I am writing this with a slight buzz on. The buzz of an ADDICT. Not what you may be imagining. Not drugs or alcohol. It’s…
A television show on Netflix. All 7 seasons. What show it is is not important. That I have been watching it for a few 4 hour blocks of time at a time shows how I have given in to my addictive impulses.
When I was 20 I realized that the cigarettes were going to mess me up eventually, so I quit. When I was 28 I noticed the same about the drugs I was using. Shortly after my divorce around 19 years ago I got sick and tired of being sick and tired of hangovers and being drunk so I quit drinking. Over the years I have felt smug about finding something I was doing in an addictive manner and quit it. Such as EATING certain things. At times I have had a genuine physical need for ice cream. Every damned day. On weekends at times all damned day. Then I would wake up to the weight gain and what I was doing and quit. Weight loss and recognition of more addictive behavior.
It occurs to me that when I was a kid, I was constantly reading science fiction and fantasy. I was a “bookworm”. Looking back I have realized over the years that that was just a nice way of saying I used books my addiction to fantasy worlds as a way out. IT WAS AN ADDICTION! Those fictional people and places. I lost my youth by escaping the life around me. The angry father. That painful world of his thunder by… escaping into books like he escaped into booze when he got home from work. Dad would park his mind in alcohol and I would creep into a book world. It was the start of addiction but since it did not make me puke or shake or sicken me, it was ok. It made me delusional but not like the drugs I used later in life.
People often think that addiction is only about drugs and alcohol. A NEW addiction is Binge Watching TV shows. I thought it was just some stupid mindless activity. Then one day I remembered Mrs. T when I was a kid. A friend’s mom. She had the TV on ALL THE TIME watching something. Glued to that idiot box for soap operas. I used-to laugh at her because MY mom (only addicted to cigarettes) never did THAT!
But here I am, binge watching.
Addicted to some damn TV show.
Just like that simple minded suburban woman neighbor I once had.
I will quit this because I am AWARE of WHY I am doing it. I will watch the last show and then feel that withdrawal that comes with the end or quitting of some addictive behavior. With food, we feel that loss of sugars and that act of comfort eating. With Binge Watching TV… that back to reality jolt.
I know why I do this. WHY I focus my mind on that mindless behavior: It is an anesthetic of the mind. It takes my mind off facing the realities of my work and the constant anxiety and worry about it. It distracts me from health issues. Aging issues. Money worries. I have deceived myself or did in seeing it as harmless because it is all part of the monthly cost of Netflix.
It is an anesthetic like any drug. A behavior that distracts me from the pains the worries the fears within the reality of my life. It’s like the drinking was. The drugs. Just like the drinking and drugs of long ago I will quit this and wake-up. Look around and hopefully there will be a soft landing. No dead or damaged relationships. No ex-girl friends. Nothing I cannot repair. There will be that wonder (as now) of the HOURS I lost just as in my past I WASTED SO MUCH OF MY LIFE with my little addictions. Even the food addictions. Crawl into calories and escape!
It’s funny how as an adult that has quit many addictions, I sometimes think of poor Mrs. T. Sitting there ignoring everyone around her watching those damned soap operas. Never would I have thought we had so much in common at different times in life. If you would have asked her about what she was doing she would just say she was watching TV. Just like I am tempted to do but ….
I know better.