I’ve never appreciated my existence as much as I do now,
I’ve never meditated as deeply as I can now,
I’ve never hugged my loved ones as tightly as I do now
I’ve never been as free as I am NOW.
And all this due to a decision I made 22 days ago.
22 days ago I walked into my kitchen, put a pot of instant oatmeal on the stove and stood over it waiting for it to cook. Five minutes later it overboiled and the lovely scent of burnt milk filled my nostrils. That makes perfect sense right? It does if you take into account the fact that my nose was buried in my phone while I waited for the oatmeal to cook.
You see 22 days ago the thought of waiting on something while doing NOTHING was appalling. Why would I do that when I have a freaking awesome smart phone? A perfect device made specifically so that I’d never have to endure the suffering of doing NOTHING… Nonsense poopypants!
But my reaction to “the incident” was a bit of a wakeup call. I was LIVID! FUMING! I wanted to kick, scream, and punch… myself. After all I was the only one to blame, how could I have been so DISTRACTED that I could let something burn right under my nose?! What if I had been so distracted that it would have been worse and I would’ve put my family in danger. I was repulsed at myself and then..
I put the brakes on that train of thought and decided to use this energy and intense emotions to do something about the habits that led me to “the incident” instead of bashing myself and continuing the cycle.
Step 1 was turning off Push notifications for Instagram and Facebook. My phone would light up over 100 times a day with “@ilikebigbutts liked your post” “@ilikebigbutts said Oh my god Becky” and “Your mom tagged you in an unforgivable picture on Facebook”. It was exhausting, my poor phone would have 50% battery left by 10 AM. Not only that, but I noticed that every time my phone lit up I HAD to check. Who liked, who commented, who tagged? Even if I resisted, the urge would linger around in my head until I gave in.
Turning off the notifications was definitely liberating but it was not enough. I still reached for my phone to fill any gap of activity in my life. Red light? Phone. Baby ran out of the room? Phone. Commercial break? Phone. I had reached a point where I could no longer fool myself into accepting this as normal and step 2 came about as an abrupt leave of absence from my social media profiles. No posting, liking, or commenting for 22 days. I made small exceptions for Facebook groups that I’m a part of such as my son’s playgroup, and I did choose to browse from time to time to peek into my friends’ lives but I was conscious of how long I was on and made sure nothing else needed my attention at the time. I was able to go several days at a time without checking Instagram and did one full day of no Facebook (Facebook is harder because of the groups and my photography page).
All in all I set out the task I meant to accomplish; drastically reducing the amount of time spent on my distraction device (iPhone) and remaining aware of the present moment when I did choose to engage with it. Although recovering from an addiction is an ongoing process, I think I gave myself a good foundation to build on. I know there will be days when the desire to escape my anxiety will overcome my willpower but change happens one step at a time. As long as I can forgive myself when I fail, the rewards that I’ve already reaped by stepping out of distraction and into the present will continue to serve as my motivation to continue on this path.
Love & Light,
The Awakened Momma