Thursday, February 25, 2010

Addiction..can't be that helpful

When I volunteer to write this post, I thought it would be one of those topic where you can easily write it up without any reservation. But now that the time is here, I'm a bit hesitant so please bear with me.

I grew up with seven brothers, six older than me and one younger and all older brothers had an addiction of some form. All six are big time drinkers and smokers. I guess you could say that was an addiction for them, they all just couldn't lay off the boost and lighting up one cigarette after another. Now my dad, he's so addicted to smoking that if it comes down to his last dollar and he had to make a decision between spending that dollar on a starving kid or feeding his addiction...that damn addiction always won. I don't even want to mention the ugly monster that came out this man when he couldn't get a drag for even one minute. And my brothers, the alcohol addiction made them practically horrible people to live with. Because of that, I definitely knew as a little girl what I do NOT want in a husband.

So fast forward to my adult and married life. I am happy to report that my hubby doesn't have any of that drinking or smoking problem..heck the man never smoked a cigarette or drink anything remotely smelling like alcohol in his life which I am incredibly grateful for. So what the heck am I babbling about? I'll tell ya..LOL.

I am afraid or even ashamed to say that I think I may be the one who have a tendency to come upon addiction myself. Oh, I don't have a those life threatening addictions or severely destructive addictions. See, I have a tendency to get passionate about things, if I find a new hobby or discovered something, I get so engrossed in them that I guess you could say I get addicted to them.

For example: When the internet was fairly new and online chatting was invented, I found out that a fellow islander, someone from my own island had created a website just for the islanders, where they can get together and socialize through the web. I was beyond excited to know that I can log on to that website and chat to any family members, relatives, old friends from high school, even make new friends. I can chat with any of those people from all over the world from the comfort of my own home and it didn't cost me a dime...imagine that. (I know this is like no big deal to some of you or maybe most of you but to me, that was extremely wonderful. To call home and talk to my family, it would cost me from 3 to 5 dollars a minute...a see why I would be excited about something so small as chatting?)

Like I said, it was a such an exciting thing to discover that I was happy to be able to keep in contact with everyone I need to get in touch with. First few months, I was pretty good, I have a set time when I logged on and timed myself. And then as I logged on more and chatted more, and started making more new friends, everyone I wanted to chat with (all living in different parts of the world with different time zones) the time I set for myself wasn't enough anymore. I started getting on every hour and as days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, I've practically lived on my computer or should I say in cyper space. I started neglecting my life...dishes stacked up, clothes piled up, my kids and hubby were pushed to the bottom of my list of importance. I would get up in the morning, very early, logged on, chatted with whoever was on..the kids woke up, got themselves ready for school and dad took them to school. Me, still sitting at the computer...when they got home from school, I was still on the computer. Hubby would come home from work, asked what was for response, "oh no I'm not hungry, thanks".

His response back: I meant what's for dinner for the family?
Me: Your hands broken? Don't know where the kitchen and the fridge are?

Of course, hubby's getting frustrated: Looks like you've been on that thing all day, are you going to be on all night too? When are you getting off? Kids are hungry, I'm out of clean clothes to wear, I've been wearing the same shirt for a whole week and I'm not even going to mention the state my underwear is.

Me, (absolutely oblivious to the fact that I seriously have a problem) yelled back with all the gusto I can muster: I will stay on this thing all day and night if I want to and I will get off when I damn well please. Stop being a baby and use your freaking hands God gave you and fix yourself something to eat. And if you're so worried about those kids being hungry, feed them yourself and then march your ass over to the washer and dryer and do your own damn laundry. Your hands are definitely not broken, use them, you jerk!!!"

You see the problem. And that did not even involve any alcohol, caffeine, nicotine or any other drugs. I don't even want to think about the harmful damage and pain I'd have inflicted on my family if I seriously have that kind of addiction that I would seriously need some serious intervention. Looking it at now makes me laugh hysterically because it was so miniscule in the scheme of things but yet for a while there I let it became a problem with my relationship with my kids and husband. At that time it was happening, I couldn't for the life of me figure out why my hub would see it as a problem. I even came up with excuses for when my friends called for us to hang out why I couldn't go. Sometimes I'd tell them a date just to ease their mind and then thirty minutes before the set time, I'd call back and cancel. Oh my gosh, talk about a crazy person, whenever the power went out or the internet shut down for whatever reason, I literally would get beserk and rant and rave about how totally unfair it was to pay for something that never seem to work.

The realization hit me one day that what I was doing had become a problem when I overheard my kids talking about how totally different their mom had become, like she didn't care about anything real anymore(meaning them)...first thing they saw when they woke up was me on the computer chatting away, last thing they saw before they went to bed, me again on the computer chatting. To have the kids talk about me like that with worry in their voice made me rethink things and gave chatting up for good.

Yep, that was something to reflect on. Now with the new world of blogging, I am trying very hard to not let myself get totally sucked into it so bad that it would become an addiction, something I absolutely have to have.

So, what about you guys, any of you have an addiction that you can't seem to shake off? Have you had one that have caused a riff in your relationship with your spouse?


Anonymous said...

Oh I am an addict of all things. Its crazy. Anything I like I want all the time. Hunting, sex, poker, whatever. I'm either all in or all out.

I get it for sure.

Anonymous said...

The internet and all that it holds can be very addicting. I agree.

My mother thinks I'm addicted to the internet. I disagree. I do go on it every day. I play games, blog, chat, browse, etc. But I also get everything done that I need to get done around the house. I still interact with my children and I still do other things that I like and want to do.

I think people need to find a happy medium between things. There's nothing wrong with being passionate about something or enjoying something every day. Once that thing starts getting in the way of other things, than something needs to be done.

However!!!! I do not think that you (a general "you") should have to give up things that you enjoy, even if they are getting in the way of other things. I think that you need to find a happy medium. Only play that specific game at a specific time. Set an actual timer (don't look at a clock) that goes off in 20 minutes, or 30 minutes or whatever.

That always bothers me. When people give up something they enjoy. Find a way to make it work.

There's nothing wrong with alcohol, when treated responsibly. My father was an alcoholic. My mother finally gave him an ultimatum; her or alcohol. He chose her. That was 20+ years ago. He is at the point in his life that he can have a drink; a beer with my uncle while golfing, or a rum & pepsi while at a restaurant, and have it not take over his life. He likes alcohol, so he found a happy medium. My mom is happy with that. I know not every alcoholic can do that. I get that. It's just an example of the happy medium.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Funny... Blogging was definitely that for me.

Even if it was just a few months ago.

And so was chatting online when I was in college! Except I did have an outside life, I just never slept.

I had to take a step back and realize like Alex said where my happpy medium was.

If I would have controlled it sooner, the blogging, and found a Happy Medium then my husband would never have felt like I was neglecting him or the kids.

But MAN the power of the written word is strong for me.

I LOVE to read, but not just that, I love to read and get to know other people through what goes on in their heads! Online, a lot of you are less reserved willing to share all and say all. I soak that up. Makes me feel normal.

But it really was to much.

Same thing with reading books. If I allow myself...I could read pretty much all day with seldom breaks. I get THAT into reading.

People have tried to interact with me before and they're amazed at that I can't even hear them or realize they are there even when they are right next to me.

Yea, it's bad.

But the key with any addiction... or in our case obsession is: recognizing it's a problem. If you can recognize it and adjust so that it still can fit into your life (as long as it is good and not harmful to yourself or others) you can have a healthy passion for it and you SHOULD have.


One thing that is an everyday battle right?

Great Post Anjeny!

April said...

I believe that most things like alcohol and chatting are OK if done/used in moderation. Unfortunately some people cannot handle just a little of something here and there and that's where addition becomes a problem.

Addition played the major role in why my marriage ended. My ex and I were in a bad car accident and we were both given strong pain pills for our injuries. When it came time to get off the meds, our bodies were both addicted. I went to the doctor to find a way to get off of the pills. My ex, on the other hand, convinced himself that he still had pain.

His doctor cut him off of the meds completely and then he started buying them off the streets. He would steal them from friends medicine cabinets and did some other illegal things that I'd rather not mention.

The situation got so bad that he lost his job. In turn, we lost our house. He started getting violent when he didn't have pills. The first time he gave me a black eye, I left him.

I can say that he's doing much better now. He found a program that successfully helped him get off the pills. He and his girlfriend bought a house and just had their 2nd baby together.

So yeah, I know addiction and it's evil face all too well.

Joanna Cake said...

Anorexia first of all... but then I found martial arts and became fixated with that. Obviously blogging comes a close second :)

Anjeny said...

See guys(gals)..that's my problem. It's seem like I have a hard time doing things in hubby was always telling me to do things I want to do but I need to do them in moderation. It's something I working on, not getting anywhere near there yet.

Shelle...I am completely that way too with reading. Whenever I pick up a book to read, I just had to finish it...I don't like reading a part of it, put it down and do other things and come back to the book again..noo, I had to finish it before I can move on to other things. If I didn't, I'd be thinking about all day, the whole time I'm doing something else. Most of my time on the internet is spent reading blogs, I have to read every blog list I have everyday even if I don't comment on those blogs.

April..thank you for sharing that, I know it's a very sensitive thing for you to share.

Alex..thank you for that. I love the internet too, there are so many benefits and tons of helpful things I'm getting off the internet so it's not something I want to give up. I am however working on having time limits for myself so I can have time for other things.

SS..I don't think you're alone on the sex addict'm sure if asked around, every male has that addiction..LOL.

Joanna..martial arts uh? I think that's a really cool thing to get fixated on.

Cajoh said...

Sometimes I find that I too get involved in things a bit too much. Once my wife lets me know this, I tend to reevaluate how much time is being spent doing it and try to curb it.

The first step usually is admitting you have a problem, you seem to know that you have an issue with these things. Now the next step is how to deal with it.

Thanks for sharing,

AW Cake! said...

Alcoholism runs in my family on both sides. So badly, in fact, that my mother's uncle hadn't had a drink during an entire 8 hour flight and was still so saturated with booze that he fell over as he was leaving the airport and hit his head so hard that he had severe head trauma. What does this mean for me? I'm scared to death of anything that remotely smells like alcohol so I stay away from it. I do, however, have a great love (and addiction) to chocolate. I guess I'd rather have a sweet tooth than a DUI.

Margaret said...

My husband has had alot of addictions and all of them have come in between us and in the end it has driven us so far apart that we are going to be getting a divorce.

Anjeny said...

CaJoh, I guess everyone in one time or another have gotten into situation where they tend to get too involved with something that they spend a lot of time with it. Thanks.

Wixom..I'll take addiction to chocolate any day..eheheh. And I did worry about the alcoholism too, since practically majority of my family did it and it runs in my family, I am conciously aware of that. I'm really sorry about your uncle.

Aww Margaret, I'm so sorry to hear that. I do appreciate your comment.

Homer and Queen said...

I am the same way...addicted to hobbies, internet, diet coke...but drugs I have a problem with. I am so afraid of getting addicted I won't take them, but try taking my diet coke away and there is hell to pay!!!

Unfortunately, I tried to teach my children about this problem that seems to have been inherited for generations now, but to no avail. My son is facing 18 felonies for drugs and such. He will probably do prison time. Well doesn't that make a mother proud!!!

Addictions of all kinds effect everyone in it's path.

Good thing that there is help out there. You just have to want it. Well, not me...I'm keepin' the diet coke... just sayin'...

Vodka Logic said...

I have to say my addiction has to be the computer as well. I am most days, the kids are at school and the husband at work so it doesn't matter but yes things don't get done.. I am working on it slowly but surely. thanks for the open post... sounds too familiar