September 12, 2010

Addiction

I don't drink alcohol and never have. I don't gamble and don't do porn. Ever. And let's add smoking, drinking coffee (and its Italian friends: Latte, Espresso and Mocha) or black/green tea to the Never Done Mix.

Addiction is a funny thing. Something I like to pretend I know nothing about. I see my friends who need a drink of X to get them through the morning/day/evening. And I am grateful that I am not plagued with such addictions. I see how addictions tear up families and want no part of them. The best way to never become an alcoholic is to never drink. For me, it's like a 100% chance I'll never inflict alcoholism on the people who matter most. And if you drink or do any of the above list, don't take this as a judgment on you. It's not. Many people are able to control themselves just fine. They choose when to drink instead of the drink choosing them.

So, what do I know of addiction? My first experience with it was in the 7th grade. My friends and I all used Carmex to smooth out our chapped lips. One day I ran out and my lips chapped up something terrible almost immediately. I bought some more and all was well. Until the next time that happened. At a certain point that year, I decided that I didn't want to be addicted to anything.

I'd like to say that ended my addictions. But it didn't. I found that any time I played a computer game, I played late into the night. I'm pretty sure Solitaire was invented by Satan.  I believe he co-authored FrontierVille with Zynga games and that this Facebook game is the newest of the Deadly Sins. I don't even care that I started playing because my six year old begged me to be his neighbor. I've played games in the past. I know what happens to me when I do. When I get involved with one, I find myself making lots of time throughout the day to play. Time that would be better spent doing a multitude of productive activities.


I was happy to find that when taking an online quiz the results show I am only 45% addicted to Facebook. Ha ha. I'm sure it'd be much higher if it was only asking about FrontierVille. 

How Addicted to Facebook Are You?

There are other things, too. Like reading books. I get lost in them. I like to start and finish them in a day or two. It doesnt matter if they have 250 pages or 850. A couple of years ago, I remember reading a book and "needing" to finish it. It was the final book in a four part series. I read until the wee hours of the morning and fell asleep with the book on my face. In the morning, all four boys were climbing on me. I didn't know what to do with them because I needed to read. I'm unclear as to whether or not they ate anything besides cereal or crackers that day. What I do know is that I set up my reading space right outside of the bathroom door and let them take baths all day. Like maybe four baths. Seriously. I pulled them out every so often so their raisin fingers turned back to grapes and they could eat. And then they went back in. Because that's what they wanted and for the first time ever, they could get it.


Fast forward several months. I wanted to reread the series. I thought I could do it slowly this time. A chapter or two a night. It would be relaxing. I'd be able to put it down. Ha ha. I was so naive. I didn't understand my addiction. It didn't matter that I knew what was going to happen next. Over the next five days, I read the entire series. That's over 3000 pages. Is now a good time to mention that I'd like to read it again? It's been about a year and a half since the last time. I'm nervous about picking it up when I don't have a week of my life to devote to it. So still it sits. Patiently waiting for me.


When I was at Disneyland/California Adventure last month, riding roller coasters and rides all day long, I discovered that the rides which were initially very exciting to me mellowed out the more I went on them. I needed a bigger thrill in order to duplicate the same feeling.


It was easy to cut my addiction to rides. I had to go home. And the rides at the State Fair we went to a couple of weeks ago didn't even tempt me. They are nothing compared to Disney's magic. I hope to find the strength one of these days to cut off my current addiction. Yes, that would be nice and I'm sure my entire family would love it. You might, too. Certainly I'd pick up my blogging addiction again if I could put down my Frontier town.

3 Riveting COMMENTS:

  1. I'm the same way. I get really hooked on things sometimes. I stayed up so late reading a book last night that right when I got into bed, Noah woke up to be fed and I had to be up even later and I was SO tired by the time I got into bed. Ugh. It feels icky to HAVE TO do something, doesn't it? At least it's just fun stuff and your liver is still intact. :)

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  2. I am the same way with books. When I got the last book of the Hunger Games in the mail, NOTHING got done until it was finished. It weaved its spell over me, and I was helpless against it. :o)

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  3. Wow, very insightful! I love the bathtub picture and narrative...that makes me laugh!

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