Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I'm Mary, and I'm a _____aholic

Insert your word of choice; I have been a lot of them: shopping, nicotine, caffeine, chocolate, Facebook--with all its alluring virtual reality. None of my addictions have been particularly serious. Some may argue about nicotine, but trust me, if you haven't experienced addiction up close and personal as I have, watch a few episodes of Intervention. Smoking ain't that bad.

However, I've often wondered why I don't get addicted to positive things. Have you seen those dedicated runners? They are out there plugging along in inclement weather, defined calf muscles glistening in the rain, snow, sleet, whatever. They are addicted. Not me. I've tried, albeit halfheartedly. Running, as most forms of exercise, holds no appeal for me. Sure I make myself move sometimes, to put off aging, to prevent the backs of my arms from swinging in the breeze, to keep my husband looking at me longingly, to avoid having to buy new clothes, but I do it begrudgingly and as moderately as possible. If I could sit on the couch with a book, a cup of coffee, and a pack of Marlboro Lights and get the same results, you'd know where to find me.

Most recently, my addiction has been self-improvement. My husband said the other day, "You work more on bettering yourself than anyone I know." Never one to take a compliment at face value without turning it around, tearing it apart, and analyzing it from ever possible angle, I began to evaluate the fervor with which I devour self-help books. I'm not really that messed up. Well, we're all messed up in some way or another, but really? I check out books by the dozen to teach me how to face fears, drop baggage, find out my true purpose in life, analyze the hidden meanings of my dreams, build my children's self-esteem, have more patience with my aging parents...get it?

So what do I do about this? I mean all this work isn't bad. I do feel as if I've improved myself in some ways. But at my core, I still am who I've always been with moderate alterations. Is it bad to do this? Is it dangerous? Is it counterproductive? I don't know, but I will definitely try to find a self-help book to figure out if I need to stop helping myself.

2 comments:

  1. Loved reading this! I've been feeling kind of the opposite --- having fallen off the self-help wagon. I can't decided if I think I'm good enough as I am, if I'm beyond hope, or just too lazy to get back on board.

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  2. maybe you have acquired enough knowledge? you are always implementing different techniques in your life all ready.

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