Detached from Reality

Last night, I was reading someone else’s blog and a statement was made about living life online too much (I’m paraphrasing, but the mention is important), rather than experiencing relationships in real life. And it hit me that I might be someone that lacks “real” relationships, because the overwhelming majority of my friendships are online.  In fact, I haven’t done anything – lunch, telephone call, anything – with a real friend in a long, long, long time. As I write this post, I sit back in my chair, cross my legs for the moment and try to think about the last time I’ve had a conversation with someone I am not related to or online and I am sad to say, I can’t really remember. I do almost all of my communication with some sort of digital device too.

And, the more I think about it, the anxiety being created in my mind is starting to manifest on a physiological level too – I’m starting to breath hard.  There is something scary to me about real life, I think. I used to be so engaged, so energetic, so much fun to be around, but I have become a hermit – practically a shut-in. I have always been a likeable person, so I don’t understand why I don’t just go make friends with people.  I try to think of all the reasons why I became detached, but I think the reality of it all is that I tend to escape from the things I struggle handling.

Take the bout of alcohol fueled escapism I participated.  I would drink to solely numb my mind, to ease any emotional pain I felt. I wanted to hide from the world, my job, my family, life. I found so much escape in drinking, I found so much self-medicating the emotional sicknesses I had. There was an answer to everything, if I could just have another drink.  Eventually, I found that there was no end…the pain, emotions, everything still existed. I was only destroying myself.

The detachment from real life is obvious in my online life, as well.  I can create whatever I want in virtual reality. Stephanie is real, my sexuality is real, my love of life is real, my ability to form friendships is real, the connections I have with people online are real.  Or are they?  Have I just found another way to exist without existing? I can say, I’ve found ways to do my job, without giving up any online activity. I’ve found ways to be online to avoid doing things that are important. I’ve replaced things I love, because I felt I needed to be online and “express myself”. But for what? What benefit?  The benefit in my mind?

I remember being at an AA meeting and hearing a guy say, “When I drink, my values changed…”  And sometimes I wonder if the internet has been an addiction of mine. I ponder what values and morals mean, in the scheme of life. I can easily recite parts of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to you about some topics and the moral obligations we are supposed to have as human beings – things I don’t ascribe to anymore.  But have I allowed myself to be changed and influenced by the things I see online?

Values and morals?  The topic is one all on its own and can’t be covered in one blog post, that’s for sure. To some there are Moral Absolutes; to others, there is Moral Relativity. What are mine?  I used to adopt the ones of my upbringing, I used to believe in those as solid as my core – sometimes to spite some of the other feelings I had about life and people – or was I simply trying to convince myself? I’ve read some blogs lately that have me pondering my very existence, as well, and sometimes I think my morals and values have changed and need to be sent back to what they were before. But have I gone to far?

What I know, is that I contemplate things a lot (As if none of you knew that), and I want nothing more than to feel the happiness I felt before. That happiness of knowing I’m on the right path in life, that feeling that people like me (I know many of you DO like me, but I’m referring to the feeling and not the knowledge), that idea that the things I do matters to someone – anyone; these things seem to escape me now and I wonder, at times if I have simply become too detached. Am I online way too much? Is this my alcohol?

Online is different than real life. I have said things, done things, shown things, shared things, discussed things that would have never been done in real life. I have become different online than I have in real life. I lose my inhibitions online that I maintain in real life. This always leaves me pondering if any of this is worth it. Am I playing with my own mind and happiness? And there have been times when I could not keep the mind I have online different than the mind I have in real life, but were they ever separate to begin with?

I have had these feelings and thoughts before and they typically come with me shutting down my existence online. I go away. I’ve done it before. I disconnect. I then feel ashamed, I run back to Church, I see a priest and confess everything I feel is a sin and a sinful way to live. I’m welcomed back and people I know in real life – knowing nothing about me online – accepted me fully because they know nothing about the way I am. There are times, when I feel that the best I’ve ever felt were the times I participated in real life. But those were also times, that I never felt the way I do now. Those were times, washed away in the past, but it’s the only comparison I have to what happy feels like.

Now, as I’m writing this, my mind is starting to fire off like rockets. The thoughts are going every direction again, and it is becoming difficult to think again. And I need to begin to concentrate, but I don’t know why?

Maybe it’s time for me to go and figure out my life…

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21 thoughts on “Detached from Reality”

  1. If you were truly detached from reality, chances are you wouldn’t be aware of it. Frankly, you’re over-thinking this because, today, we live in a world where our ability to reach out and connect to other people is made possible by being on line in some form. Once upon a time, interacting with people was limited to your immediate environment – home, neighborhood, work and if you were lucky enough to travel, ya might run into some interesting people elsewhere. Now you can sit almost anywhere in the world and reach out and touch almost anyone in the world and if you do, you’re gonna meet folks who resonate with you… and even if the medium is your blog.

    And if you need to interact with people face to face, well, bluntly, get off your ass and go interact with people – and do it with confidence and without second guessing yourself. Now, you’ve been working on figuring out your life and putting it back into some kind of order and I’m gonna tell you that thinking about stuff like this isn’t helping – so focus already and stick with the plan.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with the above comment that “If you were truly detached from reality, chances are you wouldn’t be aware of it”… and as far as figuring out life, does anyone ever? Nothing is constant except change and evolution, to which we respond.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. While I agree with the above comments, I can see where you are coming from. Continuous online interaction can make one feel incomplete, like something is lacking. Conversing with people face to face has a different vibe to it as all your senses are in use. I don’t think it is necessary to completely cut yourself off from being online, or ‘disconnecting’ and disappearing from the face of the web. As lets be real, online communication is huge and will carry on getting bigger. But learning how to balance both an online presence and a real life presence gives us the full satisfaction of communication.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As said above, I think it is about balance of the two. Another important aspect that only comes with face to face relationships is touch. Touch is vital for life and happiness. It helps babies’ brains develop and it comforts adults. I prefer online interactions even in my “real life” relationships. One thing that helps me find balance is being a parent. I found a great media plan on the national pediatrics website that I use with my family. It has been helping a lot. We have no media zones and times. We focus more on balancing between the two other than on time limits. This totally applies to adults and by modeling the behavior for my child, I know I am obtaining the benefits too.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I know exactly where you’re coming from. I don’t have any “real life” friends. Kids, husband, mom, sisters, in-laws… that’s about it. I feel like something is missing. Something huge. I’m sure it’s why I get close to people I meet online. I don’t have that interaction anywhere else. But it’s not the same as an in-person friend. I don’t adore my online friends less than I would a “real life” friend… but it’s different. Being about to go out for coffee or bitch about stuff to an actual human sitting by me… being able to get a hug when I need one… I can’t have that online and it’s painful.

    I don’t know how to make “real life” friends. Hell, I don’t know how to make online friends! I have no idea how I got any… I have no idea why the hell anyone likes me… I’m annoying and I’m all moody and shit. If I wasn’t me, I’m not sure I’d want to be my friend. How fucked up is that?

    Okay… totally off track now. Sorry. I’d love to be able to offer more than this… but I understand how you feel with a lot of this… and as impersonal as it may be… I’m sending you a big hug. ♥

    Liked by 2 people

    1. IT’s as personal as we can be here, isn;t it? I’ll give you one back, of course.
      Yeah, you described what I’m feeling in different words and I liked your description so much better!
      Thank you for always encouraging me and supporting me. I think I would consider you a real friend in real life, of course!
      And we could talk about Math, because we both get it! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think many of this have this problem. I have tons of acquaintances, very few friends. Even my spouse and I rarely communicate. I am great with groups, but am not one someone wants to be around. Unless they want me to do something for them! I do have a few friends, but 95% of the people in my world are online. (I had pen pals a million years ago!)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Believe it or not I find my on line relationships/conversations are sometimes deeper and more meaningful than my real ones. Here’s the thing….we can say how we truly feel here. I feel comfortable with all of you. So, don’t dismiss yourself here. We get you! 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The anonymity that your online blog brings you makes it easier for you to open up. There are topics you don’t feel comfortable discussing with anyone in the ‘real’ world. I am slowly crossing over. There are people who I met online and now are real friends. We have met, they know my adress and my phone number. It’s scary but quite magical because it’s someone who’s already seen your worst and know will see your best. I hope this happens for you too.

    Liked by 1 person

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