Hello, my name is Malcolm. I am an addict.
An addiction is a “detrimental habit–where the benefits are not worth the negative financial, physical, mental, or spiritual costs.”
My drug of choice is technology. There, I said it. It is my first step.
I have a Blackberry that delivers my email immediately. I text my family members. If someone asks me a question that I don’t know, I pull out my smartphone without thinking and look up the answer on the internet in seconds. Interesting choice of words, “without thinking.”
I love my Macbook Pro with its 8 hour battery life and seamless connectivity to the internet. I check Facebook and Twitter regularly.
Some people also find it strange that a chaplain also has a moonlighting job as a “Smartphone Specialist” (Blackberry, iPhone, Palm, Windows Mobile, Android) for a telecommunications group. Of course it makes perfect sense to me because both jobs are all about communication. I work at the hospital by day and cell phones by night. My addiction says “it’s not that bad.”
It is time to have an intervention with myself. Constantly checking my email on my phone or computer is an area that distracts me from being more present to people and God.
In my pursuit to live more simply, and discover meaning and purpose in my life:
- I will fast from using my “Smartphone” and the internet for 24 hours on Sundays. I take a deep breath as I write this.
- I will check email twice a day, Monday-Saturday, once in the morning and once in the late afternoon. I will not check it after I leave work in the evenings. Will you hold my hand as I walk this journey?
Some of you will laugh and say, that doesn’t sound so hard. But believe me, for an technology addict, this is a BIG step.
I’ll let you know how it’s going in a week so that I have some accountability here.
And now what about you?
What steals the valuable time in your life that keeps you from living more simply? What do you need to fast from in order for your life to be more the way you want it? What is your addiction that gets in the way of quality time with relationships?
It may be time for an intervention.
P.S. It helps to know that I am not alone. Peace.
The 12 Steps to Overcoming Addiction
- Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable
- Step 2 – Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
- Step 3 – Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God
- Step 4 – Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
- Step 5 – Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
- Step 6 – Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
- Step 7 – Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings
- Step 8 – Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all
- Step 9 – Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
- Step 10 – Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it
- Step 11 – Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out
- Step 12 – Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs