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In recovery, but getting addicted to TV

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by Thestoryteller1, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. Thestoryteller1

    Thestoryteller1 Active Contributor

    Not sure how this happened, but after getting myself out of some life-treatening situations, and getting over the mental aftermath of that, and getting over depression and losing friends to overdose, and after making my life better....I find myself seeing comfort in TV. LOTs of TV.
    I thought it was a healthier way to cope with all happening few years ago, and that I would reduce the amount of it as soon as my life normalizes. But now that has happened, and I still watch too much. I sleep less, so I would get time to watch with breakfast and so on. And am really beyond the point where I can say "oh, I'll start tomorrow" and being able to do that. I keep telling myself it's going to be tomorrow. And it never happens.
    And tomorrow, I will be alone at home for a few days (until next week) which can fast lead to super binging just because I know no one would see it....I don't want to keep doing it.
    That's a lie though. I do want to keep doing it. And watching all nice new series coming out this week, and making marathons watching my favorite series, seems rather great right now. So I guess I can use any advice that I can get.
    stariie likes this.
  2. 23arrow23

    23arrow23 Member

    Hey, you could be binging on stuff that is way worse than tv, but I know that's not the point of your post. I just wanted you to know that it could be worse. With that being said, I managed to somehow break away from the screen (for me it was the internet, not TV) through physical exercise. A friend of mine got me into cycling. He had to drag me at first but it became my new thing. It doesn't have to be cycling for you, any type of physical activity could help.
  3. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    I agree with everything you said 23arrow23 and I feel like everyone might be struggling with some sort of subtle addiction. For me it would be the internet in recent months and I am telling myself I need to pull myself away and create some balance. My internet use has also been a learning experience which somehow makes it different from thestoryteller1's series and the like. Everyday I learn something useful so mine might be a good addiction.

    I favor some sort of activity that takes the poster out of the house. It always works for me. I think I need to get cracking myself.
  4. ryan0039

    ryan0039 Active Contributor

    While TV is much worse than many things, I think the best way to get away from watching so much is to maybe make a little reminder on your phone or computer or something reminding you to do something else. Put one thing on, like a show that you know only lasts 45 minutes, instead of just staying on the same channel all day. I used to have the same problem and that's what helped me.
  5. Profit5500

    Profit5500 Senior Contributor

    I am more addicted to be on the internet then the TV. I just watch TV whenever it's convenient. Watching certain shows like "Criminal Minds" seem to bring me away from the computer.
  6. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    Unlike addictive substances, psychological addiction that comes in the form of "fixation" over something or someone is a lot easier to overcome. This kind of addiction is usually passing. You can get addicted to it for weeks, months or even years, but rest assured there will be no incurable consequences (unless of course the addiction has something to do with food). Just my two cents but I'm guessing you'll get over it. For now, enjoy that kind of addiction as much as you can. It won't last for long any way.
    Winterybella likes this.
  7. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I've been through phases like this and I usually just ride it out until it fades away. If it didn't, however, I'd just indulge for a certain amount of time but I would put a limit and force myself to quit and get over it after that limit. The way I would do it would be to just remind myself that I have limited time here and I'd probably much rather be doing something else than just watching tv shows.
  8. Profit5500

    Profit5500 Senior Contributor

    I never use reminders when it comes to watching TV. I somehow just remember or I do not. It is something that I do try to do whenever possible. I just do not feel as hyped for TV shows in years.
  9. elles-belles

    elles-belles Community Champion

    I agree with most of the posters on here... being addicted to TV is not the worst addiction out there and although it can strain you it is not nearly as harmful as other much tougher addictions. With that being said I think that maybe you should go out more with friends, catch up and do something fun! Some physical activity can also be very helpful as well. Otherwise I wouldn't worry too much about it for now.
    All the best with, I'm sure you will finally yank yourself from it!
  10. karmaskeeper

    karmaskeeper Community Champion

    Well just look at it this way it's better then the other addiction. That will pass after awhile you'll find new things that will keep you busy. For now just watch t.v, and recover. The best is yet to come, and it will just know that in your heart.
  11. Thestoryteller1

    Thestoryteller1 Active Contributor

    I hope I quoted everyone in this. Too many replys gathered before I had chance to reply. Which is also nice, of course, thank you guys!
    I agree that it could be worse, of course...but letting myself off the hook by thinking it can be worse, led me to doing it even more. Just because it can be worse doesn't mean it shouldn't be solved. I have been at a worse place, and I don't want to get back there. I totally get the physical exercise part, I am already doing it. I went to ballet a year ago (trust me, it's very physically demanding, especially starting as adult) and then I fell in love with it. It helped me regain confidence in myself. Also, because I wanted to be great at it, I started doing strenght, weight loss, and flexibility training on my own to get in proper shape for dance. It's amazing, yes...sadly it doesn't stop me from watching too much, and I am already doing it as much as I physically can (30-90min 6x weekly).
    Yeah, mine is moving away from subtle addiction. I'm active person, I have work, I have hobby (ballet), I like to read, and study, and learn languages and travel...yet at this point I have started doing the most important things of the day and spending the rest of the time watching. There are weekends where I have ballet mid-day, and I would watch from the morning until I have to go to ballet, go to it, return, and watch until I go to bed. And sadly, it doesn't feel as much or as bad as it sounds when I put it black on white in a sentence. The weekend is such wonderful chance to do so much, yet how is it possible that unless I am meeting someone in the evening, I can practically watch...let me calculate....9-10h in a day?? Okay, less on work days, but still....I think at this point I know I have done a lot at some point, but I haven't done it in so long that I am afraid to venture into leading my life fully again. I know that doesn't make sense, but I am not sure how to stop.
    I have tried that...I keep telling myself, 5 min more and it turns into 5 hours.
    Ugh...I'm afraid of the consequence of allowing myself that. It has been years already. Not sure when it would pass naturally, or if it would. But right now it's affecting my work to some extend (doing things in the last moment because I had to finish an episode and I HAD to see what happens), my relationship (yeah, I don't think my partner will continue to find me interesting if all I do is watch, work and exercise...), my friendships (spending too much time with myself and not making social plans)...At this point, sure, it won't kill me, but it is affecting my life negatively. I have to do something.
    I have long past my limit and I keep doing it. Sometimes I run out of interesting series to watch and I find new ones and finish few seasons in a week...I think it's starting to really be an issue. And writing it like this really makes it clear.
    That's the issue, I have so much I could be doing, but I am somehow afraid to start doing all those things again, and watching feels comfortable, and there you go. I'm officially losing respect for myself if I don't stop or reduce this. And with being on my own for few days, if I can't make change now, then when?
    I don't think it's passing though...I have plenty I should be busy with, and I keep leaving it for another day...
  12. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    http://www.michaeldpollock.com/how-i-overcame-tv-addiction/
    http://www.thesimpledollar.com/ten-...television-and-ten-things-to-replace-it-with/
    http://www.becomingminimalist.com/ten-reasons-to-watch-less-television/

    These are just some random articles I found online while searching to see what advice the internet ( my addiction) could provide. It's honestly more of the same but it won't hurt to read it and maybe pick up something we might have missed. Even though we all pretty much agree you could be doing worse things, you insist you have a problem and I honestly thing you should address it for your own sanity.

    In one of the pieces while the circumstances were quite different from yours, the "addict" found a partner who ultimately changed his life for the better. I don't know if that's an option for you;). I'd still be quick to say that the wrong partner is worse than any amount of television, but you that's a decision only you can make.

    You seem a young talented individual. Time cannot be regained so fight with all you have to kick the habit and bring some balance back into your life. You're going to be happier for it.
  13. DTracy3

    DTracy3 Active Contributor

    I know that situation completely. Gone through the same ****, still do sometimes. The thing is it sounds not as much that you're addicted to TV but rather that you're at risk at becoming phlegmatic in the sense that you're seeking comfort in a non changing situation where you lose yourself in TV. Maybe you're just losing yourself in TV because you're scarred of facing another tomorrow, that was the problem with me. I used to just watch show after show not wanting to move on with my life partly scared to fail if I tried, so I rather didn't, but well, this obviously is no solution. I can just tell you that you need to break free of your daily habits and try to move on, otherwise you may regret it, but you're on the right way. You already posted on this forum about this showing that you're willing to make a change, it was already the first step. I'm not saying it's gonna be easy, but it's possible. You'll need a lot of discipline, especially in the beginning, but even more important, you'll have to begin to change your daily day if you want to change the way you live at the moment.
  14. Thestoryteller1

    Thestoryteller1 Active Contributor

    Thanks for the links and the nice things you said. My partner is great, he got me through the situation that led me into avoiding reality in a first place...but there is only so much he can do.
    And I think if I keep doing what I'm doing, I won't like myself very much...I part of me really hates me watching all the time, and that's not a good thing.
    You're right, I can't get time back, can I? I guess I'm kind of scared to be again the person I was with all interests and everything, because...because I can't handle another fall like I had. But not trying will pretty much result in the same thing I'm trying to avoid. I just...I have to figure this out. How to move forward.
  15. Thestoryteller1

    Thestoryteller1 Active Contributor

    That is EXACTLY how I feel. I think I've been running for so long, that now that my life is better, I'm afraid I won't recognize myself if I stop losing myself in something. And probably I won't, I have went through a lot of changes and avoided dealing with them for a while. Like I can just freeze time. I guess I'm afraid that if I couldn't deal with the things I fear before, when I was less cynical, less bitter, less tired, looked better, was younger and made sure I learned and did a lot...now, after ALL that happened, and all I did to who I was by constantly avoiding...how will I deal with whatever life throws at me? But of course, I'm not dealing any better by drowning in TV. How do I go about the discipline part, I wasn't really great at it ever...
  16. Abo Nights

    Abo Nights Member

    I'm glad you're recovering and doing fine. Addicted to the TV is not the worst case scenario, but it's of course no ones intent. The most obvious but a difficult fix too, is to stop starting new series or TV marathons. Furthermore, try to get yourself to the point where you won't postpone your tasks or desires. Once you've reached this point, you'll see that you're really not missing out on the TV.
  17. DTracy3

    DTracy3 Active Contributor

    Same here. The discipline part still gives me problems and sometimes I fall back into old habits. One problem is, the longer you stay like that the harder it is to get back on track. I personally try to do every day a tiny bit more, taking baby steps to get where I want to in my life. Avoiding is easy, dealing with something is hard, I perfectly know this, so I know how hard it is. I try motivating myself by thinking of what I can get by doing certain tasks or improvements in my life, thinking of the rewards or accomplishment they can bring. You basically have to force yourself to stay positive. There may be days where this seems completely impossible and because I still have these days too I know that this will happen, but that's ok, nobodies perfect. It's just important that you can come back from it, having some days where you just force yourself to do stuff. It's not like you have to start going out on big events every weekend now or stuff like that, but I'm certain there are some things that interest you and that you set yourself as a goal. I know that there is a risk of failing, but they say, if you don't try you'll never know, and that's true. I'm in a state where failing almost become a habit so I forced myself to think that one more failure couldn't matter so why not give it a try.
    It can be really hard to motivate yourself, I always say that when having emotional problems, talking to a psychologist is the best way, but I also understand that a lot of people don't want to do that or try on their own first. I can't really tell you where your discipline should come from, this can be different for you then for me, but for me it's to focus on small goals I wanna reach.
  18. daregicide

    daregicide Member

    I'd rather play games than binge watch TV because you aren't really interacting with anything by observing. It's just a food for thought but you should probably find something else to do.
  19. Morgan

    Morgan Member

    If you're watching TV and also getting addicted to it try to spend time watching programs that are useful. I used to watch cookery serials and I found myself cooking some great dishes after a few days!. Seriously, there are some good shows that come on TV that will do a lot of good while you're recovering.
  20. Thestoryteller1

    Thestoryteller1 Active Contributor

    Probably. The problem is I watch online so I choose what I watch rather than skip through channels, so to watch something better I have to seek it intentionally. And you know how you get used to loosing yourself in something. Uh, I will really have trouble with quitting this. I have to start, do something, soon. Tonight, I'm putting some limit on myself. And making journal to write down how much I actually watch daily.