Channeling the addiction

One thing that always bothered me about internet addiction was the disproportionate ratio between what I put in to it and what I got out of it. It bothered me that I was into something so hardcore, and put so much hyperfocus, superpower energy into whatever I was addicted to at the time, only to get nothing out of it in the end. Sure, it makes for great stories, like the time I watched all ten years of Friends in four months. (To watch people age that quickly was sobering.) Or when I decided I was going to learn to speak Vietnamese? (How hard could a language made up of three letter words be, really?). Or that collaborative story that I wrote with two others that netted me 10,000 emails that I still have to this day?

And while for a moment, looking cool to other addicts was fairly awesome, all it really gave me in the end was a greater need to shower than other people my age. I had the same level of drive and motivation as that guy who owned his own company and made his first million by 30.  I was just out of control with putting that energy in the wrong place.

I started my own business a couple of months ago, but it was more out of fear of leaving my comfort zone than anything. Having fallen into it, I’m gradually making the transition from Independent Contractor to LLC. I’m not there yet, but I’ve got four people under me at this point, and I’m beginning to invest in my company. It never occurred to me to purchase tools that would give me an edge, make things easier. Streamline. The concept is very exciting to me, because as one person I can only work so many days in a row without sleep. The tools, and the people, increase my ability to use my superpowers. I’m having a blast.

Of course, I’m still in front of the computer 20 hours at a time… but, this time it’s toward something that’s growing, something that could possibly have a greater output than the energy put into it. Maybe not quite yet, but one day it will.

I see you.

I had been putting off watching the movie Avatar, not because everyone was talking about it (as I tend to shy away from things that attract large groups of people), but because I wasn’t sure if it was worth seeing on cable. I was under the impression that without the 3-D element, it was just a movie.

As one of the four people in America that wasn’t overly inspired by the Lord of the Rings movies, or the Harry Potter movies (great movies, don’t get me wrong. I just didn’t connect with them deeply like other people seemed to), I expected this movie to have the same effect, but I think it struck a chord.

I can see why it would appeal to a wide range of people. The reason I felt a connection was pretty much summed up in the last 2 minutes of the movie, and the fact that there were two hours of development that led up to that point, only deepened it. I suddenly saw the odd parallel between this movie and my Internet addiction, and took note of the personal irony in the title.

My life is better rooted now than it once was, as I’m no longer trying to escape a difficult situation by diving into another place, another self. Had I watched the movie ten years ago, I’d have felt a greater sense of tortured ache. I remember looking at myself in the mirror, wishing that I could just link my brain and click upload, vanishing into a world that I created with my soul, independent of the world around me.

I don’t envy those still going through that.

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It’s only a small burn. It’ll heal soon; don’t worry.

Every once in a while I get to the point where I feel I need to check out a new game. I’ve stuck with IMVU for this long for a number of reasons, but the main ones are that I don’t venture off into new territory easily, and IMVU is better-looking than some of the others I’ve checked out.

I’m most focused on quality, really. I want to go where I’m sure I’m not going to be talking to kids. Sure, there’s the whole thing about not wanting to accidentally expose them to sex talk, and the like, but I’m also realizing that the new generation of social gamers are lying and manipulative bastards. I’m not interested in talking to a spoiled little shit who is focused on adult behavior for shock value, emo cutting, and making me think they are some kind of rockstar because they believe it makes them appear badass.

I remember being in high school. I know that being immersed in that is your whole world and you don’t know any different. You don’t realize that adults don’t really act that way, and if they do they have some serious issues they need to take up with their psychologist. Hey, I’m not looking to know your entire real life, nor do I really need to know much outside your online persona, but there comes a time where you just feel like you’re hearing the same old story. Try mixing some of your real life into your fantasy world and extend yourself. Eventually, you’ll be 40 and realize that playing people online in a lame attempt to get instant love and adoration isn’t going to work for you. This is what happens when you’ve been online since you were ten. Shame on your parents.

I knew that something was wrong with my choice in online bfs when I heard him on Skype, talking to a bunch of other (supposedly) newly 20-somethings about how he was so popular in high school for juvenile behavior and how his mom still doesn’t understand him because she nags him to get a job. I know, I know. My bad. I’ve learned; and now that the emotion is gone from the entire thing, the humiliation set in right nice, so I’ve learned my lesson.

What do they say? Dating some 20 years younger than you isn’t cool. It just means you were putting up with the same shit you were putting up with 20 years ago. I think that’s going to be my new mantra. Maybe I’ll just say I was in it for the sex. Takes the sting out of it a little.

So, since social behavior is where I have to focus hardest, I don’t like games that have a steep learning curve with too many buttons. I know that makes me sound like a moron, but I can’t focus on more than one thing at a time. I’m too aware of myself in front of people to feel good about experimenting with a wonky avatar and a million new controls.

SecondLife seems awkward and boxy. Everyone loves it, but I’m not exactly sure why. I’m awkward and boxy in real life, and I’d rather not transfer that over to my fantasy world. I’m looking into RedLight, but I’m not sure how much gay there is there. I saw lesbo stuff there, but that’s the wrong side of the spectrum. I’ll have to read some reviews and see what people say. Like I said, I’m looking for quality, and I’m hoping that by heading into the adult arena I end up finding people that can spell and who are mature enough to know how to get a credit card as opposed to finding the standard back-o’-the-porno-shop type of guy.

EDIT:

Oh. And it’s my birthday ^ ^ Yay me.

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Using my Super Powers to build a bridge

So I’ve been thinking more about this feeling of impending doom that’s been creeping up on me, realizing that I just don’t want to get out into the real world. I’ve always tried to force myself into a mold of what I think I should be doing, even if it’s not what I’m good at, always had separate selves for various levels of social interaction. My intentions are always the same. I want to appear a knowledgeable, responsible, and trustworthy person. I don’t want to look like an idiot. I want people to like me. They rarely do. Eventually, the guise of being personable and happy fades away to a dull stare, an expressionless face, and a distant persona. It’s exhausting extending yourself when you have to work so hard at it.

I don’t think I can enter the business world. I don’t think I’ll be seen as competent when focusing on how to be usually takes all the effort. I’m never able to show off what I can do, or what I know. Even my current boss thinks I’m an idiot.

I used to think I was just catering to my fears. It made me feel even more the loser. I’m wondering now if I’m not judging myself by someone else’s criteria. I think I’m a loser if I don’t accomplish the things I believe I can’t. To be a worthwhile individual, I must be able to do the things I hate and things I’m bad at. Not just do them, but do them well and be successful at it. I’m setting myself up for failure. I don’t want to do that anymore.

Like many people that have Asperger’s (and I’ve never been diagnosed), I’ve always looked upon my drive to get things done, or my hyper-focusing, as a gift. In fact, it amused me that I read that in the forums because I’ve always referred to it as my Super Powers – tongue in cheek, of course.

I have to find a way to bridge the person I *actually* am, with the person I am when I’m “being professional”. It boggles my mind that there are people that actually act the same with everyone, no matter the situation.

And here’s the funny part, I’m more real myself on IMVU in a way cool, tight-bodied avatar, dressed in pvc than I am at the grocery store talking to the pharmacist. Not that I’m all into rubber in the real (LOL), but that something happens on IMVU that allows me to interact with people in way that I can’t in real life. It’s the same way with Yahoo Messenger – so it’s not just the avi. What I can’t do is talk on Skype or on the phone. I have the same issues as I do in person. As long as I don’t have to use my body to communicate, I’m fine. More than fine. I actually make friends pretty easily (more or less).

So…maybe for brainstorming, I can try to think of ways I can be successful in my career where I don’t have to use my body to communicate.  Why force it if I don’t really have to?

..I am so loving the Internet right now.

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If you’re emo and you’re happy clap your hands *crickets*

I have failed. I have lost the battle and succumbed to the addiction. I have not been maintaining my relationships, professional or personal. I have not set adequate, realistic goals. I think I need some help. I don’t think this is something I can do on my own anymore. I’ve been running in confused circles, trying to get to the same place as my peers, but I’m just not ever good enough. Having a serious self-worth crisis – a crisis because I can usually tell when it’s just a bout of low confidence. This is bigger than that, and I’m struggling to shrug it off…but it won’t.

I went on IMVU this evening. It was oddly dissatisfying. I wanted to get close to him, but I found myself fumbling and then losing confidence. Weird. I was only on for about 2 hours, which is really good for Addiction Land. Not too long at all.

Sometimes desert living sounds so appealing

There’s a mold issue in the attic. The landlady is having someone come to replace the roof next week because of the rot and leak and nasty. He’ll be here in a few hours to evaluate one more time before he sends the crew over with the dumpster. Yeah, I think we’re talking serious overhaul here. We are supposed to move our cars out of the driveway because that’s where the dumpster is going to go. He’s also going to take a look at why parts of the house don’t have electricity because he can’t send guys out if the outside outlets (out out out) don’t work.

With the rain and the heat lately, the mold in the bedroom and bathroom is really high. I know because I’m allergic to mold. I think Jaye is too because since this started happening over the last few weeks, his face has been getting more swollen each time he wakes up. We’ve been telling the landlady for months that there have been dark streaks leaking from the ceiling and running down the walls when it rains. There’s something gross going on above the bathroom, and I can tell you it’s growing.

At any rate, when my allergies hit bad, I tend to sleep 12 hours at a time – which is what I did last night. I didn’t really appreciate it, but I know there wasn’t much I could do about it. The roofer guy was horrified at the rot, saying that the shingles weren’t nailed on, there was no felt under them, and that all the wood of the roof would need to be replaced. Sounds like a huge job. Got to love a team of 12 strangers crawling around over my head as I sleep during the day, hammering away, probably wanting to come into the bedroom to get to the bathroom and replace the ceiling. I can’t wait! It’s going to be fucking awesome! :/

This is going to blow so hard.

Anyway. I didn’t talk to anyone online today. I took a long walk along the golf path with my family and then afterwards went to dinner. It was pretty cool. We made a list of things to do, and I worked all night on it. Got everything done that I needed to.

I wrote Dude1 about Job1. Received, filled out, wrote example article, and mailed back to Dude2 for Job2. Worked almost 5 hours for Dude3 for Job3. Emailed my insurance company because Dude4 for Job4 is a fucknut. I will stop doing Job4 ASAP. Only thing I didn’t do was apply to Dude5 about Job5, but that one can wait a little bit. Job5 would make all the other jobs go away because it’s full time and would be all-encompassing. I wonder if I could do that. Sounds a little like camp. Also a little like 12 strangers crawling over my head, banging away and wanting to enter my personal space when I’m really not wanting them to do so.

This could also perhaps blow so hard.

What also blows is that it’s 7am, time for me to sleep, but I think roofer owner guy is going to come around a-knockin’. Also I have a tax appointment at 2pm to get all that mess straightened out. I don’t think I see sleep anytime in my near future.

Oddly enough what I don’t want to do – at least in this moment, is go on IMVU. I don’t feel the pull, but not only that, the notion sounds awful. I don’t trust any of those people, even the ones I’ve had deep relationships with. I ignored it before because I craved it so much. I wanted those people to be trustworthy, and sometimes I made myself believe that they were. It is all a lie though. Every bit. And now, the more I pull away the more I realize that I don’t even trust the ones that were in my tight inner circle. I trust one only, and that one’s asleep in my bed….probably with horribly swollen cheeks. I should get him an antihistamine, poor baby.