Friday, January 18, 2013

Strange Addiction

I worry a lot.
I worry excessively.
It can be a real problem for me if I don't get a grip on it and handle it in the right ways.  Having a brand new baby around, I have to focus on distraction.

Netlix is my friend. 

If I watch Netflix while I nurse, I am a champion nurser.
If I focus on my baby while I nurse, I worry.
Is she getting enough?
Am I making enough?
Too much?  Not enough?
How long?  Too long?  Too short?
Tension builds up in my body and it doesn't help anyone.

With Netflix on my side, I have a chubby, pink, beautiful baby.
I also have a long line of "recently watched" flicks and television shows.  A few nights ago, I noticed that Netflix added a television show to their streaming plan.  It's called, "My Strange Addiction."  I clicked on it, and I've been able to watch a few episodes over the past few days.
 
Having lived with someone with an addiction -and having loved someone with an addiction -it bothers me that this show is out there making a spectacle out of people with addictions.  But apparently, it doesn't bother me badly enough to stop me from watching...
Bad Alicia!

It's really interesting to me that although the addictions themselves vary, the common threads in thinking do not.
They're all too familiar to me.

"It's not hurting anyone."
"It's not a big deal."
"I don't think I can change."

You can watch clips HERE but please.  for the love of your lunch, do NOT watch the clips about a woman who is addicted to drinking her own urine.

I will say that because I've studied up on addiction, this show is really, um, funny.
It isn't supposed to be, and let me assure you: I am not laughing at the addicts.  It's the SHOW.  It's the way they portray the addict and the addictions.  It's SO dramatic -the music, the worded descriptions that beam up and explain (oftentimes statistically) just how awful the addictions are.

The show is begging you to judge the addicts.  That's what bothers me most about the show.
Sure, she eats couch cushions.
Yes, he works out 6 hours a day.
And yeah -her puppets ARE her children, okay?

A few months ago, our Stake President got up during an adult meeting and encouraged the congregation to be more accepting of addictions -of addicts.  He said some of the addicts he'd met with were some of his favorite people. 
"They're honest, they need help, and they're getting it," he said, "What isn't to love about that?  Shouldn't we all be more like that?"
He then went on to say that we would all benefit from attending the 12-step addiction recovery meetings.  The congregation chuckled.
I didn't. 
Because it wasn't funny -he wasn't trying to be funny.  The 12-step program can seem ridiculous until you give it a try -then it becomes gospel... because it IS gospel.  It's the Atonement, broken down into 12 applicable and approachable steps.

He then posed the question, "What if, every time each of us acted out in our own addictions, there was physical proof?"
He listed a few options: what if our eyes glowed red for three hours after we viewed pornography?
What if our tongue turned blue for four hours after we gossiped?

Would we be more accepting of addiction (and addicts) then?  I'd like to think we would. 
Strange or not, addiction is a part of our mortal experience. 
It gives us the opportunity to look DEEP inside ourselves and search for the "why" under it.  It's an enlightening search that can build us, reform us, TRANSFORM us.
But not without work.
And WE can't do it.  We can only hand it over.  That's the hard part.
At it turns out it's hard for a lot of us -whether it's porn or sugar or furry suits -it seems it isn't easy to let go.

I recently read THIS blog post on Nate's blog, and I absolutely love it.  It's wonderful.  It's definitely a classy literary version of "My Strange Addiction" and I'd rather watch a cinematic representation of THAT than another episode of "My Strange Addiction."
Because really: no matter what the addiction is, I feel like I'm watching a rerun.

6 comments:

  1. I love this part..."The 12-step program can seem ridiculous until you give it a try -then it becomes gospel... because it IS gospel. It's the Atonement, broken down into 12 applicable and approachable steps"

    And this part...."Strange or not, addiction is a part of our mortal experience.
    It gives us the opportunity to look DEEP inside ourselves and search for the "why" under it. It's an enlightening search that can build us, reform us, TRANSFORM us.
    But not without work.
    And WE can't do it. We can only hand it over. That's the hard part.
    At it turns out it's hard for a lot of us -whether it's porn or sugar or furry suits -it seems it isn't easy to let go"

    Thanks!

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    1. I just love how the program is successful BECAUSE it turns us to Christ. It's great!

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  2. Love this Alicia...

    "He then posed the question, "What if, every time each of us acted out in our own addictions, there was physical proof?"
    He listed a few options: what if our eyes glowed red for three hours after we viewed pornography?
    What if our tongue turned blue for four hours after we gossiped?"

    Sorry my next thought was...kind of like when someone pees in a pool it turns blue. Never done that, but I had a good chuckle and needed it. Thanks for entertaining me tonight.

    We all have our addictions and it would be nice if people were more accepting. My eyes have been opened to the addicts I have been in connection with through group and online and I have so much compassion for them, because I, too have my addictions to deal with.

    Thank you friend;)

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    1. I like to think that people actually are becoming more accepting! Maybe it just seems that way to me because I'm close friends with many addicts and I love them :)

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  3. How cool to hear your Stake President preach such true words! Church attendance is not to prove how righteous we are.

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    1. I was so happy! He's an awesome guy.

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