Addicted to Distractions?

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Addicted to Distractions?

This is going to hurt…

Another day gone, wasted away pointlessly browsing the web, obsessively checking my email, and letting my mind run on auto pilot all day. I understand the word addiction is a strong one, but I assure you it’s the right word.

Typing this is painful. The shame and guilt that go along with the word addiction feel strong enough to swallow me whole.

The tears rolling down my cheeks, the tremble in my fingers, the knot in my stomach… I guess this is what anxiety feels like, which is funny ( in a “that’s ironic but I can’t laugh about it” sort of way) because I remember judging people who claimed to have “anxiety attacks” or need “anxiety meds”. I see now that judgement was my projection of the insecurity I felt. I was desperate to not see myself in them, and so I judged. I wouldn’t admit it to myself, but deep down my anxiety was slowly consuming me. 

Anxiety is a normal human emotion, everyone experiences it once in a while. However, my issue is how often I experience it and what I do to cope with it. I don’t know how,or why, or when, but somewhere along the line I decided that the “bad” moments in my life were too much for me to handle. It’s easy to be in the NOW when the moment is joyous, but when it’s not, I escape.

I can remember skin picking (also known as dermatillomania) as far back as 12 or 13 years old. I had scabs that seemed to be permanent because I never gave them a chance to heal. When I pick I go into a trance that transports my consciousness to another dimension. It feels satisfying and shameful at the same time. I’ve gotten really good at hiding my behavior and my scabs because I am ashamed  and embarrassed of this. In moments of full awareness I have to fight the urge to pick more than 100 times in a two-minute span if I’m already in an anxiety-ridden state. 

More recently I’ve found another way to escape, distractions. When something is weighing me down I reach for the phone, iPad, or computer and just lose myself in it. You may think that this is a more suitable way to deal with my anxiety than picking since I’m not harming myself and no one suffers right? Sadly,wrong. My life, my world, my son EJ is the innocent and undeserving victim of my inability to live in the present moment. Before I go deeper I want to clarify that I do NOT neglect my child in the sense that he is fed, bathed, and loved on a regular basis and I am physically in the same room with him at all times. Mentally though, that’s another story. I love spending time with my son, he has the ability to bring me unmatched joy. However becoming a mom has increased the list of things that give me anxiety thus increasing my perpetual “need” to escape.

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It’s not always bad. I have moments (sometimes weeks at a time) when my motivation and energy levels are high, my mind remains positive and resilient, and I’m able to fully enjoy the amazing life that I have (It really is an amazing and beautiful life, I am blessed beyond words). A fellow blogger (whose post gave me the courage to share my story) described it perfectly when she said 

“When things are good. I’m great. I am happy. Productive. I want to be social. I feel like I can do anything. But, when a snag happens. Like a kid getting sick (one of my biggest hurdles…sounds like a normal part of life, I know). I freeze.
It’s like I am stuck in the fear and can’t get out. And, literally, I don’t want to move. I want to just sit and wait for it to be over. I don’t want to clean my house, or go anywhere, I overanalyze until I just can’t anymore. I cry. My heart pounds. I feel like I can’t breathe.”

That’s what happens to me. I freeze and that frozenness is such an overwhelming and unwelcome feeling that I find ways to prevent myself from being “awake” in those moments. 

“Addiction is a function of looking for The Divine in the wrong place.” -Mastin Kipp

Now that the hard part is out of the way, my breathing has slowed, my fingers are steady, I am here… I am now.  

 
I started this blog with the intention to aid in my healing process as pieces of who I used to be begin to die away and room is made for beautiful and necessary change. This blog is a physical manifestation of my metamorphosis. In the events leading up to the birth of this blog something beautiful happened, synchronicity. I stumbled on a blog that was a gift from the universe itself, The Hands Free Mama. Rachel’s posts, documenting the way she made the choice to be fully present in her every day life and overthrew the power distractions had over her, touch me oh so deeply. Every time I read a new post from her, I weep. Many times I stop reading mid-post and proceed to embrace my child in a way that I desperately hope transmits every ounce of love I have for him. Her posts arouse many emotions in me, but most of all I feel hope. My favorite post so far is one she wrote in the very beginning of her journey, it’s called “Consider Yourself Gifted” and after reading it I truly did. Rachel’s gift to me was the realization that my baby’s life CAN pass me by, but it won’t. I am reclaiming my power and deciding to show up for the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful. 

     My healing journey has now begun. As I am typing this over the course of a few days, I have already taken baby steps to ease my way into the present moment. I could easily file this away and continue hiding my struggles from the world in hopes that they will one day cease to exist, instead I choose to share this here with you. I have spent way too long not fully being me, it’s exhausting. However I’m not only posting to liberate myself, I hope to liberate you. There’s a magical power about watching a fellow human accept their inner power. As I use my power to change the things that I no longer wish to accept as a part of my reality, I hope there’s a spark within you too. We’re powerful beyond belief, our inner gods and goddesses simply await for us to activate the divinity that exists within us. 

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are” Joseph Campbell

My confirmation that I am on the right path is in the sweet embrace of my usually wiggly child, he can feel the energy shift inside of me and it’s as if it gives him a sense of peace. Without words, he paused long enough to hug me and say “welcome back mom”. And that makes it all worth it.

“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite” – Stephen Chbosky

Love & Light,
The Awakened Momma

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17 responses »

    • Thank you!! It was not easy for me to write or post, but I know it feels right now. It already feels like a burden has been lifted.
      I also wish you enlightened travels, glad to have someone to walk alongside to!

  1. Laying yourself bare really helps the healing process. It seems really hard at the moment, but things can get easier!

    I have pasted a couple of links to posts that might be useful to you. One is something I wrote about my dealings with worrying and anxiety, as a guest post: http://torinelson.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/tiny-spark-series-could-we-just-not/

    The second is the lady whose blog I featured on, laying it bare herself, about feeling like a failure as a mother: http://torinelson.wordpress.com/2013/01/27/tiny-spark-series-mercy-me-ill-mercy-you/

    Thinking of you, Imi

    • Thank you Imi, it is really helpful to get comments and encouragement from someone who understands. It does feel healing to open up about it.
      I actually read both of those articles and loved them (I thought I commented but must have got interrupted before doing so)! Your post actually further encouraged me to make a post of my own, seeing others show transparency is inspiring so thank you! Do you know if she is taking more posts for her series? I really like what she’s doing with them, and would like to submit mine.

      • Hello,

        I think she is still taking posts yes, her email is on her website so get in touch, shes so nice :). Gosh I am so glad I inspired you 🙂 Keep at it, you can get there! I had my first massage last night, and wow that helped – all my tension dropped almost immediately and I felt rejuvenated 🙂

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  5. I am full of anxiety. And I don’t even have any children. Would love some though. And you are right about the ” anxiety meds”.As long as I am not on meds I am fine. (Secretly wish I had some.) For me its insecurities of running behind, way behind everyone else. I started the “race” to late. And then the depression about not being where I’m suppose to be, or where i could have been if i would have had a good foundation to help and guide me sets in. Or why I can’t keep a clean house!! Ughhh, so much more that Is inappropriate to discuss. Life is going by to fast, i’m no where near where I wish I could be. And i’m not talking money, I mean more happiness, more clarity. I feel a big change coming…. Thanks Kat. Glad I could release some steam here. Time to get started on a project that I cant even Identify with. Question: What is your cultural Identity? Yes according to my instructor my answer was wrong. If she only knew, then she would never assign such a stupid assignment again. Uh oh do i click post comment?? I’m going to take the chance that there is a delete comment button after I click it!! Anxiety again!

    • Oh B, I see so much of myself in your comment. Thank you for being brave enough to share. I think you would benefit from reading my other two posts called “dear self” and “the power of words” there are ways to heal without meds, that’s the path I’m taking. It’s not always easy but I think the growth that happens as a result will be worth it. I wish I wasn’t feeling down today or I would be a better shoulder to lean on, but just know that I understand what you are going through, you are not alone in this journey.

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