I started to lose my sense of who I am the 2nd day I got here; I had hoped I would have had the internal tools to last a bit longer. But it seems I slotted into my disappearing act quite effortlessly. All I can describe it as being “dissolving” a separating, a detachment…but not in a recovery sense. I separated myself from myself to the extent that I did not know or see my surroundings. I lived inside of myself to escape myself.
As I arrived at Madrid airport I had left a lot of baggage waiting for me. Not actual luggage but memories. I hoped there would be some good memories there but as I passed through them, as I sat on the bus traveling to the flat, I passed through space and time, and I journeyed through feelings and memories, like a ghost passing through me. But I found no happiness in those memories only loneliness, a sad ghost.
I am alone here. The girlfriend I came and see is working. I have begun to think of her as a “workaholic” but I should not think or write about her here, it is me obsessing about her again, putting the blame onto another, and this is a sign of co-dependency. But the truth is she works a lot, and I am alone a lot. And when I am alone I try and occupy my time creatively.
I used to do this by continuing my work as I did in the UK; and I used to go for bike rides and to do my research. But here I am escaping my surroundings, I am not a part of my surroundings, it is not work, it is an addiction. I am doing these activities to cover up the feelings inside; the feelings of loneliness and emptiness.
It is a very confusing situation being a co-dependent as well as an addict, the two are interchangeable and I often find myself the addict and the co-dependent at the same time. I look after my girlfriend while she works, but the work follows her home and she does not stop.
For example the first morning I got here I slept late, I was very tired. I slept until 12 noon; my girlfriend had woken earlier and done some things…but not her job/work. When I woke she started to work at her lessons and when I went to the supermarket she wanted to work more. When I returned I asked her if she wanted to take-in the last of the daylight and perhaps go for a coffee, she said she needed to work, but she said she would stop working at 9pm and we can watch a film together. At 9pm she was still working and by 10.30pm she was still working and she only stopped as I decided to watch the film without her. She stopped her work then but resumed it after the film was finished. She got to bed at 1.30pm. So about 12 hours of work virtually nonstop, we had spent no time together that day.
But where does that leave me? I come here to see her and spend some time with her, I do not want to be here, and this is how it has been for 8 years. I occupy my time but I do it not out of interest but because I need to do something while she is working. Yesterday was the same, she left at 9am and returned at 9pm and worked until 11pm and we had little time together. I spent my day writing and walking and looking on the internet, but I was lonely all that day and it is the same today, she works from 9am to 9pm.
So I try and fight this loneliness by forgetting myself and the easiest way to do this is via the internet. This is where it is becoming blurred, as I believe the internet is an addiction. Or it can be an addiction for certain people. Since I acknowledge I have an addictive personality I am aware of this potential problem, but others do not.
In the UK I do not carry a mobile around with me, I do not have instant access to the internet 24/7, and I make myself exercise by incorporating it into my daily activities. But I live with someone who is addicted to the internet and to technology… and it becomes more confusing as she works as a computer programmer!
For her technology is part of her normal life and her business life, there is no break, there is no alternative. I do not really know if she sees it as a problem, but for me it is a problem, it affects me and it influences my life to such a degree, that I dislike it, I dislike my life.
It is useless to ask someone to recognize they have an addiction however minor, if they do not see it themselves; then it will always be someone else’s problem. So I am not going to chase after them recommending self-help books or asking them to realize that they have an addiction to work and technology; that all of this is pushing our relationship onto the rocks. I have done it before… but it did not have any result. I am here, but I hate it. Perhaps that shows I have already seen the problem from the outside, and I am not living inside the problem any longer… I do not know?
The real problem I am facing right now is I am dislocating myself from my surroundings; I am obsessing and thinking negative thoughts about her, me and life in general. It is not healthy.