Thursday, December 13, 2012

Addiction Admission

Back in September I started a book called "Made to Crave" by Lysa TerKeurst.  I originally wanted to read it because I started running in January and really want to eat better too.  I want to fuel my body rather than just fill my gut with yummy greasy satisfying food.  I was prepared to be convicted about my health as I wrote about in September!  

Last week I finally finished it!  I highly recommend this book to anyone, food addiction or not!!  In chap.14, Lysa talked about emotional emptiness and discussed some hurt from her past that created unhealthy eating habits to fill a void.  I saw a direct connection of my childhood hurt to how I use Facebook that I had never ever even thought of before!  I am addicted to Facebook not food!  Actually not so much Facebook as much as my need to connect and stay in touch with people.  I was shocked by the revelation!  (I'm not going to into the childhood hurt here but if you are curious about the specifics and know me, I'd be happy to talk about it.  I just don't want to post it publicly on this blog because it involves someone else and I don't want them to misunderstand or think I'm blaming them.)

"emptiness has a way of demanding to be filled" p.138.  

Everyone knows that I am on Facebook A LOT throughout the day.  I think it's a wonderful tool for keeping in touch with people.  

I wake up with Facebook on my mind.  I check throughout the day.  And it's the last thing I do before I go to bed.  And each day I tell myself I won't be on the computer as much and I'll get XYZ done but then I use it as a reward (as Lysa mentioned she did with food).  
I can even fool myself and go days without using it but then I give in to my cravings.  

This is more than about the amount of time online.  

I use it as an escape when the kids are misbehaving.  
I use it as comfort when Jay is away.  
(Just like some people do with food.)
And I make excuses that it's ok!

I tried in my weak nature to just not be on it so much but I can't do it on my own. I fall back into old patterns again and again.  Just like the person who diets.  Yo yo.  I feel like an addict with no self-control.  If I'm on the computer looking something up, I click on the facebook icon without even thinking.  And it's gotten worse over time.

But the crazy thing is that as much as I love it, I hate it!  
And this is where more problems are found.  
  • I confess that I get defensive when people post political or anti-Christian stuff.  Most of it is misleading and misrepresents how I am truly living my life and I can't stand being misjudged, never mind offending the God whom I serve.
  • I get annoyed by the clutter on the newsfeed.  I don't want to see what people are commenting and liking on other profiles as nosy as I can be.  ;o)
  • I despise cursing or indecent pics on there.  I have children over my shoulder and don't want them to see things that are inappropriate.  
  • I worry about my own reputation.  It's hard to balance the good and the bad.  I don't want to vent my frustrations and sound like I complain too much and I don't want to be seen as someone who brags.  I put too much thought into what I post sometimes.
  • People get my updates and feel connected to me but I have no clue what's going on with them.  Thus creating one-sided relationships.
  • I'm afraid that if I don't comment on friends' statuses or pics, they will think I don't care.  This sounds irrational but I really struggle with this!
  • I sometimes get envious seeing people with their family because I miss mine.
Lysa says:  "I'm not on a diet.  I'm on a journey with Jesus to learn the fine art of self-discipline for the purpose of holiness." (p.158)  She learned to consume proper portions to enable her body to function properly.  I feel the same way.  I'm not intending to do a Facebook diet and quit for awhile.  I'm making realistic changes that can be a new way of life.  I'm literally having mild anxiety over this because it's shameful and I don't even want to confess how great my need to do this is.  But I know I have to.  God has brought this issue before me in the past and I just excused it away.  This book, Made to Crave, along with the intense negativity I feel from the newsfeed, is forcing me to say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!  I am reclaiming my life and I don't want any part of the foolishness anymore.  I have to set healthy boundaries on Facebook and that’s it.

  • I'm only using the inbox messenger, groups and event.
  • I will no longer post status updates.  
  • I'm not sure about photos yet but still praying about how that'll look.  Definitely won't be posting as many and definitely none for now.
  • I have deleted the Facebook app on my iPhone and will only access it through my computer.
  • I will not be looking at the newsfeed.  
  • I will no longer comment on anyone's status, activity or photos unless it's in a group. 
  • I have bookmarked the Facebook Groups page so I can easily access my bible studies, resale groups, etc. (Screen minimized to hide newsfeed ticker on right.)
Screen shot of my groups

I really see this as an addiction.  Some people can go on Facebook and be fine but I have learned that I can’t spend my time on there and live the life I want just like an alcoholic can’t go to a bar and pretend that he/she is fine.  (And not everyone in a bar has a problem, just like I realize that not everyone has the issues I have on Facebook.)

I have been following my new rules for a week but I know that I will keep in touch just fine with  people in other ways.  It has been hard to make this mental shift of feeling the need to know everything NOW but I can honestly say that my brain is less cluttered emotionally already.  Great, great thing! 

So that's my latest endeavor.  I hope my life is more productive because of it!  And I'm sorry this post is sooo long but I wanted to summarize all aspects in case someone else out there is also struggling.  I have included some really great quotes and bible verses that were in the book below too.

Merry Christmas,

"God made us capable of craving so we'd have an unquenchable desire for more of Him, and Him alone." p.16

In chapter 2 "Replacing my Cravings"... Lysa said on p.28 that she needed to surrender to the point where she'd make radical changes for the sake of her spiritual health.  

Lysa suggests using cravings as a prompting for prayer.  Love that idea cause I know I can't do this on my own.  

In chapter 6 "Growing Closer to God", Lysa talks about how self-control is hard because we don't like to deny ourselves.  I actually posted this on Facebook the other night.  I think it was the last thing I posted:
"Food can fill our stomachs but never our souls.
Possessions can fill our houses but never our hearts.
Sex can fill our nights but never our hunger for love.
Children can fill our days but never our identities.
Jesus wants us to know only He can fill us and truly satisfy us." p.64

 "And breaking free from consuming thoughts about food (facebook!) allows us to see and pursue our calling with more confidence and clarity." p.64

"And given enough power, temptation will consume our thoughts, redirect our actions, and demand our worship.  Temptation doesn't take kindly to being starved."

1 John 2:16 - For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions.  

Luke 9:23 - Then he said to the crowd, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me."

Philippians 3:16 - "... we should live up to whatever truth we have attained."

Romans 12:2 - Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.  Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. 
Romans 12:3b - Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.

Psalm 86:11-12 - Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth!  Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you.  With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God.

Hebrews 12:1 - Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.  And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

1 Peter 5:7-9a - Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.  Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.  He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.

Philippians 4:8-9 - And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing.  Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.  Thank about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me - everything you heard from me and saw me doing.  Then the God of peace will be with you.

I Corinthians 6:12 - You say, "I am allowed to do anything" - but not everything is good for you.  And even though "I am allowed to do anything," I must not become a slave to anything.


Jessica @ This Blessed Life said...

I know we already talked a little about this, but I'm so proud of you for taking the initiative to cut something out of your life that was hindering you!

Sunflowerakb's Yellow House said...

Good for you! I will miss your posts but hope you will still post pics occasionally. Would you be up for emailing occasionally to stay connected since I now live many miles away!

Mary said...

I have always used email and that's much better because it isn't one-sided!