Facing My TV Addiction
I’ve never had a lot of sympathy for people with addictions. I think it comes from having alcoholic parents. I’ve heard addiction referred to as a disease but that had always annoyed me. A disease is something you get and you can’t do anything about it. I had always thought addiction is something you can stop if you simply have the willpower and drive to do so. I vowed never to fall prey to drugs or alcohol. I wouldn’t be like my parents. I would be stronger than them. I wouldn’t inherit their addictions. For a while, I thought that was true.
But addiction comes in many forms.
My life today is significantly better than the life I had growing up. I have a nice house and a loving husband. But I still struggle. I struggle with things like feeling stuck in a career path that I chose way too young. I struggle with being in my mid-30s and worrying that I may never become a mother. I struggle with the loneliness and isolation of having all your friends start their own families. Most of all I struggle with still being that scared little girl who comes from a family of broken people she still hasn’t figured out how to help.
All that is what I hide, behind the persona of the kind woman with the nice house and loving husband. All that is what I use TV to escape from.
When I was a kid I loved TV. Shows like Full House and Family Matters comforted me so much. I loved that the kids never got put down or swore at when they made a mistake or did something wrong. It was the perfect escape from my own reality. The problem is that I never really stopped escaping.
Every day when I get out of work I watch TV. A couple of hours a day at least is pretty normal for me. That’s 60 hours a month sitting in front of the television. Imagine what you could accomplish in 60 hours of developing a skill. To think about it even further 2 hours a day for a year would work out to 18 40-hour work weeks by the end of the year. I tell myself that I don’t have time to work on my writing career but that clearly isn’t true.
It took me a while to admit that I had an addiction because TV watching is so much more socially acceptable than drugs or alcohol. But it can be just as damaging when it gets out of…