Greetings people of NoSurf!
My name is Sean, I’m 21 years old and I hail from the beautiful and great Pacific Northwest of the United States; specifically the state of Washington, city of Spokane. I was born here and so far have stayed here, not too much else to say about that. This is going to be a long post, so if you don’t have the time or will to read it then the important bits are in the last three paragraphs.
I could write about my whole life story but that would be one hell of rabbit hole, so I’m going to make it as brief as possible: Born into catholic family, both grandparents died at age 2 and 5, father died of drug abuse at age 8, next 6 years spent with obese bed-ridden schizo mother and abusive alcoholic step dad, both of them either were manipulative or abusive and most of the time neglectful, step dad left and child protective services got involved, foster care from age 14 to 18 moved through 4 different homes, spent the next year moving around a lot, moved in with my brother and things have been good since.
There’s a lot more details both good and much much worse, but I just want to help you understand that my life has been quite the ride to say the least. Anyways, I’m in my third year of college now and I have a 3.5 GPA and recently certified into my major of marketing, I live with my brother and my 3 best friends, we are renting a 5000 sqft home together, I drive a nice car, I have a nice room with a 65" flatscreen, a luxury bed, and…
A custom-built $3000 computer. Did I mention I love computers? Sorry if that whole paragraph seemed like one big “flex” but that’s not why I mentioned all of it. I decided to mention it because I wanted to paint the picture that everyone else sees at first glance. A healthy-looking, well-adjusted, and responsible young adult with everything going for him. Except…
That’s far, far… FAR from the truth. I spend up to 20 hours a day on my computer when accounting for my horrendous and non-existent sleep-schedule. I stay awake for 24 hours at a time (I’ve been awake for 22 hours at time of writing this), and I sleep for 14 hours (on a regular basis). I rarely leave the house, or my room for that matter. I may look healthy, but I have back-problems from sitting and slouching for 90% of my waking hours, and I haven’t even ‘occasionally exercised’ since I was 18. I deleted all of my social media, but that’s not because I spent too much time on it; I deleted it because aside from the friends I live with and the ones I talk to on discord, I don’t talk to anyone. I used to have loads of friends but it turns out if you never message them they all seem to disappear. Who knew?
The list of issues is extensive. I eat trash food, I have terrible hygiene, I gave up on dating, I’ve smoked weed or drank alcohol every day for the past 3 years, I’m an absolute nicotine fiend, I have worked a total of 5 months since I turned 18 at 3 different jobs (quit all of them), everything I start I give up on within a week,
and most of all… I hate myself.
Well, maybe I don’t hate myself, but sometimes I wish I could be anybody but myself. I have had severe chronic depression since I was 10 years old, and developed general anxiety disorder a year ago. I’ve been to the psychiatric ward a couple times and been on multiple medications, talked to multiple counselors, and at this point I’ve given up on all of that.
I’m not unhappy anymore, I’m not suicidal, I’m just tired. Tired in the literal sense. I have no energy or motivation, I’m an absolute shell of who I used to be. I have dreams but I’ve practically come to accept that they’ll never come true because I’m so fucked up. For some people fixing their problems is as simple as fixing a couple bad habits and starting a couple good ones. However, in my case it would require years of difficult cognitive re-training. I would have to fundamentally change every behavior I have acquired over my 21 years of life and work day-in and day-out at changing them. Just the thought of it is so overwhelming that I immediately get anxious chest-pains. It seems like an impossible goal.
It seems impossible…
However, if I thought it was impossible I wouldn’t be here now would I? I have used technology as an escape my whole life. I needed the internet when I was a kid to escape from the nightmare that was my life. However, things are different now. The only thing I’m escaping from is life, a fun and beautiful life, and I’m sick of running. So what have I done?
Well, over the past year I’ve been progressively changing for the better. I made things seem a lot worse on purpose, dramatic effect I guess. A lot of the things I’ve listed are still very true or were true, but there are a few things that aren’t so true anymore. I quit drinking entirely, and I only smoke weed once every other day sometimes up to a week without. I actually quit drinking anything but water, and recently I’ve been drinking water in excess of 100 oz a day. I’ve maintained a zero-sugar diet for a while now, I’ve been eating a lot better, cooking more often, and taking an assortment of vitamins every day. I’ve learned how to control my anxiety and what was once frequent panic attacks is now just minor anxiety. I keep my room clean at all times, and I try my best to wash up, shave, and brush my teeth at least once a day.
It doesn’t seem like a lot, but a year ago I was in such a bad state that I literally would throw up in my mouth multiple times within an hour of waking up and my bowel movements would alternate between diarrhea and constipation. I’m sorry if that was the most disgusting thing you’ve heard all week (or month), but this introduction is mostly really about me coming absolutely clean about everything. With what I just said in mind, I can now say that my movements are totally healthy, but much more important than that… I feel great. I feel like I could start exercising again, and my personal health is the one of the biggest steps towards getting my life together so it feels like I’m a third of the way to doing what I once thought was impossible. However…
I still spend 80% of every single day online. My Youtube watch-time statistics are disgusting. Twelve hours daily average, 84 hours a week on just Youtube alone. That’s more than two full-time jobs. I know that this is an internet addiction recovery forum so this isn’t anything bewildering, but it still baffles me when I see this statistic.
Obviously I will never achieve my ultimate goal if I’m spending all of my waking hours on my computer, and that’s why I’m here. I’ve made efforts to get better but every time I just relapse right back into it and make zero progress, in fact it has just gotten worse. I felt really hopeless, but not hopeless enough that I didn’t google search internet addiction recovery… and viola! Well, I haven’t made any progress, at least not yet.
The good news is, progress starts today.
I installed Cold Turkey and set a list with every website I use (except Youtube), and I blocked it for a week. I also included a list that someone made of 5000 adult websites and added that to the list as well. Every time I visit a website and realize that it’s a waste of time, I add it to the list so it immediately gets blocked. I set my adblocker to block Youtube so I do have the choice of disabling the block, but it requires a more conscious decision to do so. Along with this, I’ve also deleted every single video game I had installed on my computer and blocked access to all of the download pages. It’s hard for me to go nuclear because I do school online, but basically everything that’s not school or ‘lifestyle’ related gets added to the list. I’ve also un-bookmarked all of my regular sites and bookmarked NoSurf, so expect to hear from me again.
I have still yet to figure out my phone, but that will be taken care of soon. This is all a test-run right now and after I go my first week I plan for my second block to be longer, maybe two-weeks or a month? Regardless, this is a serious commitment, and I’m expecting serious results. It won’t be easy, but it also might be the single most important decision of my life. If you actually took the time to read all of this… 1. You really didn’t have to…
and 2. Thank you, really… Thank you.
As a final note… What are your opinions on a progress vlog? I guess the problem with a vlog is that most people on here are trying to spend less time online, so I don’t imagine many of you would watch it. Anyways, it would be nice to not just update my progress towards spending less time online (for accountability sake), but also talk about what I have been doing with all the time I’m not spending on the computer. Also, I would want to do a vlog because I want to get comfortable in front of the camera and practice more with Premiere Pro, I would be comfortable just writing update journals on here; but what’s the fun in that?