There were definitely physical withdrawals. I just wasn’t cognizant of them. It shouldn’t surprise me; the first time I quit smoking I didn’t connect my rage and annoyance with everything and the hot flashes to my lack of nicotine. This was… worse. Without Facebook, I became joyless, nihilistic, and empty. My brain seemed to seize on occasion as I sank into a nihilistic hole that threatened to physically incapacitate me. I lost all meaning.
I got on antidepressants, the only thing that seemed to help. But the adjustment period was mania — I became cavalier, with no thought to consequence or the feelings of others, beholden only to the way I thought things should be, and selfishly defiant of anyone who didn’t agree, including people I cared about. I crossed several lines, and rather than deal with the moral implications, I split my personality down the middle into two completely different personas. One that continued as I had been prior, and one that did whatever it wanted when no one who knew that person was around. When the dust cleared, I broke up with someone who loved me, and whom I continue to love, but with whom it hadn’t been working out for some time on my end. Not because I was hurting, but because it wasn’t right, and I had been betraying her in several ways, and because, well, I just didn’t have any joy left.
Then I found some. I’m feeling better. But also… I’m back on it, if only a little.
I’m reading this book–The Master and His Emissary. It’s about the hemispheres of the brain, the obsession I already had that led me to quit Facebook to begin with. It’s confirmed everything I was thinking, but it also explains my withdrawals. An atrophied Right Hemisphere with its dopamine source removed becomes a nihilistic, joyless heap. Add antidepressants, and mania is natural–still dividing everything, including myself into categories, still uncreative and low on empathy, but now, happy about it… Until I adjusted. The problem is, how do we stop this? Do we all have to go on meds, and if so, how do we not let this drift from Ministry of Truth dystopia to a World State Pharma dystopia?