This is a guest blog written by Alex, a participant in my cyber recovery groups, and the subject of several pages of my book (159-163). In the piece that follows, Alex gets to the heart of his problem. Alex will be posting again later this week.
I am not sure exactly when or how, but through a variety of events and circumstances, I developed a massive reservoir of inadequacy. I suppose that early on in school I felt different because of being labeled ADHD. I was called gifted on the one hand, but appeared “driven as if by a motor” on the other. I had a hard time sitting still in school, and was verbally impulsive. I remember feeling “different” even before I was in the first grade.
I felt special, though, because I could quickly absorb and regurgitate information, whether it was related to geography, animals, or video games. I had somewhat of an encyclopedic brain. I used my brain power to dazzle people, however, not so much to further my own academic proficiency.
As the rigors of school increased in 6th grade, I felt more inadequate because I just had no interest in doing homework. I lied, and lied, and lied to try to cover up what I was NOT doing. The saddest part is that I started to believe my own lies. Of course, lying ended up draining all my creative energy.
But deep down, I felt bad about myself, and that’s a really hard thing to admit. I felt flawed, like something was irreparably wrong with me. That is just something that is incredibly hard to bear, so to keep awareness at bay, I lied to others and to myself. And of course, I buried my head in role playing games, and various other cyber addictions.
So, here at the age of 23, I am finally strong enough to admit to the full truth of how I have felt for most of my life. It is as if there is this dark ball with spikes in my abdomen. This spherical demon has a voice and constantly tells me how screwed up and insufferable I am. As I feel this, sometimes I have the sense that I want to vomit. I know this has to be disturbing to some, but it is the simple truth.
As you consider the addict in your life, or addiction in your own, remember that at some level, we feel really bad about the state of our lives, so much so that it is almost impossible to admit. As we find safety and support to come to terms with our hard-to-bear inner truth, we can begin to heal. As many veterans of Alcoholics Anonymous say: “It gets worse before it gets better.”
I want to thank Kevin for letting me blog about my issues. I have found a catharsis in sharing my stories, and uncovered a way to finally overcome the writer’s block that has plagued me.