The Glow of The Screen


It’s a part of me- a constant pull- an undercurrent of my life. When I open my eyes, it has a place in my first few thoughts. I reach over and unplug the lifeline next to my warm bed. Eyes still blurred from sleep, I blink and squint- a moment of discomfort until the screen slowly sharpens before me.   

In an instant I take it all in. Am I liked? Affirmed? Do I know? Have I seen? What should I fear today? What should I wear? The stress of that brief glance of the screen takes over. I breathe in. I breathe out. I throw my feet onto the soft floor below, and the day begins as it has before- addicted.  

There are no moments of stillness anymore. I am unaware that my heart quickens in that moment of the unknown as I frantically scan for my phone- the thought that it is lost to me and the peace that settles in when it is seen. It’s found its rightful place in my hand again. 

I turn it on, I look, I search, I smirk, I cringe, an eye roll here, a twinge of fear there. Then guilt, then shame, then back to hope again. One minute has passed and I’m afraid that moment has left me worse than before. I am addicted and without it I fear my life will be less.    

Rarely does it affirm. I tell myself I need to know. I have to know. I am better for knowing and would be outcast without the power of the information it brings. So I keep on scrolling. I feel like it is knowledge, and knowledge feels like power. I push back the feelings of discontentment it brings. Certainly, I am better than that.  

Even in the noise, I can’t be still anymore. Without a mind totally engaged, I feel that pull towards it. A mind now on overload that longs for a fullness that only brings emptiness. This can’t be OK. This can’t lead to peace or life or hope or health. Why does it feel good despite?  

Who is on the receiving end, struggling just as I am as I contribute with my content? My life in pictures of perfection. My best foot forward. I don’t do it intentionally, but rarely do I post the pain or the discouragement. I post when I am happy. When life appears good. You don’t know the pain in other moments, and so you are disillusioned and it slowly eats away at you too. It creates a level of discontentment and entitlement. You long for something that doesn’t actually exist. I am feeding your addiction because of mine, and we are stuck in this cycle together.  

There are moments of reason that break through, and the feeling that something isn’t right resonates deep within. A romanticized moment without the addiction. Is it possible? Can I be free? Would I be free? I want it, but I don’t. I am no longer sure who I am without this addiction. I am unsure if the grass will be anything but brown and dead on the other side. Could it possibly be that there is more bad here than good?  

Withdrawal. I am in a constant state of alarm defending the lies and worry that attack, speaking a lie that I will not belong. Will I be even more alone than I already feel? Maybe I NEED it? That thought crosses my mind continually….. as it always does with addiction. Only another affirmation that I am indeed addicted and addiction long term is damaging. 

I have to get out now. I have to fight. I have to believe and hope and push forward if not just for the state of my soul, but for the chance it might give my children to escape the power it holds. To break the bond. What might be on the other side? It is so close I can taste it now. The state of my soul doesn’t have to be this way anymore, and I can contribute to a different culture going forward.  

A mile marker goes into the soil of my life. A monument of breaking free and going against culture alone in order to belong again. Life. It is still there, and today I chose to live its vibrant color but not through the glow of the screen.  

Sometimes, you have to push out darkness to allow light to shine back in again. Above is a poem of the journey my soul has taken to reclaim light in this area of my life. May it encourage you to examine areas of life that have perhaps become dim and empower you to take a step towards life. The life and light that is Jesus. May you be filled to His fullness so that you will radiate light and warmth to others.  

John 8:12  “When Jesus spoke to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  

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