There comes this question in my mind: do I have an addictive personality?
I come from a long line of addicts, on both sides. Addicts disgust me. They really do. It’s one of the reasons why I’m so careful about my drinking, I don’t really play video games (because oh I could) & why I try so hard to maintain balance.
I do find tho, that I have a slightly obsessive mind. Can you have that in a healthy way? I think you can.
I have had, for years, more work, of the home variety, then I can manage. It exhausts me. I hate spending energy on cleaning, and cooking. I wish I loved them, obsessively, but rather they are a plague to me. I can tell you, if I were wealthy enough, I’d hire a cook, and then a maid.
I love baking, it’s creative for me, knitting, reading, writing, learning, music, painting, sketching—I could fill my time & life to brimming with these things. But I don’t know that I’m ‘addicted’ to them. They are work. Out of these, writing & reading come easily to me, effortless. But the others are things that actually work my brain, some days to exhaustion.
So here I am this afternoon, having just spent time trying to make up for this morning’s guitar practice. I can’t get the mechanics off my mind as I’m cleaning. My brain is working through the chord changes, trying to imagine the tactile of them. I can hear the strumming and fingering patterns all day long and they’re pestering me until I can hardly handle not picking up the guitar again.
Is that the mark of an addict, or am I just riding the sharpest leg of the learning curve? Is this the part I need to get over before it begins to fall into place?
You know, when I learn a new knitting technique it’s much the same; that initial need to get over the hump. My whole life I would have described myself as, a non completer. Looking back, I’ve had a lot of distraction and interruption to any pursuit I may have momentarily conjured. Now, given the time, I push myself. Like my present sweater project—it’s nagging at me—flashing in bright neon on my mind, all day everyday, “INCOMPLETE! INCOMPLETE!” It currently sits in the bin of ‘projects past’ that my mind stores in tally against me, that contains all the unfinished things—the baby blanket, for Sarah, she’s sixteen; the wall organizer; various paintings; house projects; the stories I’ve never finished writing; the chairs I haven’t recovered; the list is endless.
This mental basket of unfinished items is overflowing & screaming, “failure! You always start things you don’t finish. You’re mediocre at everything.” It’s a nasty thing, that inner voice.
I have learned to disagree with her malicious banter. I rebel against her. It sounds a little insane, but I have a secondary voice now that drives me. The one who wants to prove that mean oppressive bitch wrong. I can talk like that about her because she is everything about myself I despise. She’s the alcoholic father and grandfather, she’s the dismal pessimist lapping up the milk of my tears when I fail at something I really really wanted to succeed at. She is the misery of missing my homeland. She is the creature that sits on my heart and makes it stop beating. I hate her.
So, when my brain grapples with the need to learn, to move forward, to steal time from one thing for another thing, I’m not so much addicted, as stomping the life out of my own failure. Curb stomp style, just to watch her head crack open and watch the life drain out of her. Morbid, maybe, but it’s the only way I know to be diligent. I love watching that beast die.