Day 203: Another Addiction

hillary-clinton-donald-trump

For over six months, I have focused on quitting drinking. Other than a few attempts at quitting sugar, I have not tried any other major life changes.

Today, that all changes. Today, I am hitting another big addiction right where it hurts.

Big talk, I know, but quitting drinking has given me the self-confidence to believe that I could achieve other goals. And this one is a biggie. A really really big one (for me).

No, it’s not smoking. I used to wish I liked smoking so that I would have something to fall back on and fit in better at AA meetings. What I am addicted to is surfing the web.  Basically, I am a political junkie.

To give you an idea of the scope of the problem, let’s just say that I spend at least two hours a day reading online political news: Chris Christie, Trump’s latest shenanigans, etc., but then I also see tantalizing headlines that pop up, leading me to gossipy events like the whole Bill Cosby deal, Brangelina, and whatever else can be found on Page Six. Still, I lump it all together as “political news” to make it sound less National Enquirer-ish. (Which is how I found out about the John Edwards love-child sensation.)

So last night, DURING THE LAST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE, I announced to my husband that I was giving up surfing the web for news. (I am still allowed to look up wholesome sites like “Heal Your Life” or “How to Learn Spanish in Five Minutes a Day”).

My husband, who knows me well, said, “Are you sure you want to set yourself up like that, during an election like this one?” Normally, this would give me an out, and I would say, “OK, maybe after the election.”

But the new super-me was challenged! (I used to hate challenges. I knew I couldn’t follow through on the simplest things. Why would I want an additional challenge to fail?)

“NO!” I said with conviction, startling my husband. “It will start tomorrow and run through the entire election.”

My husband said, “Who are you?”

I’m not really sure who I am yet, but I know who I’m not! I’m not one to make idle threats and promises while trying not to slur my words.

I tossed and turned all night, dreaming about drinking with Donald Trump. Dear God, if that’s not evidence of an addiction, I don’t know what is.

Today, I woke up lost. I usually make my coffee, sit right down at the computer, and open up “Reddit Politics New,” which is a long list of the latest headlines from all kinds of news sources. Today, I took my coffee and awkwardly sat down across from my husband in the kitchen. He glanced up at me, confused, and then closed his laptop to see what was wrong with me.

“Let’s go out to breakfast,” I suggested.

And we did. And we sat across the table at the diner and talked, and we read the newspaper. (I am allowed to read the paper. We only buy it when out to breakfast, about once a week or so, so I can’t binge on it.)

Now, I am blogging bright and early in the day, where I would normally spend AN HOUR reading all the debate bullshit. See? Already, I am connecting with other people as opposed to raising my own blood pressure via politics and the occasional gossip.

And I have all kinds of time today to fill. Another thing about getting rid of addictions and time-wasters: It opens up space for dreams. I could start that book I’ve been wanting to write. I could take up painting again. I could take a class. I could imagine a beautiful future, and then make it happen.

When I was drinking, I had no dreams. Today, I am stepping over another hurdle on my path to becoming who we are all meant to be — our own superheroes.

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14 thoughts on “Day 203: Another Addiction

  1. Ok, I’ll just fill you in a little bit, Maddox finally agreed to see Brad…that was just cruel, sorry! I suffer the same addiction and I think just yesterday Mrs. D confessed she’s addicted too. I see a new recovery community in the future!
    I can’t wait to see all the dreams you make come true.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wait! Is Angie dating anyone? What about Brad? Is Jen back with Ben? I’m going to have to read Mrs. D’s post. I am LOST without surfing the web. Day 1 was harder than I thought, but I got a whole lot done. Even laundry! Thanks for the well wishes. ; )

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  2. I admire you starting this at such an ‘interesting’ time. Personally, I have forsworn off a particular online newspaper here that is my dirty little secret. It is a dreadful rag and even worse I condemn people mentally for reading it but….. I on occasion do too. It’s like car crash journalism, sometimes I just have to look even though I feel grubby after I have done so. You are motivating me to once and for all give it up. I have only looked about 3 times in the last 4-5 months but it is still that sense of letting myself down after I have looked.
    I have to admit I have got a little bit drawn in the the U.S. Election, having lived in Chicago for 10 plus years I felt suitably entitled to take more than a passing interest. However, I find it mind boggling that the state of the nation rests on who you hate less. My best friend is visiting from Chicago for Thanksgiving to my home in Cornwall but part of me worries she will stay if her candidate doesn’t win ha ha. I believe Canada will be closing the borders come Election Day.
    Good luck with your surfing diet, believe me news will find you even when you’re not looking for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so much like that! I would be appalled if anyone knew I looked (very occasionally) at these sites. It’s like being exposed for watching porn. I too feel dirty after reading them and wonder what kind of people keep these places in business. Who actually buys these rags? (By the way, the British versions are amazing.) You can see I’m still conflicted.
      I am Canadian, although I have lived in the US since I was 2, so I also have an escape route if things continue to move in a Trump-like direction. Wait … you have that whole Brexit thing going on. Fascinating that Boris has hooked up here with Trump. (Sorry, as you can see, the addiction is still here.)
      I have to remind myself that these are people. I would never sit and gossip about someone I knew like this without feeling terrible, but I would read about someone online. It seems almost the same thing. I think it also creates a feeling of being better than other people. Like, at least I didn’t get caught doing that. It becomes just sad after a while, and I start to feel sorry for the people involved. Except for Trump.
      Just kidding!!
      Anyhow, thanks for the comment. When you start your separate recovery group, let me know. ; )

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  3. it is so very easy to be drawn into such stuff. it presses all our gratification buttons at once, the need to KNOW, to judge, to predict. and it is IMPORTANT so we cannot ignore it entirely – wishing you all the best in finding a mentally more comfortable relationship with it. xx

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    1. You hit the nail on the head. The need to judge! I found I was scouring the news in order to feel superior to people on the other side of the political spectrum. This is NOT something I need to spend hours a day doing. Still, it’s been very hard to quit. ; )

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  4. I love this post! Good for you. I intensely dislike politics but the internet junkie is alive and well in this woman. I have to be very disciplined about using the computer. Plus, being on it too long wipes me out. Love your writing style.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! In the short time I’ve been away from the politics, I’ve lost interest in it too. I am trying to train my internet addiction to health sights or non-drinking blogs. I might have to really limit my time as well, since it is 4 am and I’m on the computer. ; )

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad you’ve realized how much of a time waste can be had in an over-saturated and polarized media (former UK Daily Mail whore here). Being able to reinvest precious hours constructively back into one’s week is hugely helpful in maintaining sobriety. Or so I have found.

    Grats to you and I hope all’s well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All is well! I am up early reading blogs INSTEAD of reading about the sh*t going on in US elections. Yay! It does take some creativity to re-invest this time I used to waste. Thanks for commenting!
      Shawna

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