I’m an Addict.

I am a net junkie. I have been for my entire adult life. I have been late to work on countless occasions because I couldn’t bring myself to disconnect at night when I should be sleeping. This started in my teens when I would play Battlefield 1942 until 2AM. I was dropped out of high school because of this habit.

I’m not addicted to any one thing on the internet, I think I’m just addicted to being on the computer. One solution which comes to mind is to get a job which involves using the computer, however I don’t think I could manage even that.

The year is 2019. I cannot hold a job because I have computer withdrawals, and can’t deal with people. I avoid relationships. I’m even afraid of talking on the phone.

I got a job, and took computer-based training. Staring at a screen, with strangers nearby, I had some sort of panic attack. My flight or fight responses were going crazy, and I quit immediately.

I have been wondering… Can I monetize depression?

I have to rewind for a minute so I can give this idea context. Money is a language which communicates value. People serve other people, providing value, in exchange for money.

Auto parts delivery drivers serve their company, and by extension, the automotive industry. The automotive industry serves people who drive cars. People who drive cars communicate value to the automotive industry in exchange for the service. Some of the value trickles down to the delivery drivers in the form of money.

Everyone serves someone or some thing, and is communicated value in return. Fire fighters put out fires and do CPR, etc. and end up with money from citizens. Bakers make delicious pastries and end up with money from sweet toothed shoppers. Pharmaceutical companies create drugs and end up with money from ill people.

I can’t hold a job, and social anxiety rules my life. Are my attempts to find a job failing because I’m choosing to serve a group I don’t care about? I keep looking for low skill, low commitment jobs, so I can focus on my actual passion of software development. I’m realizing now that there are no small jobs, and maybe I’m going about finding a job incorrectly.

Who do I want to serve? Is that even the problem? I’d like to think all my problems would be solved if I could simply create a solid stream of income. When I think about money, I get depressed. When I ignore money, I’m fine.

My latest strategy is to figure out what’s wrong with myself before attempting to work for another company. Until then, I have to make money somehow. I’ve resorted to aggressively monetizing my blog, liquidating my assets, and selling my software skills on Fiverr.

A thought came to me after I lost my last job. What would I do if I didn’t have to work, and I could do anything? Pondered this for awhile, and came to the conclusion that I would do something on the computer. Is this because an addict, or is it because I really love computers? Perhaps the answer is a mix of both. Perhaps I lack clarity.

For years I’ve been dreaming of some sort of adventure, a difficult task I would undertake, gaining money and life skills in the process. I wanted to travel the USA by truck, live streaming my journey. It never panned out because I had no savings or mechanical skills to get an old van running and outfitted for the task.

I don’t think an adventure would help me. I use my net addiction to distract myself from problems I’m going through. I use my net addiction so I don’t have to feel. Running from my problems by going on an adventure means coming home to problems when the adventure concludes.

Someone important to me gave me advice on how to help myself– take small steps towards a goal. I have several goals, all of which I know I can achieve given enough time and pressure.

Luckily, at the moment I’m keeping my head above the figurative water that is depression. I an content enough to where I can be happy about the things I love, and I can write in this blog. Total depression would prevent both of the above.

Back to my question… Can I monetize depression? Monetization comes from serving someone. I can serve advertisers by directing readers of my blog to their websites. I can use affiliate links and serve companies in markets specific to topics I write about.

Depression isn’t sexy. Depression doesn’t go viral. There’s a great video on YouTube about what emotions do get propagated, and being sad is on the list that has the opposite effect. Outrage and funny on the other hand, that’s marketing gold and silver right there.

This is an experiment for sure. I’m putting myself out there, saying things I wouldn’t normally say online. I know it won’t go viral, I know it is probably futile. I know most businesses fail, and the ones that stick around only make profit after 3+ years of working their asses off. I am engaged in a business practice that is doomed to fail.

And yet I still do it. And yet I can’t see anything else I’d rather be doing. This is therapy. I put my thoughts here, and nobody likely reads it, but at least I get things off my chest.

Everyone has problems, and nobody wants to hear about other people’s problems. That’s why mental health experts get paid so much, they have to put up with other people’s crap all day every day. If I were a therapist I think I would need therapy to cope with all the people I would have to see.

I’ve gone off on a tangent.

I think the only way to shake an addition is to become addicted to something else. There are is one socially acceptable additions which come to mind– Work.

If someone is a workaholic and financially successful, society doesn’t usually mind. People around a workaholic might mind. Say, if the workaholic was abusive towards others for not working as hard, or a mean cranky person to deal with, or lacking moral consciousness… Some CEOs in the world come to mind which fill this description very well, but I digress.

Being a workaholic is probably better than being a heroin addict, as an example.

Where do I go from here? I obviously have issues, and I can’t ignore them anymore. I can’t afford to. I’m not going to entertain the idea of not making rent. I like my apartment, I like having a warm place to sleep at night.

I’m simply going to work at the things that come naturally. Little steps to find people I actually want to serve. Little steps to take responsibility. Little steps to accomplish my goals.