OK, so rather than waiting to post all of this as one big entry, I decided to break it up into parts:
Part 1: The Backstory
About year ago I had this wonderful idea to create an outlet for myself and start a webpage. I was successful and I decided to begin plugging it on Facebook. The more I got into learning about Search Engine Optimization and the effect of Facebook on website visibility, something amazing occurred: A support group was born on Facebook that grew into a community of hundreds in a few short months. I spent more and more time online, monitoring my Facebook Page, blogging, and responding to comments on my website. What had started off as an outlet soon absorbed my whole existence, eclipsing my passion for my family and my passion for my job. I was obsessed every second of every day. What I didn't realize was that I had created an environment where I was dependent upon virtual interaction for validation and succor. Addicted wouldn't be too strong a word. As with all obsessive PTSD behavior, it couldn't last. By July, I was exhausted mentally and physically. I had taken on being the personal support for anyone who asked - their gratitude was my heroin. As with any addict, there comes a point where it isn't possible to satisfy the hunger. I soon became frustrated with the 'slow' growth of my page and website (ummm, that should tell you right there how obsessed I was. By any measure, the success I had experienced since the website's inception should have made anyone happy). My frustration and irrational anger soon led to impatience with the people on my page. Rather than lash out at them, I disappeared. I stopped blogging and stopped going on Facebook at all. What was most reprehensible and tragic: I deleted the Facebook Page, violated the fragile trust of the people who had come to depend on the support, and sent myself into a very, very slow spiral into my worst nightmare.
I started feeling more and more depressed and less and less in touch with my emotions, my life, and my family. I work in retail and I hit rock bottom as soon as the holidays were over. I could barely contain disastrous anger at work. My obsession with my online existence bled over into my desire to better provide for my family. My current salary and position at work weren't satisfactory. I wasn't getting promoted fast enough. On the home front I had to 'work' at playing the part of loving husband and devoted father. I alienated almost everyone in my life. Things stayed like this until the middle of February when my wife gave me a wake-up call.
Coming Soon: The Danger of Obsessive Behavior, Pt. 2
As I continue my life with PTSD, I will share my challenges and discoveries on this blog.