Unplugging and Connecting

Part of the recovery process is learning about ourselves, re-starting our personal spirituality, and finding a spiritual higher power.  This is not always easy work and we would often much rather focus on something other than our inner work.  If the distraction of technology is available, it is easy to turn away from this challenging, but much needed, important work.

Picture credit:  Robert Lukeman at Unsplash

Unplugging has its benefits.  While Pavillon’s program focuses on mindfulness in the present moment as a useful tool in recovery, technology overuse inhibits our ability to be present in the moment.  When immersed in technology, we are not directly sensing and perceiving the real life that is directly in front of us.  Perhaps for some of us, that is not by accident.  We may use technology to avoid reality similar to the way we used alcohol and drugs.  These diminish our spirituality.

Much like alcohol and drugs allowed us to escape reality for a time, the internet may be used as a way to distract us from our problems or avoid feelings of loneliness, anxiety and depression.  However, again, much like addiction to alcohol and drugs, the truth is that technology may make our problems and our sad or anxious feelings worse.  People who struggle with social anxiety often isolate themselves, as do people with substance use disorder.  This may create a pattern of overusing technology to fulfill their need for connection.  This is a superficial connection and may leave the person feeling even more isolated and alone.

Part of a self-care routine may include a technology free day, or maybe just an hour.  Taking a break from the constant stimulation of technology may allow us to slow down, be present and appreciate the simple things in life.

Pavillon addresses addictive behavior on all levels and that includes spirituality.  Unplugging from technology allows us to focus on our self and our recovery without all the distractions of the outside world.  While some patients may perceive disconnecting negatively, there are sound clinical reasons behind it.

We often don’t understand why disconnecting from our electronics is beneficial and it can cause fear and anxiety.

First, people with addiction can become addicted to their technology.  If you’ve ever lost your phone or had a technology breakdown, you may have experienced a stress response of anxiety bordering on panic.  Those feelings are similar to how a person with addiction feels if they can’t get their next fix or drink.

But second, wellbeing starts with “being”.  And that means finding ourselves, and forming real personal relations.  And that means doing so while not behind the veil of substances, alcohol, or technology.  In starting our recovery we do a different kind of plugging in.  That kind consists of forming a personal connection to our true self, and forming connections with others.  Plugging into those connections is a service to ourselves, promotes our healing, and the healing of others.