As mentioned in previous posts, I have a serious addiction to Facebook. Last night I decided that it’s more than a problem and it’s actually ruining my life, because it’s slowing, or even reversing my recovery from depression. Last night at 8pm I realised that I hadn’t been out all day and couldn’t really account for what I’d been doing. That’s actually not uncommon for me, but something about this time made me decide to go cold turkey for a whole week. I’ve done it for a couple of days before and it made me feel much better, but after I while I just slip again. I need to find a way to stop, so it’s time to “play hardball” (I don’t even know what hardball is but the phrase sounds good).
About a year ago, a member of my mental health support group who’s a recovering alcoholic suggested that if I have an addiction perhaps I need to go “sober” and not use it at all. I wasn’t convinced at the time, but I’m starting to think he may have had a point. Part of what’s stopped me completely ditching Facebook is that I use it to promote my business, and now even have a few selling groups connected to the business that I do daily maintenance on. So I’ve been telling myself that because of that I instead need to stay on it and try to control my usage. The reality is that it doesn’t really matter if I leave it for a week. When I think about it if I’m going to do marketing my time would probably be much more effectively spent treading the pavements doorstepping likely sources of business, certainly in the short term.
I’ve done a sort of mental cost-benefit analysis in on doing a week’s cold turkey and concluded that it’s really a no-brainer that the benefit massively outweighs the cost, even if I think of it only in terms of my business. I don’t of course, I mainly think of it in terms of my wellbeing. It very much feels like a downward spiral because the more time I spend online, the less I see people, so the harder I find it to contact people, so the more time I spend on my own, so the worse my mental health gets so the more I want to numb it out by spending time online. Then the worse I feel the more likely I am to struggle to cope with answering the phone and responding to emails so I lose out on work, which in turn means I have less money, the stress of which makes me feel worse which feeds back into the whole cycle. So it’s not a good situation.
I realised some time ago, that the fact I spend a lot of time on my own probably also makes the antidepressants I take less effective. I say that because they work by stopping your body from re-absorbing too much of the serotonin that it naturally generates. The problem with that is that serotonin is mainly generated when you engage in social interaction, so if you spend a lot of time on your own the serotonin isn’t really generated in the first place for the medication to stop it being re-absorbed.
Writing this post is of course partly alleviating the strong urge to share what’s on my mind that’s part of my addiction, but I think that’s ok.