HOW I BROKE MY TV ADDICTION ON HOUSE ARREST
I’ve always said the two greatest inventions of all time is air conditioning and television. Mind you, when one falls behind on their electric bill, life is truly miserable. I vividly remember living in South Florida during hurricane season, where the power would be knocked out for weeks at a time. Subsequently, I would practically be on suicide watch.
You see, television, for whatever it’s worth, was, and always had provided me comfort and has been a bit of a support system, seeing me through the years when I was fearful to go out and socialize with the world.
In a previous post (house depression on house arrest) we had discussed productivity as a way of overcoming the destructive emotions attached with being stuck at home by way of home confinement/community control/house arrest/or whatever you want to call it. In closing, we touched on one of the biggest threats of time and energy – yep, you guessed it.
I, like most people, allowed TV to shape and form the way I viewed the world. What I bought and used, due to what I thought I needed. It was not only entertainment, but a way of life. Planning my days and nights around what shows would be on at any given time of day. I guess that was one of the contributing factors for turning into a homebody, and the loneliness I had as a net result.
My worst fears being unaware and disconnected from the world if I was away from it for too long. Not realizing that by isolating myself at home watching countless hours of 300+ channels, I became very disconnected from the world.
Editors note: Things have come a long way from 300+ channels. Advancements in technology has made it more challenging for the addict, thanks in part to Netflix, Redbox, On Demand, TiVo, and assorted streaming services.
A little about me…
So I’ve always had some control issues and been a bit of an extremist with no limitations. That can be very, very good. It can also be very, very bad. As when things go bad and dark, it goes very bad and dark fast. I think back to when my son was born, and I was still in the nesting phase of being a new daddy. It was my own personal paradise. At least for a while.
I had taken some time off from working and had time to focus on what was important. Unfortunately, the degenerate addict in me prevailed on what was most important.
What ensued was this vicious cycle I had created that revolved around beer, cigarettes, Vicodin, fast food, Netflix, and family responsibilities. Priorities, huh?
Listen, they just went together so, so well. Staring at the TV mindlessly for hours on end with my beautiful infant son in my arms. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Needless to say, I started to feel like shit most of the time, as well as putting on a few pounds. It wasn’t muscle either. Sitting in front of that TV not moving, screwed me physically and mentally.
After countless depressing days and nights of feeling like shit, and being angry at myself, I was over it. I was embarrassed and ashamed at how far I had let myself go. I hated what I was doing to myself and wanted to experience something different. I wanted to experience my own life, rather than watch everyone else live theirs. Mind you, it was not forced on me. Quite honestly, I don’t know if it would have worked if it was forced on me.
No, it’s something I had the leisure of discovering on my own and wanting to do something about. Free will, it is a real bitch. Okay, yeah, yeah, yeah. I want to be more productive and not be such a gluttonous piece of shit, watching so much TV. Spill your guts and give me a few tips asshole.
HELPFUL TIPS TO KICK YOUR TV ADDICTION
1) You don’t have to quit and be a pariah. Ween yourself down slowly by limiting TV time, so you can dedicate the bulk of your day to productivity.
2) Dedicate and concentrate that time to self-improvement. Exercise, read, make $$$. It will build the mind, body, and spirit, getting you away from the garbage you were putting in it.
3) Change your environment. Sell the TV. Or at least move it to another room. Out of sight, out of mind. Make it uncomfortable to watch, so it trains your mind to not want it. Cancel the cable and apply the extra cash to something more beneficial.
4) Avoid the need to have the TV on in the background as it’s easy to get seduced back into watching. That single-handedly was one of my biggest issues. Try having music on in the background instead. Eat meals with the TV off as well, as it allows you to, gulp, interact with others. Noooooo!
5) Stop watching the same shit over and over again. No need to watch Scarface for the 78th time. You know how it ends.
6) When you do watch programming, try and make it productive. Look at it as watching this particular show is going to bring you closer to your goals. For example: Watching a house flipping show to learn about real estate or a cooking show to learn a recipe, rather than something depressing and/or mind numbing.
7) Go to sleep earlier over late-night TV. You’ll be more restful and focused to kick ass, ready to take on the challenges of a new day. You’ll look better as well, as you will not have those bags under your eyes from all your drug use. Get in the habit. Early to bed. Early to rise. Develop some momentum.
8,9,10) Spend time with family. Make some money. Stop watching so much porn and go out and meet people. Have fun. Have and experience the real thing. Not the one on the screen. Enjoy all the little things in real life you get to create for yourself, rather than watch someone else live theirs.
Nowadays, I’m perfectly happy to be clueless and not up to date on what happened on such and such show last night. I guard and protect my thoughts, sheltering, and insulating them from all the depressing, unproductive, and unnecessary shit you’re liable to see watching TV. I choose to create my own reality show nowadays. One not so depressing as the previous one I would watch and live – my previous life.
At one time I felt married to TV, not being able to live without it. Now I am happily divorced. Educate yourself on your situation, because nobody is going to do it for you. Stay well and out of trouble.
–The Educated Felon