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June 8, 2021

My name is Robert & I am an Infoholic.

Do you know this feeling when your head is about to explode?

Welcome to my life—I am an infoholic.

Last night, I was trying to write an article on American politics. I say trying because it was rough.

After gathering all the information needed, I had a hard time finding words, and simply felt overwhelmed. The result was an article that nobody really wanted to read and a lot of time spent.

When I saw the article kind of failing to connect with readers, it hit me like a train. Please don’t laugh about me, but I was crying. My head felt as if it was about to explode.

But then I remembered the powerful message of an article I edited earlier that day. A fun fact is that I teach Yin Yoga myself, so I should have been able to give that advice to myself, but I wasn’t. Sometimes it takes someone reminding us of something we thought we already knew.

So, I sat with my discomfort. I tried to feel my pain. I asked myself, “What makes you so sad?”

And then I realized it wasn’t about my article that didn’t do well; it was about so much more.

It was a feeling of trying hard but not succeeding. My heart was hurting because I was wondering if anyone even cares what I have to say. And then I realized it wasn’t about that either.

I tried to explain to myself that I am lucky to have a job—I am lucky to be able to share my voice on a daily basis. But why am I still so sad?

I asked myself, “What am I doing with my life?” What happened to the part of my personality that is a yoga teacher? And how did the other part of me who drinks 10 cups of coffee a day and doesn’t take care of his body take over again?

All my life, I had been jumping from one extreme to the other. When I studied politics, I wasn’t able to talk about anything else. Then I became a yoga teacher because I couldn’t handle the stress of arguing about politics every day—and started talking about spirituality all day.

But then COVID-19 hit, and I couldn’t teach yoga anymore (besides some online classes). I decided to go back to my original dream of becoming a journalist.

And now I realize that I made the same mistake again—something seems to be wrong with me.

My therapist would probably say, “Dude, you are suffering from depression. Please take care of yourself.” But the highly motivated Robert keeps telling me, “You just have to try harder. Get your sh*t together.”

So, I went back to Twitter, shared my article all over the internet, read some more information on the topic, and my headache hit me again. My brain felt as if it was overflowing with thoughts.

I decided to hit the brakes.

I switched off all my devices and returned to my pain. I was just lying on the couch. I started crying again. Even my dog realized that something was wrong and started licking the tears off my face.

After some time, I started feeling a little better. It felt as if it took 20 minutes, but after checking my watch, I realized that I had been in this state of emptiness for five hours.

It was already 2 a.m.—my first thought was, “Oh no, I have to get up again in a few hours. Let’s quickly check Twitter, see what I will write about tomorrow, and go to bed.”

And then I started laughing about myself. If someone were watching me from the outside, it would be easy to observe that I have a problem—I am an infoholic.

When the pandemic started, I watched the news 24/7. When my dad died 20 years ago, I watched the news 24/7.

Information of all sorts became an addiction that would numb the pain of my own being. There is always something worse going on in the world, distracting from my own problems.

My dog needs to go to the vet, and I have to file my taxes, take care of health insurance, clean my living space, nurture friendships, and so much more that I put to the side. But there is always something happening somewhere that occupies my mind.

Gathering information about the state of the world is important, but as with everything, too much is not good for anyone.

I am slowly learning that I can’t pour from an empty cup and have to take better care of myself. Otherwise, I am not even able to process all the information hitting me. If I were a computer, my hard drive would need a cleanse—it’s full, and there is no external drive to store all the data.

But what to do now?

I decided to do some fasting. Not in the sense of not eating, but in the sense of not consuming information every minute of my life. It is time to slow down, and it is time to find balance.

Nobody (including myself) benefits from me being a ball of anxiety. I need to rest. I need to digest everything that happened throughout the last 15 months—and I am sure that I am not alone with this feeling.

And most importantly: I can’t do it on my own.

I long for human connection. I want to talk to real people and not argue with strangers in comment sections. I would like to hear how my friends feel and give Chris Cuomo a break. There needs to be a change in my life.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t care for politics anymore; it’s a learning process on how to find the balance between making sense of it all and just accepting that I can’t know it all.

The pandemic pushed me back into old patterns I thought I had escaped with the help of my yoga practice—it’s time to get back to that practice.

It’s time to find the balance between the little boy who lives inside my heart, the yoga teacher—and the author I would like to be.

But most importantly, it is time to make space for emptiness and stillness—and change the structure from within, as the wonderful article I mentioned at the beginning of this rant suggests.

It’s not about giving up on a dream; it’s about learning how to find balance. It’s not about not trying anymore; it’s about trying in a different way—a more healthy way.

Let’s see what happens.

 

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