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ImageA friend of mine on Facebook posted a list of her addictions and when I liked her post, she gave me a number to create my own. I usually pass on these type of things but this one really hits home. I know that I have an addictive personality. When I am REALLY interested in something, I lose my ability to moderate. I will watch an entire SERIES of a show in a few days or read an entire thousand page book in a day or so. It can get to be quite ridiculous. As I’m trying to be more self aware, I thought this would be a good exercise to evaluate my crazy a little more.

I was given the number 7:

1. Patrick – Now before you go rolling your eyes – read me out. I love Patrick, that is for sure, but I put him on this list because my “addiction” to him is something apart from that. I feel the strong urge to be around him at all times. I want to laugh, to have sex, to talk, play games, watch a show – it doesn’t matter. I crave his company.  Yesterday we had a huge argument. I was still nursing some resentment when I got home. So much so, I literally did not want to see his face. Not one bit…. yet I found myself drawn to him, sitting at the top of my steps doodling nonsense while he sat at his computer. I didn’t talk to him or even look in that direction. I just sat near enough. How can the very thing driving me crazy be the thing that I want most to soothe and calm myself?

2. Facebook – I use the site WAY more than I’d ever care to find out. While my purpose behind its use has changed, I still feel I am too often getting lost in the brain-numbing Newsfeed scroll. These days I spend my time searching for things that are beautiful; pictures, words, comedy, it doesn’t matter. I try to comment or take notice because isn’t that why I post things? I want to believe that others care what I have to say, enjoy seeing snapshots of my life, and want to share in my experiences in the unique way only Facebook can offer. Even still, I’m left questioning if all of those minutes spent finding and spreading beauty could be better spent actually making a difference.

3. Writing – More specifically, writing in my journal, in my bathroom, usually in the bath tub. I don’t know why I am drawn to writing in this specific way, but it works for me. I find a natural flow. My mind is a constant stream of thoughts and ideas, often getting jumbled and confused. When I put my pencil to paper, the words just come naturally. After writing, I feel as though I have one less thing cluttering my mind. I laugh at the parallel of this thought to my house. My home is just like my head – cluttered and unorganized in a way that only works for me. And sometimes not even then.

4. Self-discovery – For much of my life I didn’t have any real sense of self. I made a bad habit of molding myself to whoever I was with, so I would always fit in. Constantly changing based on other people left me looking in a mirror and seeing little more than a pretty shell. So I am on a new path. I want to ask questions. What do I like? What do I really believe? How do I feel about things? Each day I am learning a little more about who I am and what makes me tick. And surprisingly, each day I am learning to love myself. Right there is what fuels this addiction. Self-love. It is something that has always eluded me – every success could have been better, every failure was deserved, and no matter what, I was never enough. Now I look in the mirror and I like what I see (when I am able to eat) and look into my soul and love who I have become. Sure, I am crazy and neurotic. Absolutely. But I am kind of awesome too.

5. Baths – Yep. I take more baths in a week than most likely take in a month. My baths are closely related to some of my other addictions, which is what probably fuels this one. Taking a bath is my time to be alone and think. I love the feeling of the hot water – it eases the stress and tension and opens up my mind.  I like to write or doodle or read. Sometimes I will just close my eyes and try to push against the darkness that is there. Baths have become my escape. Before I preferred to run into the fire rather than wade through the darkness of my mind. Now I fully submerge myself.  So enjoyable.

6. Helping Others – I dream of a return to when people were concerned about others for no reason than because it is a good way to live life. I am starting with myself. I try to do little things that might make a difference. I helped my neighbor roll her traschcans down our icy hill of a driveway and attempted to push a stuck car out of deep snow (in 4 inch heels). I have conversations with strangers, I smile and laugh for little or no reason, and I pay attention. It isn’t much but then I don’t really believe it takes much. Little things here and there, every day will add up quickly.

7. Being Connected – I cannot seem to get away from this thought that all things are connected. Life, death, fate, karma, past, present, future, religion, spirituality, plants, animals, everything… All of it connected. That existence is a huge infinite weave, everything tied in together. I struggle to explain my thought because it’s coming from nothing more than a feeling. How do you describe something entirely new and unknown? I don’t know the answer to that.

As my bath water has turned icy cold and I have 7 addictions, I think I’ve successfully completed this exercise and also given myself plenty more to think on.