Saturday, March 5, 2011

Final Installment -- When Someone You Love Has A Blog

The Sad, Sad Tale of Becky Blogger
The long overdue tale of Becky Blogger will finally be laid to rest today, in celebration of Blogoversary week.

We first met Becky in Part I, of the When Someone You Love Has A Blog Series. For Part I, Part II, and a  preemptive Post by Becky Blogger's husband,  the series can be found here.  

As promised, the final installment, Part III:  Re-introducing Your Blogger Back Into Society:

The sad, sad tale of Becky Blogger and BAD: Blogging Addiction Disorder.

Signs that  Becky's new :hobby:  had taken on a life of its own were only much too clear. Becky's husband could no longer ignore, or accept, Becky's excuses, for what was going down in their household.

The breakfast dishes were still wet to the touch when he'd arrive home in the evening, showing how they had they had just been done moments before he had walked in the door.  Dinner, one too many evenings this week, was the familiar bag of dumped out chicken nuggets intermixed with fries on the same, large sheet pan.

Becky's husband sighed as he hung up his coat, and went to search for the day's mail...the day's mail that should have been waiting on the kitchen counter, where it had always been for the last 15 years, but not since Becky had begun with her new :diversion: Upon seeing no mail in the house, he slowly pulled his coat back on, and walked out to the mailbox. He opened the mailbox, and saw the mail there, mail that had not been brought in. Again.  Becky's husband pressed his lips together into a thin line, with the "face." The "face" that meant, he had to become a man of action. 

Becky--a quiet, ordinary, mother of 2.5 children, living on a quiet, ordinary street in a not so extraordinary town, has BAD. Blogging Addiction Disorder. Her husband knows this, the children have hinted at it, and Becky...oh, Becky...there is no one more surprised than Becky, with what has happened to what she once knew as her life.

She openly acknowledges the physical symptoms of blogging: the pinched shoulders, a sore neck, strained vision.

She easily admits to playing beat the clock when it comes to getting the daily necessities of home life accomplished, such as dishes, dinner, grocery shopping, picking up the house, preparing classroom treats.

What she has kept hidden, and to herself, is the sneaking downstairs while everyone sleeps, to tweak and complete the last post she put up. How she asks her husband to take the children out for awhile so she can "really get this kitchen floor done right," only to run to the computer as soon as the door is closed behind them. She tells no one that her showers have become a wet, soapy rag that she quickly runs over her body, more than just a few times a week--in the hopes of being able to get on the computer faster. Becky is silent when her husband comes home at night, and asks, "so...what did you do today?" She stammers as she silently curses herself that she doesn't have an answer at the ready. "I..I..I, geez, well, the day just got away from me!"

Is this family doomed? Is this situation  hopeless?

The encouraging thing about BAD, blogging addiction disorder, is that Becky does NOT have to stop blogging. With a few pointers here, for Becky and her husband to follow, Becky can once again become a happy, guilt and anxiety free member of her household.

1. Becky can be taught to see Blogging as a PART of her life, but not as her whole life. 

For this change of perception, we must first find out what it is about blogging that feeds Becky. Is it the friendships? Is it the communication? Is she an alter ego in the computer world? Or has she become someone that is esteemed and valued, and listened to, when she is online? In order for Becky to trade in her hours blogging, her family, with the help of outside friends, may have to work to help Becky feel in the real world, what she felt in her virtual world.

2. Becky can be taught to change the habit by balancing the habit.

Becky needs a replacement activity or two--or three, depending on how deep she was in it. She will need someone to help her schedule outings, exercise, family bike rides, trips to the museum, lunches out with friends from her real life. She needs replacement activities in place of the time she spent in front of the screen. 

3.  Make Becky accountable for her time.

Yes, this does sound heavy handed, but this is what is needed as part of treatment. Becky needs to keep track of time on the computer, and to only use the computer after her daily minimum expectations are completed. That's how we have to roll with her during the intervention phase. This is the only way. Showers, full daytime clothing, dishes, errands, phone calls, all need to be done, before she can sign on. This is non negotiable.

4.  Just like matching dollars, Becky must match friends.

Becky must spend equal amounts of time with In Real Life People, as she does with her online people. Do not allow Becky to answer, when asked how she is, "Read my blog."  She has to make conversation.

5.  Acknowledge Becky's reasons, and allow her to be honest about them.

Blogging is wonderful for procrastination, and as avoidance for the mundane of bed making, and phone call returning, and dog walking. It's easier to blog than it is to exercise, or work on your dreams. It's easy to jump on behind the computer, when you have so many undesirable responsibilities like sorting the laundry, or organizing the Xmas ornaments in the basement, or going through the kids' closets,'re talking about Becky. Sorry.

6. You, as the partner in Becky's life, must help her to create and provide what she seeks.

Was she lonely? Was she getting companionship? Was she feeling a sense of belonging? Maybe blogging did that for her. (Hah! maybe??!! er, sorry. again.)

A happy life that is blogger and twitter reduced is possible. Yes, you will have to remove Becky from influences and situations that are a computer left on. You may have to watch her for the first 4-6 weeks, perhaps immerse her in another way of filling her time in the evenings.

BAD, when acted upon with love and family involvement, can result in Renewal and Rebirth.

Becky does want to regain control of her life again, but she does not want to give up all the loveliness of the blogging world.

Understand her, but don't confront her ways. Help her to improve her life. Your strength, plus her strength will equal OUR strength. Together, with friends and family, you can help re-establish and reintroduce Becky to In Real Life living. With people.

We leave you with this. Remember to: 

  • Find out what was missing from her life, that blogging was able to provide her with.
  • What played the role in sending her into solely blogging as her entire existence.
  • What will replace those hours that she had been spending in front of the computer? Without a replacement, the siren's call of the computer will once again be too strong for her to resist.

We are all in this together, and we are wearing our "We have been there" T shirts, right along with you.

If you do find yourself at wit's end? Meet us at the BAR (Blogging Addiction Recovery). My husband is usually there, heading up the meeting.
What is your B.A.D. confession? Leave it here, in your comment below.

Thank you, to all of you, for making this week such a happy one for me. I mean that.

Be sure to stop back for the last day, tomorrow: for the giveaway. You won't want to miss all the goodies that will go out to a lucky commenter. Fun Stuff!!


  1. Snort, snort, snort.

    I"ll never take a shower before checking my blog! Ever! Ever, I tell you!!!

    So funny...if it weren't all true :)

  2. This is kind of a special end of blogoversary week for me, because you were on part two of the tale of Becky Blogger when I first found you.

    What if I don't actually blog before my shower....but I just check email and publish comments. Does that count?

    Is my BAD showing?

  3. This is too funny...and this Becky hasn't gotten BAD...yet! LOL!

  4. haha...oh i think we will start a chapter here in town...

  5. I have it down to an exact science. I can get the kids up, fed and off to school, clean the house, put in a load of laundry and brush my teeth in exactly 53 minutes. Then I have until exactly 2:30 when the first kid gets home for my BAD.

    I love the Becky series.
    I love reading you.
    And I haven't showered for a few days.

    Meet you at the BAR.

  6. There's a BAR? All this time, there was a BAR and you didn't tell me? Just as well, I guess. I only would have blogged about it. Before showering.

  7. Wait, can you smell my unshowered pits from your computer? No? Then... Why Alexandra I have *no idea* what you are talking about!

  8. I've been waiting for this for a very long time. Well worth every moment of the longing. Fantabulous way to begin the penultimate day of your blogo/blogaversary.

  9. Cheryl: you have ALWAYS been awesome. I am thankful for meeting you this year. You know it.

    From Tracie: LOL and LMAO. I know, I know.

    Varda: I thought of you. xo

    Gigi, Brian, and Chicken: I love you long time.

    Rotten Mom: thank you for your loyalty this week. xo

    Glad you're all loving is so fun to write, and maybe I'll bring her back for a relapse. wink.

  10. Becky's a hottie, Empress!

  11. Oh Poor Poor Becky. I have never heard of any of these symptoms (*wink*wink*). You absolutely must write another installment. Recovery is the hardest part.

  12. Poor, poor Becky...I think I need one of those shirts...

  13. Perfect ending to the week!

    And no, I'm not checking my blog at 7:40 a.m. on a Saturday, still in my pj's, my hair looking like a gigantic divot that ought to be on a racetrack somewhere, when I should be sleeping in.

  14. I may or may not need that shirt...
    ...and may or may not need to take this advice...except I do shower so I'm already ahead of the game ;)

  15. I hope you had an awesome Blogaversary!!!

    You know, I'm surprised someone hasn't started a group called FAB - Families Against Blogging. Like AA for bloggers. There are days I come home from 8 hours on the phones and a computer, and dash to the computer at home to see my blog. My husband gets a little miffed sometimes.

    My name is Alisha Jaybird, and I'm a blogger.

  16. Girl, this series was educational and entertaining. I am kind of over my case of BAD, but I certainly had it 'bad' in the past. I think I'm on the 12th step of my BAR. Pretty sure that's the "Whatever, I'll blog later" step.

  17. Funny because it's true. When I send this comment, I'm going to:

    Transfer clothes from washer to dryer
    Put more clothes in washer
    Kiss husband
    Get dressed
    Brush teeth (maybe I should wait to kiss husband til this is finished?)

    Love you and poor, poor Becky. But I think she'll be okay :-)

  18. So funny and *unfortunately* so true! Love Becky's shirt.

  19. Oh. My. As I was reading this, I paused to stretch my pinched shoulders and sore neck...

    And I have to admit, sometimes? I don't shower at all. (not even with a wet rag.) But that's more about hygiene laziness than blogging. I wouldn't shower every day even if I hadn't found Twitter.

    But I want Becky's t-shirt. So I know I have a touch of the sickness.

    I found your blog when you had posted part II of this series and am so happy to finally read about the intervention.

    (And I swear I did NOT get up and sneak down to the computer in the middle of each night to check your posts to see if you'd gotten here yet.)

    Nope. Not me.

    Loved this week. Love the empire. Cheers to the next year. Can I come along? I promise to shower.

  20. This made me blush. Being new to blogging, I'm finding myself doing a lot of the same things! NOT GOOD! AHHHHH. Will have to keep this beast in check :p

  21. I remember when you started blogging. You showed up over at my blog one day out of the blue.
    Made me smile.

    And all this time you've been a victim of BAD? I thought you liked me.

    :::putting self esteem back into toilet:::

  22. Hi, my name is Lanita and I am a BADaholic.

  23. mean BAD is a bad thing????

  24. And here I thought BAD was good. Wait. Does that make me a 90's girl?

  25. HAH to Shell's comment- so funny if it wasn't also so true!! Happy Blogoversary Empress- you are truly amazing and you make the blogosphere a better place by being in it.

  26. This would be so funny if it wasn't true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  27. So when the husband comes home and sees wet dishes, no mail, and the nuggets for dinner...that's because I BLOG? I just thought it was cuz I was lazy. I mean, I did that stuff before I discovered blogging...weird?
    I really want to see an episode of Intervention on BAD.

  28. bahhhaaaa! I resemble that. too much.

  29. Does it still count as B.A.D. If you can still in your recliner with an iDevice and read blogs, comment on blogs, post blogs, and edit blogs?
    Oh and I throw in the occasional game of Sudoku or Angry Birds. That's better, right? Not all blogging. And I tweet. That breaking it up a bit, right?

  30. That is an awesome shirt. So much want.

    Oh, dear. I feel an intervention coming on. But it's so GOOD to be BAD ;)

  31. I most certainly always get a shower. That, I do. And during the school year, off to work I must go at 8am.

    But the summer? Or last school year when I was under-employed?

    A shower I got. But the mail? Not.

  32. My name is Ms. G and I have been in "BAD" Blogger recovery for about six months: )

    This is so funny! #3 has been instituted at my house. No more mad dash to the vacuum when I hear a key in the door...well not everyday ; )

  33. The Empress, I mean Becky sounds like she has the social skills of a ferral cat.

  34. I am all about the BAD and the BAR.

    my confession: I suffer from BAD and it's affecting my marriage. My husband doesn't get it at all. Perhaps he needs to join your husband at the BAR. STAT.

    another confession---the post BlogHer is going to syndicate??? is about my HUSBAND. the night before our wedding. i loved writing it, got great feedback on it, and personally? it may be one of my favorite things i've written. hubs read it. didn't say a word about it to me. and when I asked him about it? he instead asked if he was supposed to provide feedback on every single post.

    confession: we are seeing a therapist this week. it's long overdue. we are like ships passing in the night. he doesn't understand me. I am slipping away.

  35. Is there an open bar at the BAR?

    I started blogging in large part to justify reading other people's blogs (then I could call it 'research' instead of 'wasting time'), so I may be in the early stages.

  36. It's 3pm
    I'm still in my pjs
    No bra
    Moved my blog to a new blog host though.

  37. Oh no! Spend as much time with real people as blogging buddies? I'm doomed .....

  38. Ha ha! I am also afflicted with BAD. My husband always likes to say, "Ever since you started your blog..."

  39. Here's what I took away from this: chicken nuggets and fries! Thank you. I needed a new dinner idea.

    Hilarious and brilliant, of course, but also uncomfortably too close to home. I do plan on sending my husband to the next BAR meeting, however.

    Great week, A. A fabulous send-off into Year the Second.

  40. What's this about finding out what's missing? I thought blogging was what I was missing. Now I've got to go look for some real friends.

    I think I remember having 'real' friends. :)

    It's been fun following your anniversary week.

  41. had me at "breakfast dishes still wet to the touch." That. Is. Me.

    And then it just got better from there.

    And? I need one of those T-Shirts. Size medium, please. xo

  42. So...does the fact that I check my email to see if anyone's commented overnight immediately upon waking mean I have BAD??

    If so, I guess I should be part of the recovery group.

  43. If Amber has BAD because she checks her email upon waking, then so do I. I actually sometimes look at my BlackBerry in the middle of the night to see if anyone has tweeted me.

    I'm probably beyond help.

  44. I'm surprised I miss ol' green skirt so much. Perhaps I need to make an addition to my wardrobe to compensate when your blogoversary is over :)

  45. Oh, to be a victim of BAD....but I refuse to send hubs to the meetings. He still thinks Twitter is a fad.

    I've been known to have several windows open on my computer (tax return, budgeting program) then quickly click over when family member comes by my laptop.

    And I don't sit next to anyone on the couch while I'm doin' my thang. So as far as they know? I might be doing the taxes. Which will only work for a few more weeks.

    Oh, such a problem we all have....thank you for putting a name to it.

  46. There is a chance that I spend extra time doing "laundry" so that I can just read one more blog or two. It's the only place I can go where no one is sure to follow. Except the baby and he can't talk enough to effectively turn me in yet.

    There is also a chance while pretending to check on dinner the other day I got caught tweeting over the stove. Can you believe the risk I took? What would I have done if my phone landed in the sauce? Not the risk of wrecking dinner of course, the risk of wrecking my beloved phone.

  47. Oh I just really want Becky's bangs.

  48. wait.

    bloggers wash dishes?

    becky, i have two words (or maybe it's one word. hi, my name's tiffany and i was an english major): paper plates.

    and i'm totally like 'didn't you read my blog?!' when my friends ask what's going on with me. in my head of course though to keep up the appearance of normalcy.

  49. damn Tiffany stole my comment, I was going to say that I have to physically restrain myself when friends ask me what's new to keep from shouting at them "READ MY EFFIN BLOG!!!"

  50. oh I've tried to tell people to "read my blog" but my friends, do not let me get away with that...they make me TALK.
    MY BAD confession is that I blog at work...all the time, Instead of um working, because at home, I have children, a husband and a DVR that needs me and I don't stay up to do it, I'm in bed at 9pm..which is probably why I'm not an excellent example of blogging.

    however reading this, I saw who I could be. Not to work on that. *Wink*

  51. HAHAHAHA! I LOVED this post! This is so so very true. The first year of my blog was similar to this and it has just been over the last four months that I have reduced my time online. Although, BAD is starting to rear its ugly head again, along with TAD (twitter addiction disorder). You are so so right with the part about finding out what was missing from life that the blog filled and then filling real life with some of that as well. A balance really is needed.

  52. Wow. . . what a great series! I know I'm reading the last one first. I'll go back. . . just as soon as I take a shower and let the dogs go outside to potty.

    Then I'll be right back!!! LOL

  53. I've been known to relapse with BAD. Just yesterday I told my husband how it was impossible to get anything done (but I did manage to find a few minutes to read a few blogs in between wrangling the kids). My husband may need to start a local chapter of BAR.

  54. I've got it BAD. Too BAD really.

    Confession: It might be time to let all this go.

  55. I know that sneaking to the computer after everyone else has gone to bed too too well. But you can't stop me! NO ONE CAN!!!!!

  56. Hello, my love! I'm just sticking my head out of my writer's hole to see my favorite blog friends. And by the way, HUGE breakthrough yesterday, so I'm quite excited.

    Happy Blogoversary! Sorry I missed it, but I'm raising my coffee cup to you as we speak. My BAD has gone into temporary retirement and it is actually kind of refreshing. But that doesn't mean anything's getting done around here, especially the changing out of the jammies. It is rare in this writer's haze, for me to be in clothes.

    This was a great post and I can relate to every single one of these things. I thought I was the only one with an overstuffed mailbox and a husband who looks at me worriedly and says, "I couldn't even get the box open it was so full."

    I miss you terribly and I hope to see you soon, but this full time writing thing, it's filling me up in such a beautiful way.

  57. Ok. I've just read the entire series (my first time to your blog). No way my husband gets to see this one! What if he tries to implement the strategies?!?! :-O What are you thinking, woman?



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