My Facebook Addiction and Why I Quit: Part 1

So…it’s over. I went 90 whole days without Facebook.

I have a Facebook addiction….I am owning it.

I owned it and I faced it and I decided to do something REALLY HARD…and quit cold turkey for 90 days…and I did it. I did not slip even once. I made it to the finish line and TODAY IS DAY 1.

today is day one

I know this might seem silly to some people, but it was a big huge giant deal for me…..it was scary and awful at first, and I was brave and kept going. I had a million fears about doing it but the biggest one was that if you are not on Facebook you do not exist…and that somehow, I would be left behind, forgotten and invisible. Isn’t that silly? Well, it was a very real fear to me……..

This summer turned out to be a defining time in my life….like, my entire life.   I gotta write this all out, though…..too much happened to not share….and I got too many letters from people who asked how I did it….and from so many people who want desperately to step away for a bit, but are too afraid. WHAT ARE WE AFRAID OF?

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do brave things

Last night I got my Facebook password back from it’s keeper after staying completely off for 90 whole days, and I logged on. My hands were shaking with a combination of excitement and nervous dread. There are so many people I have missed and I seriously couldn’t wait to catch up….but I am also terrified that I am going to slip back into my old patterns.

Today I thought a lot about how much my days have changed. How much how I feel every day has changed…how much my priorities have changed…how great I feel…how relaxed and happy I feel…….how different things are since I took a little break. After spending a bit of time on Facebook this morning, I drove to my studio and painted…..and I thought a lot about what I want to tell you about all of this first….the first thing is that I am really really really happy that I did this….

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I am really really really happy for lots of reasons….because I got to make a TON of art all summer, because I fell in love with my family all over again, because I was alone with my thoughts for so many months, because I was so enveloped in friendship from the most incredibly supportive, kind and loving friends who were on my right side and on my left……because I learned to make rules….and….did I tell you I painted and painted and painted ALL SUMMER?

today is the day

I GUESS THE THING I WANT YOU TO KNOW most about FACEBOOK in part 1 of my recap is that I do not hate Facebook, I am not anti-Facebook and I do not even think Facebook is a bad thing…..Facebook has been a wonderful tool for keeping in contact with so many people I love….I was the biggest recruiter for Facebook that you could imagine in the beginning….begging all of my family and friends to join in……

BUT THEN….

….little by little……………..it seriously started to control me…my life…my moods….my day. I have an incredibly addictive personality….I’m a “just one more minute….” “just one more time…” kinda person……I obsess about things…I have a hard time stopping things once I start……just one of my trillions of weaknesses. I was spending an alarming and embarassing and disturbing amount of time on Facebook. This sounds so funny and dramatic and mostly humiliating now that I am on the other side of it…..but it is the absolute truth and I’m just coming clean here, folks. I was letting Facebook completely mess with my soul….and again, this all sounds dramatic and stuff…..but for reals, I was letting a virtual world keep score of my real world in so many ways. I know that not everyone does this….but that is what I was doing. Quitting was honestly one of the hardest things I have ever done. But I did it…and I learned a whole lot.

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walk away from things that hurt our souls

I mostly learned how to really really really love my life. I remembered who I am and what I want out of life. I can honestly say that I am the happiest I have ever been in all of my life, but it was a lot of work getting here…lots of honesty with myself. Lots of hard days and doing hard things and making hard decisions. All because I quit Facebook? YEH…but it could have been ANYTHING that was completely distracting me from doing hard things, being honest with myself and really really really listening to my own breath and my own gut………for me it was Facebook….

Yep…I took some pictures today because I wanted to remember this day. I was all alone in my studio…and I love how happy I look…see that? I LOVE THAT. I AM SO THANKFUL FOR THAT REAL SMILE AND THE SPARKLE in those 40 year old eyes.

sparkle in those eyes
So am I going to go back to Facebook???….yes, I am. WIth VERY STRICT RULES and guidelines for myself. I will talk more about that later….but what I have decided is that after this week is over… I am going to have Facebook Friday….once a week…..for an hour. Like I said, that will be in another post….and if you are interested…I’m gonna share my whole plan with you…the why’s the how’s and everything….

AND….the reason I am even writing all of this out is because of the hundreds of emails I have gotten from people who are having struggles with living in a virtual world more than living in the real world…and people who want to take a break for a while, but are too scared to……I’m writing this for YOU…..and I’m writing this stuff out so I don’t forget it…..cuz I am forgetter too. And seriously, I can already tell that it is going to be hard to keep the new rules I have set for myself. But one of the GREATEST THINGS I learned this summer is how valuable personal rules and boundaries are and that we MUST keep them.

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If you feel the way I did….whatever it is that’s holding you back….whether it’s Facebook or food or alcohol or cigarettes or gossip or your phone…..let go of it for a while and really SEE & LIVE life!  It will be worth it, I PROMISE!

start today

More to come in Part 2

Read more in My Facebook Addiction and Why I Quit: Part 2