At night, I dream about it. It’s the first thing I think of when I wake up. I trudge through my day robotically, waiting for the moment when I can have it next, and when I do, I can’t stop myself from having more. Sometimes, I don’t make it through the whole day. When I sleep, I dream of it.
It’s been like this for days – weeks, really. Last night, I was too tired to do it. Too tired, because I’d been up consecutive nights before, watching those flickering blue lights until the birds started singing. But when I woke up this morning, I had to fight the urge to do it first thing. Now that would be awful, right? First thing in the morning?
I know I’m showing clear signs of addiction – an addiction that is laughable because it doesn’t (or hasn’t yet) affect(ed) my health or family, apart from a little sleeplessness. It’s a modern day addiction that has a foreseeable end. And because of this, I can succumb to it. It’s temporary, unlike real addiction – the addiction that destroys you and the people around you.
Still, I think I understand the psychology of addiction a little better because of this. I understand that urgent and all encompassing need that greys out all other needs, like reading to your child at night or earning a living. Yes, I understand it, while still understanding that I’m still nowhere near the reality of true addiction. Like I said, mine is temporary.
And what is this thing that has flooded my life? Food? Sex? Knitting?
No. It’s the most modern of modern day addictions… the box set (or equivalent). Binge watching. And, fittingly perhaps, my binge watch is Breaking Bad.
My friend has been through it and has crossed to the other side. Soon I will, too (I’ve reached season 5 within two weeks). Watching it has been like being in a hall of mirrors, really. I’m addicted to watching something about addiction, where the main character is addicted to the power and prestige he gets from exploiting other people’s addictions. On the way, we encounter other types of addiction beyond illegal drugs: to cigarettes, food, stealing. We see people brought down by pride and hubris. We see how addiction leads to lies and betrayal. It’s all in there. No wonder I’m addicted.
But this only partly explains my silence here over the last month and a half. As some of you know, I was working some very long hours back then (and until recently). My days were too long, my nights too short (and no – not because I was watching Breaking Bad, at least, not at first). I couldn’t bring myself to write anything. So, I didn’t. At some point, I couldn’t. RSI. Sore arms, hands, fingers. I’m still recovering, but at least my workload has shrunk to something more manageable. I’m keeping my head down and not volunteering for anything more than I currently have on my plate.
It’s the way it has to be for the next little while. At least until I finish Breaking Bad.