing this are understood to be not good. Yet it can't be stopped even when you want it to. (That's the best definition of "addiction" I've come up with: The person decides they don't want to engage in the addictive behavior anymore, and that's when they discover they literally can't stop.)

I'm grateful you haven't fallen into using alcohol or drugs. Many people in your situation do.

The treatment is in some ways the same as for any addiction. In other ways it's different. (Addicted people seek to stop using drugs & alcohol. We can't ask you to stop sleeping and using the internet. Well, maybe the internet. But we all need sleep! Just not endless sleep. [I know because I've been there. I've tried sleeping so much my body was sick of it and refused to let me sleep anymore. That kinda pissed me off and made me mad at my body. We made up and are friends again.])

Some ideas which may help:

1. Wake up at the same time every day.
2. Get up and talk a brief walk outside. Walk around the block.

You can walk anywhere you like. Or drive somewhere it's nice to take a walk and take a morning walk. Volunteer to walk someone's dog. (That's actually a good idea, as a dog can be very therapeutic, plus it makes the dog happy.)

(The downside of this is the more complicated the walk is, the less likely you are to do it. That's why I suggest just take a brief walk outside, like around the block.)

3. Look for walking groups. (Check meetup.com)

4. Set up a daily routine. Plan your day. You can have a lot of free time, as much as you want, but it's nice to have some scheduled things to structure the day. You can decide how much you can handle to start with, and adjust as you feel better.

5. Decide which of the following is your passion:

A. Action Seeking
B. Safety Seeking
C. Knowledge Seeking
D. Identity Seeking

If you have the Action Seeking personality, then cosider action sports. Mountain climbing, surfing, the gym, swimming, etc.

If you have the Safety Seeking personality, seek out groups to join. (These people seek to 'belong'. Join a curch, a club, an organization.)

If you have the Knowledge Seeking personality, seek out things you want to learn.

If you have the Identity Seeking personality, then a spiritual life you seek. Seek your identity, find books on the subject, find activities that enhance this journey.

6. No one recovers from an addiction alone. Seek a recovery group. (This is where unfortunately the alcoholics and drug addicts have a big lead, as there are AA and NA meetings all over the world, but no "I'm not an alcoholic or drug addict, I'm just addicted to sleeping and the internet. But the reason is the same. I want to escape life, because life sucks, and I need a group of understanding people I can connect with, and share my stories with, who won't judge me, who will just say, "Hey, I understand.")

We all need positive human connection.

7. Meditation. You have a lot of time, you can do this for a few minutes each day. (Try the "Headspace" app. Or any similar guided meditation app.) This is healthy for the brain. It helps tune the brain. It helps us relax, which activates the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which activates our social engagement mode, so we actually don't fear social engagement anymore, and are ready for it. It's also very good for treating anxiety. It can slowly erode away the anxiety if you do it for a couple of months. There may be a meditation group nearby. Buddhist churches often have meditation groups you can try. I like it because I get to be in a group but I don't have to talk with anyone.

8. Seek out a DBSA group (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance). They aren't everywhere yet, but there might be one nearby, or a similar group.

9. Churches sometimes have "Connection Circles," which go by numerous different names. Basically it's groups of 10 people who agree to get together twice a month for 1.5 hours and there's a structured format of listening without responding, and everyone gets a chance to talk. There's a topic to talk about, or you may talk about anything you like, and everyone else listens, but doesn't ask questions or try to give advice.

10. Yoga. See if there are any easy classes around. Similar to meditation, can be a mind training exercise.

11. Volunteer. See if there's a volunteer website. (volunteermatch.org) Find something not to stressful, something you wouldn't mind. Can be a way to get among other people, which can help the brain heal.

OK those are a bunch of ideas. I think the one that will help most is getting up in the morning at the same time each day, and talking a short walk. That can help reset your circadian clock, and get the blood flowing and endorphins flowing.

Just some ideas though.

Best wishes!
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