Friday, October 23, 2009

Aiming for day 365

One thing I've been contemplating is how to quit, and how to stay offline. But those thoughts have never pushed far beyond the first few months, because that distant future is too nebulous -- and my commitment, I fear, too tenuous -- to draw my focus.

Then, I saw this story in yesterday's NYT : Battling Addiction With Those Who Know It Best

It's about how Philadelphia is helping its drug and alcohol addicts to stay clean by providing chronic care and (seems like an obvious strategy to me, but apparently it's quite an innovation) connecting them with people who have successfully battled addiction.

“Hundreds of people are speaking out about being in recovery, and that’s having a tremendous impact on people who may not think they’re ready to change,” Arthur C. Evans, Philadelphia's chief of behavioral health, tells The New York Times. Erik Eckholm, the reporter, continues:
Mr. Garrett [a man who has struggled with addiction for years] proudly said that he had been drug-free for eight months now, attending 12-step meetings, therapy sessions and other activities daily.
“This time around, people with the same histories as me are talking to me, telling my story,” he said. “That never happened before.”
He even went camping with a sober group and is making plans to attend its Halloween party. “That’s the fun part of this process,” he said.
Still, a few weeks ago, Mr. Garrett said, he was contemplating suicide. “When that happened, I used to go straight into drugs without telling anybody,” he said. This time, he called on a recently trained peer specialist at Comhar named William Baker [another addict]. Read the whole story here.
Which gets me thinking. I'm quitting for a year. Other people decide to quit for their entire lives. One year is not that bad. I can do this. (I hope.)

Second, rather than just concretely planning how to quit, and merely wondering how I'll survive offline, I should also concretely plan to survive offline. Find people who don't use the internet a lot. Find people who used to be addicts and created meaning in different avenues. Connect with them. Like we used to, in person. Build a support network. And do whatever else it takes to ensure I'm prepared to get to Day 365, not Day 1.

On that note, I introduce Marcus Murphy, my first guest blogger.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Roxana, I'm doing this. One year without the internet starting Dec 1. I think it may be a bit easier for me (certifiable hermit, dislikes internet) than for you, and also lower profile... But what we do have in common is that we're here on the internet talking about it, which is deliciously contradictory. I'm doing a one-month NaBloPoMo style blogging binge for the month of November at

    Also, I don't have a job. For me this is a spiritual and psychological challenge much more than a logistical one.

    Cheers. I've enjoyed reading your blog.