Dirty Little Addictions: Guest Post

Note: As people buy the Inner Hero book (or simply fight with their Inner Critic), I invite guest posts that discuss the struggle. Today, Wendy Watson of Late Start Studio (and a frequent commenter on the blog) talks about addictions–the metaphorical equivalent of tempting candy treats handed out by your Inner Critic.

Dirty Little Addictions: Wendy Watson

Yes, most of us have them and from time to time they get out of hand.  I have one: I knew of it’s existence before partaking but eventually a personal introduction was made by a friend, well it was more like the way a new convert would be indoctrinated into a cult and I fell for it hook, line and sinker.  At first it was harmless and I thought I had full control, no one, not even me, was being hurt.  Now?  I can’t quite say the same.  The effect of this energy sapping, mind numbing (most addictions are), debilitating and dirty little addiction is that I am wasting my time, time I can never recover.

Because I have had a month off work and don’t need to clear my mind of rubbish by putting even more in its place (how pointless is that!) I am noticing how much precious time this compulsion robbing away from me.

© Wendy Watson 2014

© Wendy Watson 2014

I’ve tried to ration when I allow myself to indulge but to no avail.  Do I need to go cold turkey?  Is that even possible?  Do I need to find myself a 12-step programme and work through it?    I joke that I have oodles of willpower but next to no won’t-power.  Not funny.  I have to come up with a plan whereby I am accountable for what is wasted on this dirty little secret of mine.

Perhaps some kind soul would come and wave a big stick around, threaten, cajole, encourage by turns.  That might be a fine plan but will hardly empower me to make my own decisions, live my own life.  There’s only one thing for it . . . do it myself.  I got myself into this mess and I know I have lots of company but small comfort that is!

I don’t need to tell you what it is; you might try and experience the initial thrill of it for yourself and so it’s better you remain ignorant.  No, I need to ‘fess up to myself, put on my big girl knickers and get on with living!  Remember, “Each day passes whether you participate or not,” Deng Min Dao, 365 Tao: Daily Meditations.
* * *

The Amazon problem is now resolved, and the book shows it is shipping and reviews can be posted.


28 thoughts on “Dirty Little Addictions: Guest Post

  1. Most of us consider an addiction to be a negative thing. I would like to introduce the idea that perhaps it is not.
    An addiction by the medical dictionary definition is considered to be a “habitual psychological and physiological dependence on a substance or practice beyond one’s voluntary control”.
    If you ponder the life of Van Gogh (http://www.vangoghgallery.com/misc/biography.html)
    or Monet (http://www.biography.com/people/claude-monet-9411771) and Picasso (http://www.biography.com/people/pablo-picasso-9440021) it could be said they were “addicted” to art. Perhaps it was the smell, the way the colors flowed together when mixing the paint or dreams of success in their field.
    One thing is for sure…it cannot be said each of these artists would have “chosen” anything other than art to devote their lives to. They were addicted to it. It was beyond their control to do anything else. It must have been maddening for them at some or several points in their lives.
    And yet, look at the beauty and value of their works!
    I think addiction can work for us in some cases. That uncontrollable, un deniable desire to possess, to create, to become through those (not always) dirty little additions what we are meant to be.

    • I think the word “addiction” has a negative component to it. (Even if it’s the TV show, “Addicted to Rehab.” when they mean fixing a house). I agree that the mark of a real artist is that there is nothing else the CAN do, want to do, or focus on. I’d call it focus, even obsession, but while I agree with you in principle, the word “addiction” is still a negative trigger. You, however, brought up an interesting point, and I always honor that.

    • It’s interesting how words have an emotional value . . . try telling someone they’re prostituting themselves doing that well-paid but hateful, valueless job just for the money!

      But I get what you mean, I cannot not make things, odd things, anything, and I cannot limit what I make! Addiction, obsession, focus, passion, mania? I kind of like a little mania.

      • Mania is a really good word. Passion has been taken over (at least in America) and wrung out of its true meaning and is now limp and meaningless, like Awesome. But I tell people they are prostituting themselves frequently and it’s a powerful word to use. I love words and how we use them. It’s a mania with me!

  2. Oh, so true. I too have tons of willpower but, ah, well. And the day passes whether I participate or not. Tempus fugit – time flees while where procrastinate. I do not mean that time is wasted but that it literally flees from us. It and all the wonderful, beautiful opportunities with it.

    On that Amazon problem: in the British Amazon the book still shows as still “not yet released” (it doesn’t give a release date). Is there a different release date for Europe? I would rather order it from UK than from USA because of the taxes.

  3. Thanks Wendy (and Quinn) – a thought provoking blog…. I too have little addictions that keep me away from the academic reading I am meant to be doing and I make excuses to myself (hey it’s a MOOC so it’s good for me etc…) and it’s nice to know I’m not alone!

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