Going completely offline for a month and a half was eye opening. During that time I accessed the Internet only a couple of times. It surprised me how easy it was to disconnect. I thought I would have withdrawal.
If you had asked me before I stopped accessing the Internet, if I thought it were possible to "electronically disconnect" for such a long time I would have said no.
I am glad I did disconnect because it showed me a couple things:
- I am much more aware that given my low mood I have limited energy to use and I need to choose carefully the activities that provide me real life value.
- Far too much of my available energy and time was previously spent online.
- That "real" life activities and interactions are extremely important to my helping myself manage my mood. This does not mean "online" life activities and friends are not extraordinarily important to me...they are...it just means that I cannot spend all my spare time online. It isn't good for me.
- I missed my online friends, but I did not miss the Internet very much at all...I wasted a lot of time online just surfing to nowhere.
The biggest and most surprising discovery:
5. I always wondered if my spending time online focusing on my depression, its symptoms, my difficulties, pain, fears etc. via my blog, and through reading, and interacting with other blogs/bloggers, made me stay depressed, or fed my depressive symptoms.
I do not see that it did at all. My mood did go up a bit this past month and a half, but I started a new medicine and I think it lifted my mood. The past couple weeks, despite not having and online influences, my mood crashed again...so I think it is my brain that is the biggest culprit in terms of affecting my mood and mood cycling.
Anyways, I really did miss interacting with my online friends, and I missed the creative process of writing. Now that I am "connected" again I am going to focus on staying connected with others here and on your sites. It might take me time to catch up, but I will.