December 7, 2009

26. It seems I’ve moved from one addiction to another.

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:31 pm by dawnfields310

At first it was very hard to be without my tv.  Then once I started renting movies I felt better.  But it was costing a lot of money because I started replacing my tv watching time with movie watching time.  I was renting 4-6 movies a day 3-4 days a week.  Now I realize this whole thing is really about denial and avoidance.

I have become way too closed off and shelter myself most of the time within my four walls.  Now that I am aware, I am trying to rent fewer movies.  My goal with the project was to take all the wasted time I was spending watching tv and put it to better use.  Mainly, my film projects.  Today I did better because it was the 63rd anniversary of a disaster I am making a documentary about and it got me ramped up again.  But if I had been spending my time more wisely this past month, I would have been ready with a finished web site and some press materials of my own, considering several newspapers around the country covered the story, but instead had nothing. Another missed opportunity.

I’m going to try very hard over the next few weeks to really concentrate and get back on track.



  1. Laura said,

    I was surfing online and came across your blog. I haven’t read through all the posts, and looks as if you’ve kind of given up on it. I just wanted to let you know I felt like someone was reading my mind. I live alone, in a town with no family support system, am just a student, so have no job, and at first the tv combated the loneliness, and quietness of my apartment, but then it became a habit. I had to watch tv in the morning as I was getting ready for school, when I came home I had to watch tv to relax, on weekends my routine involved watching the movies that came on the networks. I started procrastinating on homework assignments, household chores, and other important things. All the while I was isolating myself more and more, only contributing to my loneliness. I’m finally taking control, and throwing out the tv. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  2. dan said,

    I was going to wait for a few weeks of giving up tv myself before reading to the end of your blog, but anyway instead skipped ahead to see how your first 3 months went.

    It’s hard to tell how things have gone for you, from your comments so far.

    Myself, I’ve already been through the cycle of giving up tv twice this year, and then “relapsing”, so have some experience with the process.

    TV is such a drug. It requires no energy output, yet it feeds our senses, it does a reasonable job of staving off complete boredom, it provides some level of community and socializing, it certainly evokes emotion. It is not, however, at all an active experience. It’s completely passive. It’s almost like wakeful sleep. A person that is watching tv all day and sleeping through each night, it’s almost like your brain is on a feeding tube.

    It sounds awful putting it this way. Yet I myself return again and again to basically OD’ing on tv as a partial solution for life. Why?

    I’m sure the answer is different for each of us addicted to and medicating with tv. But I believe it is about not having a seeable path to typical happiness – a compatible life partner, challenging or enjoyable or at least productive work, interesting fun engaging friends, play, physical activity. (It might also have to do with having traumatic experiences in the past to have to contend with or to not try and dwell on.)

    Lacking these typical positive aspects of life, the pacifying addiction and negative momentum of tv I think can be a huge hurdle to searching out and finding these things (and maintaining them), and thus continuing to have a need for tv or some other surrogate preoccupation – though from a couple of your comments, after getting over the initial panic or discomfort, maybe you haven’t found this?

    Three months ago I broke out of steady tv watching, found a rewarding and challenging volunteering position, found a great sociable place to play badminton 3 times a week, and found an interesting and engaging university course to take. The change in how life felt was huge. But experience told me it likely wasn’t going to last – or at least, I was either finally going to succeed in building a needed “more” on top of these positive aspects now in my life – meeting someone nice, finally finding an interesting enough job I’d be willing to take, starting to make friends in the new city I’m living in – or, negative things would start to unravel the positive momentum.

    The latter happened. A few motivation problems hit in the university course. Then a bad lazy weekend or so and a few days relapse of tv. Then no longer feeling like volunteering. Then no longer feeling like badminton, as much as I really enjoyed it and as easy as it was to make myself go. Then there was just nothing I felt like doing, and with nothing to do, settled right back into pretty much continuous watching of tv series on DVD.

    I’m about six weeks back into this relapse, if I can call it that. Of course, hoping to climb out again.

    After 4 or 5 years of battling with this – really ever since I left a good job at a great company to sincerely try to find something more fulfilling in work – and never achieving more than 3 consecutive months of healthy positive escape from major tv watching, I am still hoping to succeed.

    Years ago I was fairly ambitious. Graduated at the top of my class in a difficult degree at univeristy. Have had long term relationships with nice people. Used to really care about contributing to the state of the world.

    Now, really am starting to wonder, what are the odds. What are the odds of another 5 years, or 10 years, of living on a feeding tube.

    Anyhow, I hope you keep blogging and hope to hear that things are going well with your experiment. Good luck with it all.

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