Hey, look, I am still around. Been so long between posts, I almost forgot about me.
So, if there is still anyone still subscribed and reading this, I do still have things to talk about, even though I took another long break.
Today’s subject is simple enough, the treadmill. A little back story first though. I have been under doctors orders to walk regularly for a couple years now. Plus, I have been taking those orders a bit further in order to try and lose, and keep off, weight. Well this winter has been difficult for me along these lines. A lot of it is me making excuses, but not all. My biggest issue has been since last summer when I moved. I use to live right next to a nice public lake, with a popular, and well maintained, walking trail around it. Made for a good excuse to get out walking, and gave a good measured distance in a varied incline decline area. I was working on getting out and walking the entire 3.3 miles a few times a week, or at least that was the goal. I wasn’t always able to make it all the way around, and was working to do so with more and more ease.
Well, I moved. I moved to a house that is not near such a place. While I now live in a nice house, in a nice neighborhood, I also live on a busy road that is without a sidewalk. The streets near me also don’t all have sidewalks, and when walking, I am basically walking in neighborhood blocks not, most with sidewalks when you go so far, and not the public areas for walking that I am more comfortable with, and that are measured out for distance. Also, early last summer, I lost the person that was walking with me. Not that it is requirement for walking, but it did make it a lot easier for me when someone was showing up and not giving me room for excuses to not get out and walk, and having company to talk to and laugh with and complain with about the walk, made things a lot easier as well. While the walk itself can include a lot of things to look at and be pleasant to just be outside, there is a big part of it where I am fighting my body telling me that I can’t do this and need to give up, and having someone there telling me otherwise helped. The reason she stopped walking with me could be a long post in itself, all I will really say to that is, if you think your significant other is doing something other than walking with a friend of hers, and you are too lazy to walk with them to see for yourself, then shut up, you can’t accuse them if you are invited.
So, I was using all of this as kind of an excuse to not force myself out the door, and I have gained a pound or ten back because of it. There is also the regular excuses used with being a single parent and not being about to easily schedule times to drive somewhere to walk or workout. Then comes weather. While I tell myself I am just making excuses, the weather is something that I can’t control and is more than just an excuse. If it is raining or stormy, I am not alone in thinking it is a good day to skip a workout. Then when you get to the later fall months, it starts getting cold, and while some people still do their outside workouts despite temperature, I just don’t find myself able to. When I walk a long distance when it is too hot out, I find myself feeling sick a lot and feel like I am hurting myself more than helping. Winter is even worse, since I am not only cold, but my back and hip, where I had surgery a couple years ago and what started all this, start to hurt and makes it hard to move some days much less walking several miles getting consistently colder.
I decided the solution to this all was to get a treadmill, now that I live in a place big enough to have one. I would still prefer to walk with someone outside, but I am hoping the treadmill really gives me less excuses to not walk. It is also closer to my music and TV, so I am able to do something that might distract me and see if I can make that a way to walk further more often. I did get the treadmill, and have been trying to figure out the best placement for it, and the best attitude to have towards it. From what I have found online, people seem to suggest putting it in a place that it is easy to get to, no excuses not to use it, without having it in the way of other things, and somewhere you will see it everyday. The house I live in was my grandparents house when I was growing up, and the furniture was always arranged in this one way, more or less, and I have kept it that way, more or less, since I moved in. It just seems like that is where the furniture goes, and it just feels odd changing certain things in this house. So I am having a bit of trouble deciding where to put the treadmill at the moment, but I think I have decided on a good location. If anyone has a suggestion on this, I am open to ideas.
My only real concern has been walking on it. I am just not use to it. A treadmill works by giving a consistent speed on a belt. If you ever pay attention to how you walk, you don’t really walk with a consistent speed in real life. You sort of walk faster and slower depending, but you throw that out the window with a treadmill and have to learn to walk at this speed for this long, and it just isn’t something I am use too. I also am not use to watching or listening to anything when walking. While I am told, and have read, about how you can get in the habit of watching a show or listening to an album or so on and so forth, and even get to the point of timing your workout based on that, and it can increase the level of your workout, it just isn’t something I have ever done, so I am not use to it yet. I am sure with time I will know what they are talking about.
All that said, I put the treadmill in my bedroom for the time being, moving it to its new home in the family room will take time with changing the arrangement of the family room. For now my bedroom will just have to work. I have only had it three days now, but I did use it once. The first day I used the best excuse I could think of to not use it, I was exhausted after dragging the 230lb box inside and setting the damn thing up. The second day I used it, and yesterday I was just being lazy. Now that I have a way to walk inside, I want to tell myself that I have less room for excuses, and force myself into a schedule. Day 1 I walked a 20 minute mile watching a show. I realized that it has been too long since I stopped walking since I was wearing down a little faster than I was hoping. The plan, starting today is to find a speed that I can keep up, and start watching an hour long show, which are actually about 40-45 minutes on Netflix, and go to the end of the show instead of watching the treadmill.
That really is all I can say about it right now, I am hoping this will help me have less excuses and keep things up. If anyone has any suggestions or ideas on using a treadmill, I am all ears.
Now normally when posting a review or sharing a site, I will post a link to the website at the top of my posts. I know most people would put the link in at the bottom or create a hyperlink in relevant text, but I like to make it obvious with a link or logo with hyperlink. I have chosen to not do this on this, what is likely to be a short, post. My reason is simple and clear. I don’t want you going to this website, and will not endorse you to do so. Let me explain.
I like buying cheap fun crap I don’t need, I also use an ecig, for both of these reasons I spend way too much time searching around the internet for obscure websites and going deep in the lower levels of Amazon that they don’t want to tell you about. Surprisingly, I have had very few issues in buying things. I can only think of one time that I ordered something that I didn’t receive and rarely is there a complete lack of customer service. I do follow a few set rules
1. don’t give my credit card number to anyone, either use paypal or a third party payment option that I trust, and it is easy enough to look into ones you don’t know to tell if you should trust them or not.
2. make sure the link is going where it says it’s going. Simple fact is that some people will try to scam you with false links. You click on PayPal checkout, it takes you to a site that looks just like PayPal checkout but isn’t, you put in you info, and they can now log in to your account and send themselves all your money. Just look at the addresses you are linked too, careful to make sure there are no extra dots or anything in it. You can even go to paypal and go to their checkout page from your account and compare the addresses if you need to
3. Be ready to wait, these places are rarely in the next town over, and they aren’t going to be able to send your package for free from where they are in less than a couple weeks. You will get it, you just have to remember that there is likely a donkey involved in your shipping option, and you need to be patient
4. This is probably the most important rule, be ready to get what you paid for. If you order a watch that “looks like” the soon to be released Apple watch, and you got it for $10, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t come siri ready, or if it stops working or a screw falls out in a day or two.
All that said, few companies have I had enough issue with to never want to return or tell people to go to, even for a laugh, as I have had with e5cigs. They sell mostly things for your vapeing experience, as you might have guessed. I vape so I thought I would look at things and I happen to need some new batteries at the time that I was looking, so I found some batteries to order from them. they had a some similar to what I usually get from another company, and a set of 5 batteries set really cheap and marked as a sale item. So, I decided on my order and placed it and all that. A couple weeks later I got my stuff in the mail and was excited to get all the batteries charged and tested. one of the normal ones didn’t work at all, and then out of the set of 5, one didn’t work and two had shorts that caused the batteries to heat up real hot really fast.
Not happy with my order, I got on the website and found the link for complaints, and I was happy with their system for communication, but not how they handled things. I told them the batteries didn’t work, and their first response was to ask me to prove this in a video and then to email them that video. I am not a overly creative person, and just don’t know how to take a video of something that is dead in a way that proves that it is dead, so I responded telling them exactly that and asked what it was they wanted me to do in the video to prove this. Their response was to say they no longer needed the video, but would like to offer me an $8 store credit for my trouble. Now the products that aren’t working or are defective here added up to $16-$20, so I wasn’t very happy with an $8 store credit and asked for a refund or a store credit of the amount that I was out.
It took a few back and forth messages, but in the end all they would do, for the most amount of my money returned, was send me two more batteries equaling about $12 if I was to buy them, and likely costing them much less than that. I haven’t received them so I have no idea if these two are defective or work at all, but I will see when I get them. It doesn’t really matter if they do or not now, following them telling me they would send me out the two replacements for the 5 dead batteries they sold me, I was pissed enough that I then deleted all history, cookies and autofill information on this website from Chrome and Safari. If I get the replacements or not, and if they work or not, I have no reason to return to this site and I personally never will. They lost my business and I hope yours too.
Most everyone knows, and those of you that don’t, pick up a fucking book, that the almost every holiday we celebrate, that how we celebrate and what we are celebrating are rarely actually related to each other. I can give so many examples it’s really not funny, but I will give some easy ones. A fat man giving spreading consumerism by being creepy and breaking into your house while you sleep so he can eat your food and leave your kids gifts, has little to do with the birth of Jesus. As much so I guess, as a large bunny hiding eggs, where ever a bunny gets eggs, for your kids to find, makes sense as the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. You can easily see my point here.
This is the start of why I don’t really like celebrating holidays. It isn’t so much that I don’t agree with the idea of them or the celebrations of them, I just hate talking about a fat man bringing me gifts for months, gifts made by elves, and then talk all day how Christmas is about giving. But, wait, I thought Christmas was about the day that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, when did it become about giving? And why do I get a gift, when supposedly I should live a thrifty and humble life as Jesus did? This is when I am confused and frankly upset about the idea, because so many people just follow and exist with these holidays without looking at them for what they really are, and celebrating what they believe.
If you believe Christmas to be a celebration of the day Jesus is born, then you should be celebrating that, talking about that. If you give something to anyone, shouldn’t it be something that Jesus would give, to someone he would give it too? I have read the bible, and I have news for most of you, Santa might bring you that iPad Mini you have wanted since the release announcement from Apple, but Jesus doesn’t give a crap, he would give money to charity and buy food for the needy. Don’t get all mad at me as some anti Christmas person, or an overly religious person, cause I am neither. I don’t care if you want to celebrate Christmas, and I am far from religious, I just think if you celebrate a holiday based on a religious or social ideal, then it really makes sense to do it based on that ideal not on some made of traditions that you don’t even know why they are there, right? I love gifts, and I am the easiest person to shop for, cause I seem to love everything, but I have a day, my birthday. Feel free to get me whatever you want, and please do, I will take it, on my birthday. I just don’t understand getting things on a day celebrating the birth of a man that is celebrated as the one guy that ACTUALLY gave his life to save others.
Now, in saying that, I can see how someone could twist that into saying that it is a holiday about giving. Okay, I will give you that, but if you have to give, why not give to someone that needs it. I am not rich, but my kids are comfortable. Not only do they have a nice roof, food and clothes, but they have all the electronic toys, bikes and so on, they don’t really need one more gadget to ignore or complain about. There are plenty of people that might not eat that day, there are shelters for abused kids that had to leave everything they owned behind to escape a bad situation, and there are families that can barely afford to feed their kids, much less buy those toys. It seems that those are the people that need that giving most of all. Why not take the big step and not just give a little to them and still have a big thing for your family, why not get your family involved and give all you can to them and make that what you do with your family.
My favorite time of year is during that holiday break from work and school. Instead of opening gifts, me and my kids box up things around the house that we don’t really use but is still usable, and take it all down to a charity like I listed above, to give to families that really can use it.
The truth is, most holidays are holidays and celebrations that existed for one reason or another, culturally and religiously, and were taken over by a different religion. Christmas is a great example, since it was set to be celebrated on December 25th, since there were already two other annual celebrations on that day that celebrated none christian beliefs, most notably Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, which celebrated the birth of the Roman sun god. With Christianity spreading as the national religion in the Roman Empire, the church had concern about people still wanting to celebrate their traditional holidays, but these holidays were in celebration to other gods. Easy solution, that has worked for a couple millennium since, just change which god/person/event they are celebrating. You say you are now Christian, but you have this holiday celebrating the birth of the sun god that you already have a tradition and annual celebration for, just change sun god to Jesus, and a new holiday is born. Doesn’t really matter if the celebration matches what is being celebrated, only that the focus is on what the church wants it to be on. Then over the millennium and half to come we pick up folk lore and tradition from other cultures as the religion spreads, and one brilliant soda advertiser, until eventually we have Santa breaking in your house to leave Elvin made gifts and eating all your cookies.
This goes for so many others, I just focused in a little much on Christmas. Valentine’s Day is another of my least favorite. There have a few Valentine’s celebrated by the church over the years, but most notably being Saint Valentine, in which the holiday began with, although they have all been eventually grouped in to one over time. That is why it is Valentine’s not Valentine Day. For that matter, not even the church that decides on who saints are knows enough about Saint Valentine, outside his martyr status and date he was venerated, to really call him notable. In fact they know so little about him that he, along with Valentine’s Day, has been removed from the official Catholic calendar, only recognizing him on that day, if they have nothing better going on. This is a great example of people just making things up. This one started out as a feast and day of sacrifice, which was changed after the 14th century, for no apparent reason, to be a day of love, and at that point was love in fellowship, a declaration of love to everyone that matters to you and effects your life. It is a rather recent concept for it to be a day of romantic love. I never understood having a single day for that, seems you would want to do that year round.
All of this is really just a short essay on my ideas of holidays, and how I believe we should all look into why we are doing something and not just do it because we always have. Some of these days, if you really looked into their history and how they were meant to be celebrated, you may not even want to celebrate them anymore. There might be others that you never cared about that you really find are more worth your time. I find the celebration of the Solstices to be fascinating, and I really don’t know how to celebrate them more then a recognition of the event, but I try to twice a year. Not for any spiritual belief, but just an amazement in the science of event. The measurable moment that we are closest and furthest from the sun, and the fact that they are the two oldest celebrated moments. Just the fact that it is one of the oldest record-able moments, and the more we learn about why it happens and the more we know about our planet, it only becomes that much more awesome that it happens in such a predictable time frame. Just think of everything that would go wrong with our ecosystem if we tilted one way or the other to quickly or for too long.
Find something that matters to you, respect it enough to celebrate it correctly and share it with your family. If you are offended by anything I have said, shut up, I am an idiot with a blog, no one forced you to read this much.
Procrastination is a hard thing to talk about because it is such a fact in my life. I know that so many other people relate and know what I am saying, but I feel like I am stuck in this loop with putting things off that I am ahead of the class in this subject. Some people get things done, some people put things off, I have made procrastinating an art form.
To start with, I don’t ever really feel like I have the energy to do much of anything. I don’t know if it is part of my depression or anxiety, the medications I take for those issues, or a combination of the two, but I do know that I can talk myself out of doing almost anything. This isn’t really a new issue either. My stubbornness and apathy for getting in trouble as a kid allowed for me to practice advanced forms of procrastinating starting at a reasonably young age. Skills in which I mastered as I got older and found that I no longer needed to explain myself to others.
I don’t want anyone to think that I am just celebrating my laziness here just because I like to joke about the subject. I actually spend quite a bit of time and metal effort fighting the urge to not do anything. Life is so much easier when you sit around and watch a movie. This is a daily thing for myself, and likely one of the biggest reasons that losing weight, finding a mate, or having clean laundry have been so difficult. Those things take effort, and that is just so hard, cause I would need to get out of the chair and put on my shoes. That is a thought that has gone through my mind when there is something that I need to do shows itself. I just took my shoes off and I have to go outside to do that, which would require putting my shoes back on. To make this even more sad, I don’t wear shoes with laces, only slip-on shoes.
When it comes to things at work, it is a little easier to convince myself to get things done, mostly because they pay me, and if I don’t finish my work they might stop doing that. Although I still find ways to put things off. It isn’t that I don’t know what I am doing or that I am bad at my job, which makes what I do quite easy. It’s called putting things off until the last possible minute. Something needs to be done by 12 and it’s 10, I can spend 30 minutes figuring out how long it can will actually take me to do it, then once I have figured out that if I rushed, but only as fast as I can without doing any worse of a job, it will take me 30-45 minutes, there for I don’t need to start for another 45 minutes. I don’t have other work to do or something better to do. My work computer won’t let me on facebook or social websites, and I work alone, so there isn’t anyone to talk to, plus I work in a visible area where I am not able to play games or waste time on distracting things without being seen by half the office, so I just find myself suddenly bored and complaining about how slow my work day is going.
Now I know that what would solve this issue would be to do the work at hand, and just work on it a little slower, take my time, double check my work, and fill in the time, but why would I do that? It doesn’t need done yet. Really I don’t even feel comfortable saying much more than that, and maybe even feel I have said too much, cause I don’t want anyone I work for or with to read this and get the wrong idea, since I do always make sure to do my work and check it, and take pride in doing any, no matter how menial, of a job correctly, I just know that I build some procrastination into everything I do.
Really it all comes out the most at home. I have amazed myself on how much I have sat around thinking about what needs done and planning out how and when it will get done, when I can just get my ass up and start doing it. I don’t know what that is. I make excuses for a lot of it. You know the kind of things where I just want to finish this show, or I am waiting on x or doing y first, and it always seems like x and y are things I can’t do right now for this reason or another, which means I can’t do anything, so I just get nothing done. There is some of that which isn’t an excuse but part of an OCD issue I actually have, but not all of it.
Really this is where it becomes hard to talk about, since this is where it is so easily simplified. I have lots of things I know need done and I just don’t want to or don’t feel like doing it. I don’t know how to even explain that feeling. I have walked past things that need picked up in my own house, looked at it and said to myself “I need to pick that up sometime.” It’s a level of procrastination that actually embarrasses me, mostly because it doesn’t even effect time to do it. In the time that I stopped, looked at the item and said that to myself, I could have picked it up and been done with it. That level my be reaching into another issue such as apathy or depression, but comes out in procrastination.
This topic REALLY relates to everything I have talked about so far. From smoking, drinking, and drugs to eating, computers and music, and so many things in between, I have an addictive personality, and it makes everything that isn’t it hard, and then even harder is when it has to stop. One addiction doesn’t just stop though, it brings out the best of you as you quit and the worst as you find its replacement.
I think I can really go back to my earliest memories to find stories of addiction, but I am not even sure if I could find the root of it. Some might even roll their eyes at that and the idea that I can think of addiction as a child, but yeah. It’s that line between wanting something and having to have something. I had that early on. I never just wanted a new box of crayons, I needed every color made by a particular company, and they all needed to be perfect in their boxes. I have to pause at that statement, cause I am not arguing that I was spoiled or that this is proof of that, with kids that just want everything that they see and are never happy until it happens. This goes deeper than that. I grew up in what you might call middle class, maybe lower middle class. I wasn’t poor, but I wasn’t rich. My parents were able to spoil me here and there, but they just couldn’t afford to do it to a point that would warrant the “spoiled brat” behavior.
That may not of been important to address, but I think there needs to be an important discussion here about the difference in a need and a want when discussing addiction. That is how I know I was easily swayed to addiction as a child and still am. It is the feeling that can’t be described by words like regret, jealousy, envy or any other of the normal phrases associated with a desire or wanting. It is a more deep seeded drive that you only feel when you know you are without, not when you want or have. If asked to describe it I can only compare it to the feeling any normal person would have if they were asked not to eat for a couple days, or go without water on a hot day, or even that level of obsession where all you can do is think about it, plan on it, think about how it will happen, or when. It doesn’t have to be rational, it doesn’t have to be good, it can be stupid, dangerous and someone could tell you with no doubt that it could kill you, it doesn’t matter until you have what you are addicted too.
This is the feeling I remember having as a kid, starting with simple things and collecting. If I had that box of crayons, I was happy to have them, but I felt almost physical pain about the fact that I didn’t have every single one I could have, and no matter what rational person explained to me that I had every one I COULD have, it didn’t matter. I did this over everything, and if I couldn’t finish a collection, it was often better to not have any of it, because the incomplete would occupy too much of my time and thought. So, what a wonderful day when I learned about drugs and alcohol in High School, and decided to try them.
I want to start by saying that I am 13 years sober from drug use. I don’t count alcohol use, since I no longer keep it around and have stopped drinking enough to get drunk. I do still enjoy a drink with friends on occasion and I make an effort to not drink it more than that. I refuse to drink alone, and certain friends I have had talks with explaining that I never want to be addicted to it and if they see signs of it to make whatever efforts needed to remind or stop me.
Anyway, I found drugs and alcohol, and boy was I in love. I tried everything, this is the point my parents usually tell me they don’t need to know my entire past, and I loved most everything. I liked testing new things and mixing things and just being where they could take me. I don’t want to spend much more time on it than that, the simple fact is, drugs are great…when your on them. Alcohol has that concept down to a tee, best you’ll ever feel is that moment between blind drunk and throwing up. If you can just figure out how much you need to drink to stay there until you pass out, your golden, but you will pay for it in the morning every time. You will curse ever using it, until the hangover wears off, and it’s like you suddenly forgot what a hangover even is and where’s the beer? There was a point in all of this that I thought I could never quit either drugs or drinking, but then I found my first big transitional addiction to replace them both, love.
Man the things you will do for love and sex. I found a beautiful woman that liked my car, and at 19 that was close enough. Eventually I proposed and she said only if we both stop drinking and drugging. Well, she was the one I loved, and that is a much stronger addiction than any chemical I ever put in my body, and she was the only source I had for having sex, so sure, I want love and sex much more than a 5 hour trip or 1 hour high, or even a night drunk. That was my new addiction, at least it felt like it, and I did everything I thought I should do as a husband, turns out 20 year old’s don’t know a lot about being a good husband, and 16 year old’s don’t know a lot more about being good wives. We had some very rocky years, with a lot of good moments, but eventually there was just to much negative to work for any positives.
During my 6 year marriage I did increase an obsession, even addiction, to both music and computers that started at a very young age. Why do I think of these as addictions, you might ask. It’s simply because I have that feeling like I need to do something with computers constantly and I need to listen to collect and learn about music constantly. That difference in the feeling of need and want, to a point that either could easily take over my life if I didn’t keep them in check, keeping them from really being hobbies, but more like controlled addictions. I also learned clearly while married that I loved food, a bit too much.
Food, oh food, how do I love thee. I can eat pizza until I am full, then eat because I want the flavor of it in my mouth, have to stop because I am too full, but wait a little bit, drink some soda and finish off the rest a little cold. All the time telling myself that I am a fat slob, but how great does this pizza taste. Now, this isn’t just pizza, it’s just eating stuff I like in general. There have been nights I lay in bed thinking about all the things I could possibly go eat, and hoping I fall asleep before my will power breaks, it’s a race between the ambien and the car trip for some McDonald’s fries, which can I hold out for longer? Plus, eating it just evil. It is always there, you have to do it, and if you can’t have something you are trying to break the habit of, drinking, smoking, bad break up, what better friend than Ben and his friend Jerry? Family and friends never understand it either, even if they have the same problem. They offer you food, you turn it down and they are insulted you won’t eat. “I don’t want to eat because I finished all the calories this stupid app on my phone says I can have today and for some reason I am listening to my phone for health advice now.” or “I can’t eat cause I don’t know how to enter the crap you made in this stupid app.” It really doesn’t matter the reason, they still think you just don’t want to eat their cooking, or you ate before coming to see them or you have plans you aren’t telling them about after.
They all have a diet you need to try, and never think the one you are on is correct. The last actual diet I was on was a closely doctor monitored and controlled diet, and when I tried telling people what I was doing I actually had people tell me that my doctor was a “quack” and I needed to find a nutritionist that knew what they were doing. All because they read online or heard from their doctor about this diet or plan that somehow worked for them, or at least someone they at least knew someone that knew them. If they don’t know of a diet you should be on, they have an opinion about how you shouldn’t diet. If you are using an application or program of some sort, it’s never the correct one, and no one seems to have the same opinion. You need to try this or you need to try that but don’t do what that other person said to do or not to do.
What I use to do to relive all this stress was a good old fashioned cigarette. Smoking is a powerful and very addictive activity, one that I enjoyed so very much. I once described how smoking feels to my friend Amanda, and she told me I sounded like I was describing a erotic pleasure of some sort. I wasn’t even trying to do that or being poetic in my attempt. When you have smoked for several years you get to a point that there really isn’t much that feels quite as good as lighting up that next cigarette. If anything encapsulates the feeling of addictions as good as hard drugs do, it is smoking. When you are smoking you feel like you are with an old friend helping you through your day, and when you aren’t smoking you are thinking about how all you want to do is smoke and get back to that friend of yours. I quit smoking myself in 2012, partly due to health concerns with a developing cough I had, that has stopped since, and with healing factors from a surgery, but mostly because I have an asthmatic son who asked me too try.
I did quit, but found it so hard that I really only replaced it with an electronic cigarette or vaporizer. While sometimes I still use nicotine, and sometimes I don’t, I am still going through the addicting actions and behavior of smoking, just without the smoking itself. While some people consider this a much better habit, and some feel it is just as bad, I tend to lean towards the former just since my health seems to be better for it. Even though it does seem to be the case, I do still plan to quit the vapor as well. I find myself looking towards the idea of quitting with the same dread as when I quit smoking and feel like I will be losing a part of myself. The worst of the feelings that all addictions seem to have for me, the feeling like I need something I don’t need and have some how failed by having to lose it. It really is a common theme in addiction, and the worst of addictions really hit it home.
The final chapter in my talk about addictions, and not a moment too soon seeing how long this has become, is stuff. When I say stuff I mean stuff of all kinds. I collect things, and more often than I would like to admit, collecting things becomes an excuse for borderline hoarding behavior. It is all back to that same behavior of addiction that is the earliest in my memories as a child and it has never really gone away, and I don’t know completely how to control it even after 30 years. It is this special feeling where my OCD and addictive personality meet. I don’t just want my favorite book by this author, I need every book they ever wrote, even if I don’t even like anything else they wrote but that one book. I do it with everything, I have to have. What might set me apart from most hoarders is that I don’t have to have everything of everything, I am not saving everything cause it my be useful or I might feel wasteful getting rid of it, that would be almost too easy, I have to somehow make it more complex than that. There are lots of things I don’t care about, and as soon as something breaks I can chuck it with little issue. The issue I have becomes apparent if I find something I truly like.
Lets take stuffed bears as a great example. When I was born a neighbor of my parents gave me a stuffed bear, and I love that bear, and I still have that bear. Skip a couple years and now I am 2 and I break my arm, the friend of the family watching me that day felt horrible and bought me a stuffed bear to keep with me during my recovery. Ever since my jogging bear, he is wearing a green jogging outfit, has sat on a shelf next to my other bear. Now lets skip 18 years and I have just moved into my first house with my wife. When I was decorating my space in our room I get out these two bears and she didn’t know what in the world was going on, so I told her all about them and why they were important to me. She thought it would be cute, and it was, to occasionally get me a bear as a gift from my then new born and later toddler kids. We skip one more time another 13 years and we get to me moving into my new house, now a single dad, with my two growing up too fast boys and when unpacking I realize that I have 3 small moving boxes of just bears, and one more of random stuffed animals, and I can only place getting a handful of them all for special reasons and then my two favorite bears from my childhood, and I don’t even know why I have the others. Looking back on it I can see the point that I stopped getting them as gifts and started buying them for myself, and I still don’t understand why, other than to explain this need to just have them, and I needed all of them, and I don’t know how many there are, so I just get every one I see.
The worst part of this behavior for me came when I recognized it and started just giving things up. I don’t want addiction to hold me to things or actions and I am trying constantly to enjoy things, to have that drink and to have a collection, but to stop at that drink, to only collect one or two things and learn to just enjoy the things I really want without having to have everything, but that feeling of the need never stops. I put all the stuffed animals that mean something on a display shelf in my office, and on my office chair is all the other bears and other animals, that I just don’t know what to do with. I know I need to box them up and give them away. Some child will be better off playing with those than them being stored uselessly in my office in a box, but I have to bring myself to do it. If you are wondering I did settle on three actual collections, outside of the knickknack here and there things to remember family members by that have passed. I collect playing cards, dictionaries, and silver dollars. The reason for each could be a post themselves.
No matter what you do, no matter what your addiction, that need is all that seems to matter. The worst part is that need goes away once you have it, and more times than not you find that you don’t even want what you needed, you just needed it. I never wanted to smell like cigarette smoke, or have hundreds of stuffed animals that I have never as much as looked at, or done anything that was bad for my health, I just needed it, or at least felt a need for them. The want is not always there like so many that aren’t addicted to anything assume is what it is all about, but the need is what drives this behavior that makes the person doing it fell horrible, and then once the need is fulfilled, there too often is still no want and no fulfillment but learning that you still need, it’s just moved on to something new.