June 16, 2012

Internet Addiction - the tales of a blogging doctor


The West African College of Physicians, WACP and National Postgraduate Medical College, NPMC professional specialty fellowship exams, which I sat for in April and May respectively, have come and gone, and it surely has not been a good season for me because it left a sour taste in my mouth.

The results were anything but good, and I have felt so downcast and easily irritable with everything and everyone since I got the news that I have begun to wonder if I am not turning into the 'Sesame street' fictional character, Grouch.

Internet addiction - tales of a blogging doctor

My pals blame it all on my new-found love - blogging. They unanimously believe I have spent too much of my valuable time hunched over my PC surfing the Internet trying to learn how to become a successful blogger and Interpreneur (Internet-based entrepreneur), instead of sitting at my study table bent over and poring through my medical books.

Well I can't say I blame them, neither do I fault their analysis. I also think I have spent too many of my study hours surfing the web over the past few months. Can't say I blame myself though, the experience has been profusely exhilarating for me, but I guess I can't just eat my cake and have it again.

In the past when I've severally been honoured as an exceptionally brilliant medical student, I have always paid a price in countless hours of reading and bedside revisions before going into any examination. In those days, I stayed up late, night after night over several months, studying with nothing but candles because the electric power company, NEPA, was in the bad habit of taking light late evenings to bring it back the next day.

Not surprisingly, though, my recent exam results were completely different. Although I'd known I wasn't well prepared, yet deep within me, I'd secretly believed (vainly of course) I'd come out successful and in flying colors, as I always did in the past. But I was jolted back into harsh reality few weeks ago. I couldn't even make the easier NPMC exams, not to talk of the more fierce WACP exams.

I'd spent hours...running into weeks and months doing nothing but browsing when I had serious business (my postgraduate fellowship exams) around the corner. Its been browsing all the way, with little (or no) time for my books.

So who do I blame? How could I have thrown caution to the wind? I neither wish to blame myself nor the love I now have for blogging. I guess the entity, 'Internet Addiction' is to be blamed fully. I blame it all on it.

Its painful but I've had to make amends. The first step was recognizing the internet addiction. The second step is seeking expert help for the addiction, which I'm presently doing. The road ahead isn't going to be easy, but I'm hoping to overcome this monster, sacrificing it for a more balanced lifestyle.

The next exams will be coming up later in the year, October and November to be precise. I really hope I'll control my addictions enough to surf within a stipulated number of hours, and give my books the very much desired attention it deserves at this critical period of my professional life.

All I need now is focus, dedication, hard-work and willpower like never before, and of course, not belittling the importance of God's grace in keeping me fit and healthy so I can accomplish all my set goals before the end of this year. Please wish me luck, and God help me!

UPDATED (many months after article above): Finally passed my exams. Thank God!

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