I can’t fully remember when my internet addiction started a mum tells me, after all, we all use the internet on a daily basis and sometimes we don’t realise how much we use it.
Internet Addiction – It Stole My Life
I guess I became aware of it when I was about 14. I’d been using the internet for homework and research, just like a normal 14 year old would, but I’d also been using Bebo to contact school friends and had started using MSN.
I also used a site called Lycos chat and was talking to complete strangers. My mum at this time didn’t really care what I got up to, she was still struggling with the fact that my Dad had left her, even if it had happened 2 years previous. I guess she was just grateful that she didn’t have to entertain me. To start with it was fine, I’d be on the internet at normal times and wasn’t on it for long periods of time. This slowly began to change though.I was addicted to the internet and had withdraws from it.
During weekends and school holidays I would stay on it longer and longer, I’d got myself into a little routine. I’d finish school on the Friday, would go out with friends just to keep them sweet, go in at 7 and go straight onto the internet. If my Mum ever did ask what I was doing I’d tell her I was just doing homework. She didn’t go to my parents evenings, never checked my homework diary or my school books, she wouldn’t know.
I’d stay online, chatting to anyone worth talking to until gone 3 in the morning then go to bed. Sometimes I’d be texting the people I had previously been talking to or I’d be on the phone to them, other times I’d just go to sleep. On the Saturday I’d shorten the time I was on the internet, making sure I was in bed by 1 AM so that Sunday I could go to bed with no struggle and be up for school Monday morning. This continued for a while until I was 15 and the 6 week holidays came. I’d stay up until 3 o’clock, this eventually led to 4 AM and so on until eventually I would stay up until 10 AM then sleep tilL 8PM. I was a night owl, I never saw a lot of daylight.
My internet addiction did steal my life, I ate when I felt like it, bathed when I thought necessary and every so often I would go out to make sure my real friends didn’t feel neglected. Eventually I dropped my real friends, the urge and need to be online was just too strong. I’d never go out the house unless I really had to. I wasn’t afraid of going out I just didn’t see the need.
I reached the age of 17, having passed my GCSE’s (god knows how!) And failed at 2 college courses. I’d managed to form some kind of bond with my real friends again but again, it was rare I went out. I was severely depressed, had been through stages of self harm and half hearted attempts at suicide, mostly due to the lack of a relationship with my mother, I hated her, I wanted more than anything to move away from her. I blamed her for my dad leaving even though I saw him pretty much on a regular basis.
It was a rare night that I’d agreed to go out with my friends. We went out drinking and went to a friends house. He lived in a shared house and this is where I met my other half. We spent the next few nights together and I moved in with him pretty quickly. With no access to the internet I just stopped going on it.
The depression came to a halt because I was out of the house, going out at day time and spending time with a human, not a computer. I guess you could say my other half saved my life. I certainly feel that way.
To this day I still have to be careful how much time I spend on the internet,once you are addicted to the internet its a very difficult task to stay away, it’s so easy to slip back into the addiction of it. I guess it’s just something that never leaves you.
Emma has my full permission to post this and I’d like honest comments from readers and if you feel you have a problem, I’m more than happy for Emma to pass on my details and I will help anyone through it. Although it’s a strange and not always recognised addiction, it is still a serious addiction non the less.
If you would like to share your own anonymous story with the blog you can submit it to share with our readers.
- What Is Sex Addiction? (everydayhealth.com)
- Are You Addicted to Your Computer? (everydayhealth.com)
- Internet addiction could be dubbed official affliction in DSM-V (news.cnet.com)
- Doctors See Rise In Internet And Video Game Addiction (boston.cbslocal.com)