Shithouse rat

I'm a bipolar writer in the Naked City. I'm not playing with a full deck. I don't have all my dots on the dice. My cheese is sliding off my cracker. I don't have both oars in the water. I'm a bubble off plum. In other words, I'm crazier than a shithouse rat. These are my stories. Comments--short or long, nasty or nice--always welcome!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Hi, my name is Elvira, and I'm a blogoholic

First and foremost, I wanted to thank you guys for your comments and messages. It really means a lot to me.

I'm starting to come to terms with my ex's condition--although I can't help but do a mini-rant here about the horrible docs he's been dealing with. Over four months ago, L's sis and I took him to the doc and told them that in addition to depression, he had some sort of neurological damage that had been getting worse as time went on. We'[d noticed the symptoms--including poor manual dexterity, falling, etc. for quite some time. The docs just looked at us like we were crazy, and scheduled him for physical therapy. Their ideal of "treatment" was, as BG likes to say, like a couple of monkeys trying to f&#k a football.

Finally, they figured out something else might be up, and scheduled the neuro testing, where they discovered his condition. The guy who delivered the news to him was very abrupt and cold. I wasn't there, and it's lucky for him, because I don't know if I could have been trusted to contain myself.

Anyway, on top of all that, I caught a very nasty case of the flu, and was completely immobilized for the last several days. Didn't even turn on Herman the Mac--imagine that!

In any case, while lying around moaning, I started to think very dark thoughts. I felt like I had hit bottom, and this latest bit of news was just the tip of the iceberg. For one thing, I realized that I've become addicted to the internet, and that although I love it to death, it might be time to assess where I was going before I did indeed love it...to death.

The blogging bug has been affecting my relationship, my health, my stamina. I have neglected a lot of things; a lot of my normal routines; a lot of everyday activities that are necessary to live some sort of "real life." My eating habits are terrible; I'm not getting any exercise; I'm smoking so much I don't even want to think about it; and certain crucial things that I need to do have been put on the back burner.

So does this mean I'm going to give up blogging? Hell no! I just have to figure out how to fit it in more reasonably--devote x number of hours or days a week to it, and take care of my other shit as well.

I was joking with another blogger awhile back about the blogging/internet fixation thing. I said I guarantee that soon enough there will be support groups springing up for internet addicts. And, of course, they will take place--where else?--online.

The next step, of course, will be a new malady listed in the upcoming edition of the DSM--something like blogging addictive disorder. I can only guess what kind of drugs they will come up with for that one.

Do any of you guys have this problem? If so, I'd love to hear about it, and how it affects you--and if you've managed to "cure" yourself of this obsession, I'd be very interested in that too.

Once again, thank you for your comments and kind words. I will respond to all comments, old and new, if at all possible, as soon as possible.

35 Comments:

At 2:04 PM, Blogger Walker said...

I used to write to dump stuff from my head. It was sort of making room in the brain so I would be able to relax.
I find myself always thinking even while I sleep. Blogging also helped with my anxiety attacks because they happen alot less now.
The problem started when I stopped writing for me and became more of an entertainer and was concerned about what others would want to read. Then came the "what will I write today phase" where I was havimg anxiety attacks because I didn't know what to write.
I was constantly aware of gramatical errors and Losa would tell me if she saw anything wrong and I would spend lots of time reading a post to make it perfect.
Now I say fuckit.
This is what I want to write about and this is how I feel and if I don't want to write today won't.
If there as spelling errors that get by spell check to fucken bad, live with it.
I have shifted away a bit so that I can enjoy what I used to before blogging.
I am back in the backgammon rooms, and the people there were rapped to see me back and I like being there.
I will still post but no promises about every day and I will still answer my comments but I won't be consumed anymore.
I hope you feel better soon. :D

 
At 2:17 PM, Blogger jessie said...

it does help me to blog. it's a way to vent at times and is kind of relaxing. i do enjoy reading other blogs, some are really funny. i too have an active brain and am constantly thinking even when i am trying not to.
to no suprise, there are internet support groups around, there are 2 that i know of in maryland. one i seen advertised in the paper and the other is one i happen to know someone who runs them and they are, ironically available on IM 24/7 for emergency support. LOL!!!

 
At 2:44 PM, Blogger Nick said...

if i find myself searching for things to blog, i know i need to take a step back & relax.

when information or thoughts just roll of my fingers thru the keyboard, it's all good.

sometimes that small release from blogging is encouraging, and actually will make you a better blogger in the end.

 
At 7:09 PM, Anonymous A said...

You're not alone Elvira. I certainly am one and there are many others out there. I looked for support groups but found none, a niche in society that needs filling. I'm like Walker was, there are so many things in my head they have to go somewhere... beats screaming.

 
At 7:09 PM, Blogger Timothy said...

Hey, you could be downloading porn 20 hours a day like millions of other people. I think it is great that you can recognize your situation and be able to look at it objectively. You could do like millions of others an swim down that river in Egypt (that would be denial if any of you do not know). From the few bogs of yours I have read, they sound to me like you use this to help yourself, to help yourself understand yourself better. How can that be wrong? But what do I know, I only have a BA in psychology.

 
At 7:23 PM, Anonymous A said...

Btw... I think I know why your template is screwed up. This section in your sidebar seems to be the problem...

My weblog owns 50 % of me. Does your weblog own you? The table it's in is too wide. It is set to 300 and should be less than 226, the width of your sidebar. Hope that helps... when my template is screwed up it drives me up a wall.

 
At 11:03 PM, Blogger E-E said...

"The blogging bug has been affecting my relationship, my health, my stamina. I have neglected a lot of things...."

oh I SOOOOO have this same problem!
I am addicted! even at work I find myself reading other's blogs, checking up on those I admire and have become fond of... and now, the whole ordeal has led to some serious relationship problems of my own: http://emeraldeyesxox.blogspot.com/2005/10/anonymity-befuddled.html

Today, I give up.
Tomorrow... who knows??
THANKS, Google. THANKS.
Take care of yourself, and stay healthy.

 
At 11:43 PM, Blogger ariadneK, Ph.D. said...

I am, first and formost!, SO GLAD that you are NOT going to give up your blog, but yes: I understand 1000% about getting "hooked" on the thing. The eye problem I am having right now (nope, it's still not better yet) has kept me away from the computer more than I used to be on it, and while I missed it, the more-limited contact with online stuff than I had been allowing myself before definitely became evident. there's NO WAY in hell I'd ever quit, but yes, I feel your pain on the situation. It IS weird, isn't it? It's like it's even difficult to recall "when it all started". Moderation, my dear, just don't leave us!!!

 
At 12:19 AM, Blogger Justine said...

Balance... how DO you get that?

I do spend a little bit too much time in blog land... luckily I have to share computers, so that gets me off them. Despite "Doctors Orders" I keep mousing, keep typing, keep on slumping in my chair... hey who can have good posture for hours on end? :-)

 
At 12:21 AM, Blogger Justine said...

Just me, or did my comment sound like this is a therapy group?!

 
At 6:59 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Walker:

Thanks--I'm starting to feel better...I can relate to what you're saying, esp having written for money. It's just not the same when there's that pressure, whether internal or external. Sounds like the blogging does provide therapy though, and that's a good thing.

 
At 7:02 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Jessie:

LOL--it figures--and here I thought I might be able to make a killing with the idea, but with me it would be like the blind leading the blind anyway.

 
At 7:03 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

nwistheone:

I agreee--when it starts to be a chore, what's the point? Better to refuel--sometimes you have to let the ideas percolate or even --gasp--go out and live a little and maybe get some blogging ideas that way.

 
At 7:05 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

A:

Thanks for that link! I definitely think blogging is the best invention since the wheel, but the addiction potential is there...

 
At 7:08 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Tim:

Another psych major? Me too LOL. That is an excellent point. It's hard to believe that some people use the internet so passively--just like TV--when it has such a potential for interactivity and just plain activity. But there are as many ways to use the tech as there are people using it.

 
At 7:09 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

A:

Thanks for the template tip--I'll maybe screw with it, but I'm always paranoid that something will get swallowed up. BTW--the fact that my blog owns 50 percent of me ain't so good.

 
At 7:11 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Emerald-eyes:

Thanks! Yep, what do you do? is there some sort of program they could invent to limit the number of hours you spend blogging? Nah--that wouldn't work--nothing stops a true addict. I feel your pain--but it feels good, doesn't it?

 
At 7:15 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

AriK:

You are so sweet! I feel the same about your blog--I would be bereft if you ever stopped. Moderation--ah yes--well, I'm gonna try...

 
At 7:18 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Justine:

LOL--actually, I did check out some good discussion boards for mental illness etc. and I think some of them are better than the real thing--and free!

I think my prob is that I've been using the blogging/internet as an escape--there's things I've gotta do but it's so much easier to say, ok, just a little more--and then I look up and hours (or days, or...) have gone by.

 
At 5:39 PM, Blogger The Humanity Critic said...

Great post, hope you get better soon.

 
At 8:43 PM, Blogger Justine said...

I can not get away from my computer today. I hereby nominate myself as a board member of the internet addicts club.

 
At 8:45 PM, Blogger Justine said...

You can be president, treasurer, secretary, publicity rep., minutes taker...
tee hee!
:-)

 
At 7:39 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Humanity critic

Thanks...and thanks!

 
At 7:44 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Justine:

If I'm not mistaken, didn't you take a little break from your blog awhile ago? But now you're back with a vengeance! Yes, we addicts always relapse twice as worse as ever...lol...

I think I'll take publicity rep, since i have some experience in that field. Now lesse, I think this will involve a lot of additional blogtime, but duty calls...

 
At 8:18 PM, Blogger digibrill said...

Just found your blog. I wonder, will you any posts on NYC culture or at least intellectual culture? Maybe it's something that would be pointless for you. Anyway, enjoy what you write.

As for addiction, I think I'm always trying to up the ante in all my writing. It's good to challenge yourself then. Anyway, smell the roses, kick a mugger in the nuts, have a good time.

 
At 10:05 PM, Blogger digibrill said...

Oh one more thing, if you need some help with your template design I can help. Mine was the same design as yours and I changed it. Anyway, nice to meet your acquaintance.

 
At 10:42 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Digibrill:

Thanks for stopping by. As for your question, funny you should ask; I've just been thinking about a few more posts on NYC and contemporary culture. One NYC post of sorts I did awhile back is The crackhead next door. I also did a piece on postmodernism called Pomo for Dummies (by a psycho). If you click on the link to the sitemap, you'll find it there. My site map is incomplete right now because I have to update it, but the second list has some of the old posts under various categories.

Thanks for the heads up on the template thing. The new heading you have is cool, although if I'm not mistaken if you try to click on it from an older post it doesn't go back to the homepage again--but I could be wrong. Blogger is cool, but has a lot of frustrating bugs. Anyway, thanks again!

 
At 12:31 AM, Blogger digibrill said...

Thanks for that, Elvira. I fixed that as far as I can tell. I'm a developer and do this stuff all day.

Going to view that post. Thanks for the heads up.

 
At 2:46 AM, Blogger jane said...

If I like something & I shouldn't be doing it, I get obsessed with it. When it comes to exercise or eating right, for odd reasons, I don't get obsessed with those.
You know elvira, there is a blogaholics webring too. I think I have the webring on the bottom of my blog, under the bp one.
I'm not blogging as much, allowing a post to sit for a day or 2, which was really unheard of before. But I do find reading blogs relaxing. Especially when it's someone I know, like you for example, it's like catching up with an old friend. Of course that's not to say I won't be overly obsessed with it again. I ALWAYS retain the right to change my mind. :)

 
At 1:31 PM, Blogger sasha said...

I can't stop either. I'm even doing things in my regular life that I normally wouldn't do, just so I have something to write about. My blog is about infidelity and I probably was just bad, not horrible. but now I'm horrible and feel the need to act out certain things for shock value so my faithful readers keep coming back. ugh.

 
At 1:20 AM, Blogger Tech Chaser (TKK) said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 1:30 AM, Blogger Tech Chaser (TKK) said...

I started exploring blogs after Hurricane Katrina hit and have been consumed by them ever since, perhaps partly because I grew up in New Orleans and there was such a flurry of web activity then.

At that time, I blew off lots and lots of steam into cyberspace by posting incessantly to a private user's group set up by old college friends, so they had to put up with my drivel. My poor friends.

A couple of days ago, I created two blogs of my own. When I think about it, I'm beginning to see several reasons why people seem to blog (and why I blog), most of which others have already mentioned:

(1) to vent, relieve anxiety, etc.
(2) to share an idea, a picture, a movie, a song, or a laugh that I think others may enjoy too
(3) to learn more about myself
(4) to examine, from a philosophical perspective, how this "blogosphere" and "social web" thingy is evolving and changing the nature of human existence

As for dumping stuff from my head, as walker mentions in the first comment, I've found that my gmail program is very useful for storing my random thoughts.

Anyway, in the process of creating my blogs, I too dealt with issues such as prolonged loss of sleep, lack of exercise, and an improper diet, if my diet can be called a diet at all. Fortunately, my work hours are flexible, so I can manage. If I had a nine-to-five though -- wow, that would be extremely tough, I would imagine.

The thing I think I enjoy most about blogs is the emotional connection I feel with others when I read certain posts. They just feel so much more real than the things you see on reality TV. Not that I've watched a whole lot of television these days, seeing as how I'm usually glued to the computer most of the time when I'm home.

 
At 10:49 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Yep, Jane, I noticed that Blogaholics web ring thing you have linked--cool!

I feel the same as you do about going to my fave blogger's sites--yours and others--to see what's up. There's something about blogging that seems to make people willing to reveal more about themselves than maybe even their families might know (or would have known before). I suck at small talk anyway, so it's great to read about other's most intense experiences in depth.

 
At 10:54 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Sasha:

Wow! Sounds like a classic case of life imitating art! I know that often people do start thinking of everything they encounter in terms of how they can blog it. I'm even starting to have blog dreams.

For many years, I was very quiet and shy except around people I knew well. In my writing life, I could express myself more, and now with blogging I feel like I am constantly thinking of things to write about and reveal about myself. I think I can understand where you're coming from with this. I, for one, will be delving into your blog to read some juicy stuff!

 
At 11:04 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Sedu:

I was pretty oblivious to the blogosphere before starting this blog around 6 months ago. Like you, I did non-blogger stuff like e-writer's groups and bulletin boards, but I find blogging much more satisfying because it's my own space, where I can say what I please. But I also love the fact that people can comment here, and I can visit and comment to them. It's like a really cool, evolving conversation. And yes, although it's in cyberspace, it does seem very real to me as well--perhaps even hyper-real.

And of course, I identify with your symptoms of blogoholism big time!

 

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