I’ve had some strong addictions in my life: TV. Internet (YouTube, Facebook, and mindless browsing). Food (specifically overeating and eating out of boredom). Thrifting.
In the last year, I’ve actively worked on most of these. I moved out of my parents’ house and into an apartment where I specifically and intentionally didn’t get a tv nor an internet connection. I was pleasantly surprised to see how quickly and easily I overcame those, and didn’t even miss them. In my journey into minimalism, I’ve kicked my addiction to thrift store shopping. I credit Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up to this. It literally changed my life and I am so incredibly grateful, my words cannot even do justice to the relief and gratitude I feel.
I am still working on overcoming my food addiction. This is by far the strongest and most difficult to break.
But today I wanted to talk about how being in certain environments and around certain people, who share your addictions, is so enabling and such a step backwards.
When I go to my parents’ house, there is junk food everywhere. I literally have no self control when I’m over there. Luckily I am full of self control at the grocery store, and never ever even once buy crappy food to bring into my home. It’s almost as if I see it as bringing in some dark, sinful, morally wrong thing that I would never allow into my home. But, once there is bad food in front of me, all control is lost.
The way I bond with my parents is through watching tv. I go over every Sunday night for dinner – but it’s not a sit-down “family dinner”. We all sit in front of the tv and [over]eat while watching some inconsequential show. And then again on Monday night I go over to watch The Bachelor/ette with my mom. This is truly how we bond. The last few seasons I told myself (and others) that I wasn’t going to watch it. But yet here I am again.
I know very well that going to my parents’ house is a bad place for me. It tempts me with my tv and food addictions. But I feel like a bad daughter if I don’t go hang out with my parents. Or I would feel ungrateful if I refused a dinner invitation.
The last addiction I mentioned above is thrifting, which my mom also shares. Her house is full of clutter and I genuinely feel emotionally uncomfortable being in her house and being around all of that stuff.
What I’ve realized, basically, is that I am uncomfortable and tempted when I go to their house. I want to stop. One big reason I just quit my job was because I can’t mentally afford to keep bringing my dog over to my mom to babysit during the day. Because it means that I have to go over there. And to get tempted every day. I know I’m not strong enough to handle it.
I think I know what I need to do. I need to just stop going over there. Find a different babysitter for the dog. And maybe feel like a crappy daughter but I need to take care of myself. This isn’t about a lack of care for my parents. It’s about how its been a lack of care for myself for so long. And I think I finally want that to stop.