Wikipedia characterizes an Addictive Personality as an individual who is predisposed to addictions. There are all sorts of addictions in life, and the general feeling is that any addiction, regardless of what it is, is generally harmful. Fortunately I am not susceptible to some of the more dangerous vices, such as drugs and alcohol. Instead, I struggle with two other addictions. Food and Gaming.
I’ve struggled with eating well all my life. One of my favorite presents as a kid was a big tub of marshmallow cream Fluff. I partially blame my Mom for this one, as she taught me early on that if you took a spoon of peanut butter and a spoon of fluff, it made a pretty good treat. I earnedthe nickname of JonTheFat, or JTF for short, from my brothers friends. I didn’t disappoint either, I embraced my title and ate away, spoonfuls at a time.
For me eating has always been a social exercise, when everyone is home we eat. It is the common ground everyone shares. The problem though is that it is a real struggle to limit myself. If there is food available it is supposed to be eaten. After all we are supposed to clean our plates aren’t we? There are people starving to death around the world, so surely we have to eat every bite on our plates, regardless of how much we over portioned ourselves.
Gaming. To be a gamer. That term is used a lot but it really is kind of an abstract concept. Is someone who sits down to play a quick game of solitaire a gamer? Probably not. Is someone who sits down to play WoW a few hours a day? Probably. I fall into the latter category. I am happy when I can take time and play games, get better in our virtual worlds, hone my “skills”. I would surely classify myself as a gamer.
Gaming gets a pretty bad rap from most of society. People think of it as a waste of time, waste of life, waste of potential. Images of fat nerds sitting in their basements for hours while they play games that more often than not involve shooting something are enough to make anyone think twice about letting their children or loved ones get into it. I’ve yet to see a truly accurate depiction of gamers in a documentary, though I’ve seen quite a few documentaries on the subject now and most focus on the addiction, the struggles, the vulgarities of the average gamer.
I wanted to bring these two addictions up because I am effected by them. I struggle daily with properly balancing my time between my responsibilities at work, my life with my wife and puppy, and my recreational activities. It is easy to get carried away by partying and eating too much or spending too much time plugged in to the computer. I have found that running has brought me back to solid ground. It has helped me balance my time. I know that I need to go for a run before I plug into WoW. Before I run I need to get the dog taken care of, to help make dinner for Ellie, to make sure everything else is taken care of before I go exercise. Only after that do I feel like I’ve earned the right to plug-in and play games. Before I had this exercise obligation, I found it easy to just hop on right when I got home while I waited for Ellie to come home, thinking I would be able to pry myself off for dinner and to take care of things, when in reality once I got into the game it was nearly impossible to get out.
The accountability is there, and though I struggle with my addictions, being accountable has helped me fight off being overwhelmed by them. It’s easy to fall into a rut, fall into your vices. Maybe you watch TV all night long, or maybe you keep buying candy from the bulk section of the supermarket. Whatever your vice is, hold yourself, or have someone else hold you accountable for your actions, it is the first step to getting back on track and leading an all around healthier life.