A Bold, Bad-Ass Move

Turn off the TVWell, for me it is, anyway.  I’ve decided to unplug my TV this week.

As I read through my old journals, pulling out tidbits that might be useful in my next writing project, I see over and over again how I lament over my inability to stop eating while I watch TV.  For decades, I’ve been moaning about this.  For awhile I even lived without a TV (but soon after that I was diagnosed as bipolar, so the jury is still out on whether that additional stress was a good idea or not).

This morning, I berated myself once again for bingeing while channel surfing.  Watching TV is the perfect set up for compulsive eating.  It lulls me, distracts me, siphons away any awareness or consciousness I might have scraped together.  It’s a great tool when my illness is loud and dangerous.  TV is the shiny object that distracts the toddler from sticking her finger in the electrical outlet.

But compulsions rise out of mindlessness.  They operate best in the dark when no one is looking.

I believe the only way I will ever push against my compulsions is to See them.  I have to be alert enough to notice when they show up, feel them in my body, and stay with them long enough to keep from acting blindly.  I may still fall prey to them, but at least I’ll have a fighting chance.

Losing weight is only a small part of why I need to do this.  My compulsions are my Edge right now, the Next Thing in my quest to live a sane life.  Compulsive eating, spending, and sexual fantasy control me.  They are the mindless monsters that take over and use my body and mind.  When the depression and mania come, there’s no stopping them.

Xena Warrior Princess Bad-AssIt’s only now, in the between time, that I have any chance to practice pushing against them.  This is part of my Bad-Ass Training, and like any warrior, I need to be willing to step up to the challenge.  After only one day with the TV silent, I can feel the itch.  I’m uncomfortable and want to be soothed.  Like any habit, this will be hard to kick.  And like everything else in my life, I will succeed and fail.  But, each time I Look, each time I hold the tension between Falling Asleep and Waking Up, I’ll strengthen my sword arm.

I’m on an Adventure.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. littlesundog
    May 14, 2012 @ 21:21:05

    I need some bad-ass training to quit chewing my cuticles. It’s a terrible habit and I can’t seem to stop. I do it mostly when I’m stressed or impatient. I have managed to quit for about 3 weeks, then BOOM, I’m back at it. I’m not sure how to step up to the challenge of stopping. Ugh. If you figure out how to kill the monster… let me in on the secret!


  2. pegoleg
    May 15, 2012 @ 09:24:04

    This IS a bold move. We used to give up TV for Lent when I was a kid, and I remember the twitchy, irritable withdrawal I went through. It lasted a couple of days. I’m sitting in front of the “boob tube” most every evening, and it really is a huge time waster. Good luck!


  3. Kathryn McCullough
    May 15, 2012 @ 15:56:22

    This would be bold for me, as well. Congrats on the decision. I don’t think there’s a connection between TV and overeating for me, as we had no televison in Haiti, and I still ate too much. However, for lots of people this can be an issue, so, I’m sure you’re not alone. Hooray for Bad-Ass!


    • Sandy Sue
      May 16, 2012 @ 05:37:14

      Thanks, Kathy. I know this isn’t the answer, but it’s a place to do the Work of Watching and Staying with my body as it thrashes around. Oh, I’ll find lots of other ways to eat too much, believe me!


  4. Kana Tyler
    May 15, 2012 @ 19:29:05

    I’m applauding your approach!
    It’s an adventure–you’re strengthening your sword-arm… The need to SEE the compulsions… Some of this Wisdom I could have used in untangling myself from addiction… 🙂 You go, girl–you’re onto something here!


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