8 months, 24 days / -ism

I’m going to try and write this in the mornings from now on, instead of last thing at night, because when I do that I always end up staying up really late, and can’t get up the next morning. Today I managed not to get up til 11.30, because I was up on the internet into the early hours yesterday as usual. I know that this practise is altering my sleep pattern to the extent that I find it almost impossible to get up before midday every day, yet for months I’ve allowed it to continue because coming home and logging onto the net every night has become something of a comfort. It’s the main reason I look forward to coming home in the evenings.

This blog is just one of the things I love about the internet now. I’ve talked before about social networking websites; they too are part of what has become a kind of addiction. Now that I’m trying to keep my use of those under strict control, I believe I need to keep my use of the internet in general under control. I will keep writing this blog every day, but it will be reporting on the previous day’s events, rather than the present day as it is. I can’t afford to keep getting up at midday every day, there’s too much to do now.

I’m afraid to say that the emotional state I was in on Sunday continued through most of yesterday. When I woke up I knew that I still hadn’t completed the first draft of my dissertation, and I was supposed to be seeing my project supervisor in University at 12.30. Somehow, I managed to get to Uni by 11am and write the best part of a first draft, as well as complete analysis of the data, all by 12.30. When I went to my supervisor’s office I knew that the draft I’d written wasn’t brilliant – it was rushed and incomplete, but it was OK. By that time I felt absolutely exhausted, and I knew I didn’t have any more work in me yesterday.

I spoke to my supervisor for about half an hour, discussing the ways I can improve on my analysis for the final draft. She’s going to mark the first draft this week and give it back to me by next week, by which time I will hopefully have worked out once and for all how to use the statistical software package that we all have to use at Uni. I’m still very rusty with it, though I guess I’m better than I was this time last week.

I went straight home after our appointment, rather than heading to the afternoon’s lecture or returning to the computer lab to continue studying. I was really tired and very emotional. That fear of everything going wrong was still very much with me; I just wanted to go home and collapse onto my bed in a heap. I don’t know why I was so emotional yesterday, nothing had gone wrong at all. I was finally on top of my dissertation, I knew what to do to complete it, I just needed to get on and do it. I think perhaps I was being affected by the poor performance of my computer, which is still going slowly at the moment. It’s dying slowly, because it’s getting old (in computer years), and there’s nothing I can do about it. Getting a new hard drive or expanding the memory aren’t options, because I don’t have the money at the moment. I just have to make do with this slow, clunky PC which could switch itself off at any moment.

As you’ve probably guessed, my computer has become very important to me over the years. I rely on it to provide access to my precious music collection, as well as the internet, my major link to the outside world at home. Without it I always feel lost and alone. Yes, it might not go for a while, and when it does go we may be able to get a new computer, if my mother has the money. To be honest, knowing those things is a slight comfort, more so than it was a year ago when the PC packed up the first time and we had to reinstall the operating system, losing all the old files in the process.

I know that the situation will sort itself out, eventually. I’m really aware that this relationship I have with my computer and the internet is like an addiction, because whenever it feels threatened I retreat to that upset, angry inner child in exactly the same way as I did when my relationship with alcohol was threatened. To take care of myself, I know I need to distance myself from this ‘relationship’ somehow, but at the moment I can’t think how. We’ll always need the internet for certain things, so I can’t do away with it altogether. I wonder what one would call an addiction to the internet? Internetism? I wonder if there’ll ever be a fellowship for that!

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