I just felt like a waste of space Basically, and that’s a hard Thing for me to admit. They try so hard to be strong for everyone and this is something I never thought that would happen to me Today’s video is Going to be very personal. It’s not going to be about veganism I’ll explain more at the end of this video, but I am talking about my addiction which is actually to technology I don’t even know if there’s a term for it that probably is and My depression which I didn’t even realize I was depressed for the last few months my technology addiction has affected Every area of my life felt like a former shell of myself like I didn’t I felt Hollow. I felt broken I felt empty and That’s something. I really hope no one ever experiences, but I know Like probably millions of people do at some point in their life So I haven’t been to a doctor or a psychologist or therapist or anything like that So I pretty much self diagnosed the best way I can think to talk about this is in the form of a story, so let’s go back to the beginning I used to work at a bank I was a receptionist for a while and then I was an assistant for processing commercial and construction loans I quit my job after about four years and the reason why was because I was unhappy which I know most people aren’t happy with their jobs I Was definitely the very typical overworked underpaid. I was having to Come in early like my normal time was 8:00 to 5:00 sometimes I come in an hour earlier, and I would leave an hour or so later And I was not forced But I was very encouraged to work through all my lunches and my lunch was very important to me because I was very Very end to indoor cycling some people call it spin Classes, which I started and it was my only mental break and Physical break throughout the day and it made me feel so good like I loved Working out and not only that I know a lot of people may be like oh, whatever I have to work 60 plus hours a week. That’s typical, but it wasn’t for me. It really was hard for me I really believe in a work/life balance I believe it’s very important to have an outside life to have other activities Hobbies to exercise to be with your family and friends I don’t Want to look back and think that all I did was work and plus it gets to a point where I feel like I can’t Even be productive anymore because I’m just sitting and staring at my computer screen For 10 hours a day straight, no breaks It’s ridiculous and on top of that that wasn’t enough we were also told if we can’t get the work done Throughout the week we also had to come at weekend so I was coming in Saturdays and Sundays though I’m working like seven to six no lunch Saturdays and Sundays so seven days a week from 7 a.m. To 6 p.m.. Average and no lunch break and this was all for like $15 an hour and Where I lived in Santa Fe and Santa Fe New Mexico, too expensive, that is not enough to live on I mean I don’t even think that’s enough to like pay rents at most places there and luckily I was already living with my My now husband boyfriend at the time We were living together And he was helpful you were we were paying the rent together for a while so eventually there was a lot of talk of me moving up to a Slightly higher position that may have paid like a dollar more or something like that and we had to do our annual reviews and one of the questions was Where do you want to be in the company in a few years or what do you want to do it if he hears or? Something like that and I thought about it, and I was like I don’t want to be here Don’t get me wrong there were there were a lot of good aspects to the job like I love the people that I worked with They were so funny like we had a really good time. They were very caring very They were pretty easy to talk to you and very easy to get along with and I have a lot of good memories with them So I don’t want to say it was all bad But it wasn’t the work lifestyle balance that I was looking for the only other positions within that department was basically to become a loan officer, and I didn’t want to do that I Didn’t want to be a loan officer. I really didn’t have a passion or care about finances, and I was fortunate enough that Chris my my husband now was making enough money that I could quit and look for something else I’d already gotten my degree in business and sustainable Enterprise Management So I wanted to look for a job in sustainability so in the meantime while was unemployed My biggest passion at the moment was Indoor cycling spend classes like I mentioned earlier I loved the studio that I was attending and I loved the instructors and I would hang out with them a lot of times outside of Class and I got to know them and I got to ask them questions and so they had a couple people help mentor me she become an instructor, so I dug practice classes and had worked on making playlists and that took a lot of my time that kept me busy, so I was training and training and then eventually I Auditioned and I got a job so I was teaching classes at least three times a week Regularly, and I was subbing for a lot of other instructors since I didn’t have a job I had a lot of time and I was probably the one of the most go-to people for something and then Chris and I had decided we really wanted to move out in New Mexico we wanted to live somewhere else have a change and he had applied to a bunch of different places around the country and We ended up in Oregon and Oregon is awesome I Actually do love Oregon. I love it here, but I had started to get very depressed And I thought it was for a lot of different things. You know big change big move I didn’t have really any family in New Mexico, but I have A person that’s close to me that’s been Basically like my second mom and she gave me away at my wedding She lives in New Mexico, but we still keep in contact. We call and email so I didn’t really have any other family I had friends, but I didn’t have like very deep friendships. It was more just like occasionally Socializing hanging out with people going to parties going for a drink that sort of thing But I had two close friends two best friends I would say one that I didn’t know for very long just like a few months and we got very very close and We had a big falling out and we ended up drifting apart and not hanging out anymore Which still makes me kind of sad to this day because I still miss her I think about her Almost every day and the other person I was friends with for over a decade my longest friendship, and it was a very toxic friendship It was making me very unhappy so as soon as I moved I wanted a clean start And I cut that relationship off so here. I am in a new city Feeling isolated feeling alone feeling lonely, and I don’t have a job Which is one of the things that keeps us most busy it can be a very big distraction from other Things in their life, and I just started to feel like I didn’t have a sense of purpose That I wasn’t part of a community anymore. I just felt like a waste of space Basically, and that’s a hard thing For me to admit. I tried so hard to be strong for everyone and this is something I never thought that would happen to me I Always thought of addiction as just drugs and alcohol, and I know I didn’t have a problem with those I drink Occasionally like a drink. Maybe I I may have like a couple drinks max on the weekend so like two alcoholic drinks a week When I go on vacation I have a little bit more. I don’t smoke. I used to smoke occasionally socially Mostly when I was drinking, and I I quit Especially because I found out it wasn’t vegan and I don’t really shop. I cannot have a shopping addiction I am only buy when necessary, and I really don’t like shopping obviously I find it more of a chore than fun and In New Mexico, there’s a lot of casinos So it’s very easy to gamble I tried gambling like on the dollar slots for the penny slots didn’t get into Didn’t have a problem with gambling so I never thought I had an addiction and a few days ago I had an epiphany my phone broke like I’ve had my phone for like five years, and it wouldn’t charge anymore So it was it was finally broken I have republic Wireless which is not a very main popular carrier So I can’t just like go into a store and buy another phone I had to order it online and I had to wait about a week And I actually just got it yesterday and that week without my phone Gave me an epiphany Because I did not realize how much I was on my phone. I I didn’t think I had a problem because I Could have any time I would hang out with people I wouldn’t use my phone. I would check it Maybe to look at the time if I had to go somewhere, but I never used my phone I didn’t text people I wasn’t on On my phone at all unless maybe I was going to show someone a video than you know that sort of thing so I was Very present with people friends and family any time. I was talking to someone or socializing I wasn’t one of those people who would have to be on their phone Just walking to their car or if I’m walking my dogs being on my phone Or if I’m sitting outside like I wasn’t always on my phone Outdoors or when I was around other people, but inside the house, I was always on Some kind of technology it wasn’t just my phone like I would check my phone for you know social media stuff But wasn’t on my phone that was on my computer doing basically the same thing if I wasn’t on my computer I was watching TV, and if I wasn’t watching TV, or I was doing the combination of two or three of those things So I’d be watching TV I would be on my phone and I would have my laptop open and I didn’t think it was a problem because Everyone I know basically always Is on their phone or something they’re always doing something with technology most people work on a computer all day long So I just didn’t think anything of it I would also always have my phone just to use bathroom like I know that sounds gross But if I just had to pee I would be on my phone I was brushing my teeth and be on my phone if I was doing my hair doing I was on my phone I was always watching Videos YouTube videos, I’m not saying that you can’t watch YouTube videos or anything I was watching Netflix I was watching something I started to feel more alone than ever and it’s actually kind of funny because on The news which I don’t I don’t choose to watch the news. I think it’s very depressing I mean it’s good to be informed my husband loves the news so he he tells me what’s going on in the world But he was watching it and I had caught the news on two different days two segments And it happened to be that meant that was about Addiction to cellphones, but it was about teenagers, you know there’s always older adults were always like Oh kids these days They’re always on their phone So I was like oh that doesn’t apply to me. I’m an adult I don’t have a problem like I was very in denial I didn’t understand how far this addiction had gone because I never had an addiction before in my life So I didn’t know what it was like I didn’t understand how people Became addicted to alcohol or drugs because when I was sad or depressed I wouldn’t go to those things for comfort that was kind of like the last thing I wanted to do they made me feel worse than how I was already feeling and I Never wanted to try drugs because I knew if I started there was a possibility I could be addicted So I’m like well the best way to break an addiction is to never start right but not having my phone made me realize how? Much I checked my Instagram How much I used to check my Facebook how much I check my YouTube to see how many subscribers I have how many views I have my Instagram for how many likes I have how many followers and I started to realize that stuff doesn’t matter I Have been using technology as a distraction To not look into myself and to figure out who I am What I want to do whether it’s today or with the rest of my life I’ve been avoiding it and I didn’t realize I was avoiding it until I didn’t have it And I started crying just bawling tears one day. I was laying on the bed I was looking at the ceiling and I had this thought that life is a box or my life had become a box Because my apartment is just four walls. It’s a box it’s basically can become a prison if you don’t leave and I would still do normal things like I went to the grocery store I would walk my dogs I Would go hiking sometimes, but I wasn’t enjoying it I wasn’t enjoying it at all because I was bored or I thought I was bored and I just wanted to be distracted by TV or something or my phone or Some kind of technology like I was having like withdrawals. I just didn’t enjoy anything in life anymore I would do enough to get by I would Pretend enough like I was happy that I kind of fooled myself into thinking. I was happy I was laying in bed I was thinking if I died tomorrow And I look back in my life for the last year few months what I like what I saw And I pictured myself. I saw myself. I was just sitting in a box watching TV which is another box on my computer, which is a slightly smaller box on my phone Which is an even smaller box so my life was sitting there watching a box of? Fake projections of people living life instead of me trying to go out and create a life on my own I didn’t I don’t have friends because I haven’t even tried to go out and meet people and there are so many Activities and meetups going on it’s crazy like so many things I’m actually interested in that I have been gone because of my anxiety and my depression And my addiction that doesn’t let me leave the house and that it’s so terrifying for me to admit Like I can’t believe I didn’t understand or even realize this was going on it has affected every area of my life Is affected my personal relationship? It’s affected how I take care of myself it dictates what I get done which in the last Few months it feels like not much of anything it even affects me making videos because as much as I love veganism It’s a huge part of my life. It’s a huge passion I Haven’t been motivated to make videos because I feel depressed and It was hard for me to advocate for animals because like I was having so many of my own personal issues And I feel like I can’t help animals if I can’t help myself You know like I have to take care of myself I do believe in filling your own cup first before you can help fill others You really have to take care of yourself, and I wasn’t doing that I I have plans in motion I have Ideas of what I’m going to do. I have I’m already starting to do them. I have a lot of videos I want to make on Various topics this is the first one being addiction and depression, but I also have other videos I want to make about self-love and loneliness and fear and other things that I have Experienced that I think I could talk about the other that might help other people as well, so And 2018 my channel is going to be changing slightly It’s going to be shifting and it’s gonna still be a lot about veganism. I still have a lot of ideas for videos I want to make on that I still want to help educate people and inspire people motivate people to either go vegan or to Continue being vegan especially if they’re transitioning, but at the same time. I have a lot of other ideas. I want to do for personal videos so Think of this as you’re gonna get to actually know me know the real me for the longest time I didn’t want to talk about myself or talk about Really anything personal to do with me because I didn’t think I was interesting enough because I wasn’t doing a whole lot But I realized it doesn’t it’s not about what? Specifically about what? I’m doing like I don’t have to be traveling or like Doing something super exciting like I am more than just what I do. There’s more to me than just that so Don’t worry if you subscribe to my channel because you want to learn about veganism. Don’t worry there will be more videos I don’t know how many videos I’m going to do a week I don’t know how I’m gonna balance between the vegan videos and the personal videos about life I will figure it out, but like I said your guys are gonna get to know me the real me I’m not holding back anymore. I don’t want to feel unfair. I don’t want to feel ashamed about Admitting these things because we’re human these things happen in life people get depressed people get addicted It’s good to talk about this in the open it’s good to Recognize that you need help to seek help to get help once you realize that something’s wrong So I’m not saying that all technology is bad It definitely is convenient it helps to make things processes more efficient sometimes it does help to talk to people like your friends or family who are Not close by you can email them you can Skype them you can text them you can call them. It’s great it’s a great thing, but any Good thing can be a bad thing if it controls your life and becomes a bad habit an addiction and It’s only been a few days since I’ve realized this and I’m working. I’m working Through a lot and I will give you guys updates in the future as to what’s going on And I know I said earlier that numbers and followers don’t matter And what I meant by that was just that I shouldn’t let outside validation dictate What makes me feel happy or? What I now know it was a false sense of happiness And I’m still happy of course to have you all I’m very grateful for all 35 of my subscribers And I just reached the 1,000 views Milestone, which just some people may seem like not much, but to me It’s it’s a lot, and I was very excited and I have two buddies So it gives you little mile markers and little plaques to like help keep you going and see a track your progress So, thank you all so much for supporting me and for following me and hopefully continue to follow me through my personal growth journey as well as my vegan journey

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  1. Thank you for sharing your story. That took courage! The good news is you know that this is a problem and you are actively finding solutions. Your core values like spending quality time with family, friends and yourself (“me” time) can help you find a balance with technology. A few tips for another video I watched: Remove technology from your bedroom, set time limits on how long you use a device, and plan to have a device free evening at least once a week. And remember, you’re in control of the device, not the other way around 😊 Two resources I found to be helpful below. If you find time to watch the video or read the article, let me know what you think about it.

  2. I have struggled with depression all of my life and still do, thank you for taking the courage to be vulnerable and honest ❤️ – Mela

  3. Babe! You’re so amazing! I’m so proud of you and our stories are so incredibly similar, I’d LOVE to talk to you more about all of this, life is a trip!! So happy we found each other again 💜

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