An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

In recovery, but getting addicted to TV

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

  1. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    Get rid of your TV. Seriously, everything which is on TV now is just bullshit. This would help you a lot. I didn't even buy a TV when I moved into my new flat. You can do this too.
  2. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    I believe that it is quite "normal" to try and "substitute" one addiction for another. After I stopped smoking, I got "addicted" to obsessive gardening. I was digging and planting in my garden every free moment, and sometimes even at night with the help of a couple of lamps. I didn't stop there. I also started building a chook pen and created a pond for growing water plants.
    I think it might be a good idea if you could think of some productive activity to replace your current TV addiction. Who knows, you might even be making some extra money with it, as I did. :)
  3. DTracy3

    DTracy3 Active Contributor

    That journal sounds like a good idea. Yeah the thing with watching stuff online is that you have unlimited supply. Also, there's the habit of doing a marathon for a show, when I tried to watch less, I tried to avoid doing that (like not sleeping all night to watch through the final episode). If you have another routine, it will be hard at first, but later on, it comes more naturally, basically just like with other addictions.
  4. 003

    003 Community Champion

    Don't get depressed that you are getting addicted to TV. See it in a positive way. Being able to be distracted by TV is a good sign that you could go away from your addiction. And also addiction to TV is easier to solve than addiction to substance. If you got addicted to TV, it could have been because you're not able to do anything else. So why not go out and do some sports? It's more fun than watching TV. I suggest that you give it a try.
  5. karmaskeeper

    karmaskeeper Community Champion

    Well maybe you should just try, and go cold turkey. Just turn off the t.v and walk around outside. Maybe that will trigger you to get busy on something else to pass your time good luck.
  6. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    Well, if you're really bothered about this addiction of yours then I suggest that you just get rid of your television and find a more meaningful undertaking - something that takes up most of your time that you can't even spare a thought for unnecessary things. How about busying yourself with work or studying a new field. These endeavors would surely put so much on your plate.
  7. OhioTom76

    OhioTom76 Senior Contributor

    Have you considered getting a treadmill or exercise bike of some sort, and make it a point to exercise while binge watching shows? I lost a lot of weight in high school when I started making it a point to exercise any time I was in my bedroom listening to music or watching TV. It's better than just sitting there stagnant the whole time. Plus the more I started losing weight and feeling better about myself, the more inclined I was to start going out and doing things other than being in front of a TV or my stereo all day.

    Something else that might help a little bit, is to watch your shows online without any commercials. Your typical one hour show is usually only about 35-40 minutes of actual programming and the rest is all commercials. Why spend an hour catching the latest episode of some show, when you can spend nearly half that time instead? I know it's technically not "legal" to share and watch TV shows and Movies through all these video hosting sites, but I already pay for a cable bill, so screw them. If I want to watch a show online that someone else shared sans commercials, I do it.
  8. Thestoryteller1

    Thestoryteller1 Active Contributor

    Actually, I do watch online with no far as exercising goes I do exercise at least an hour daily, but I would never be able to exercise as many hours as I watch. But even if I was I live in very small apartment and we are 3 people already (50-60 square meters perhaps) so there is already lack of space, there is no where I can put a bike of any kind. Thank you for the suggestions though, I appreciate it:)

    I have a lot of undertakings and yet I still choose to do that instead. I think I'm afraid to fail in those things. However, while I haven't been able to do so fully, I had reduced what I do somewhat since I've been in this forum and I have re-started some of those things that I want to do more of. At least it's a start.
  9. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    How are you doing Thestoryteller1? I am especially interested in knowing how you are getting along. I feel like I have never met someone who knew so much of what to do to correct a situation but just had difficulty applying all of what they were aware of. Did you limit yourself on Friday night as planned? Are you making the journal to write down how much you actually watch? I am eager to hear of your progress.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015
  10. Thestoryteller1

    Thestoryteller1 Active Contributor

    Yeah...I have to say I've done this with other things in my life. I like research and I'm resourceful, I just...I burned out at one point, and I got scared. And now I think I act the same way every time I'm really scared of trying something- I convince myself it will be easier if I have all the information, I inform myself...and I am still scared of trying. I've fallen in a huge way once, spectacularly, so down that I wasn't sure I'll ever recover...and now that I almost have, I scare myself from everything, so easily.
    Let's am I doing. In the past week I managed to take few important steps forward in my life (instead of excusing myself in every possible way like I've done for months). I've also managed to keep busy and do more work and more new things on some days. I started deciding on a cutting point for the night, after which I don't watch. I have watched less in the last week, may be half of what I usually do, but I am definitely far from quitting. I think I may be able to fully quit at once but it scares me so much that none of the information I have helps, because I become illogical. And I know logically, the best way to get over this is to fully quit, at least for a while, and restrict myself a little the rest of the time...
    At some point I would have taken any risk, I was the first to jump for the things I want in life. How do I get back to that?
  11. stariie

    stariie Community Champion

    There are people who make their living watching TV by writing articles and blogs about different shows, or doing commentary on TV shows and movies. Do I think that there is anything wrong with watching TV, NO.

    I think that if you put yourself on a serious guilt trip about it that you could be doing harm to your own psyche. I mean, TV is very entertaining, that's what it's there for.
    As long as you are getting your work done, and staying on top of the everyday business of your life, then I really don't see what the problem is other than "people" telling you it's wrong and so therefore you've guilt-tripped yourself into feeling bad about watching TV.

    If TV is hindering you from taking care of your business (and forgive me if you have said so anywhere throughout this thread because I didn't read every single post), then maybe you can limit yourself to watching TV every other day.
    No TV on Monday, but watch what you want on Tuesday and so forth. Or, if certain shows come on during the week that you like, then watch during the week, but leave the TV off on Saturday and Sunday. It might be hard to do at first, but you can do it.
  12. DTracy3

    DTracy3 Active Contributor

    Sounds like things look a little better, it's great you're able to do a little more and that you watched less.
    Logically it may be the best thing to stop completely, but as long as it doesn't take over your life, I believe it's alright, in the end, everyone is watching Tv. Don't expect everything to change immediately. The thing about not being able to take any risk happens to most people as they become older, it's not that taking a risk itself has become harder, but we are asking us more questions, are easier to scare off, and consider more carefully what can go wrong. Sometimes we must just convince ourself to take a certain risk if we believe it to be worth it. There are some risks we may don't take, but in the end, we may should, because most people have more regrets about what they didn't do than about what they have done.
  13. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    How about finding something better to do with your free time like enrolling for a cooking class,volunteering your services in a children's/elderly home? I mean,there are tons of activities you could do outside your house that could really add value to your life.You've got to get out of your comfort zone and explore the outside world more frequently.
  14. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    They say knowledge is power and Storyteller has a lot of knowledge. Knowledge acquired on her own, and contributions from so many of us here.Storyteller now has to decide how she is going to use this knowledge. I have seen so many wonderful suggestions here, some that I hope I can put to use in my own life.

    I was concern about whether any progress has been made and it appears there has been some even if slight. I rather like the idea of The Storyteller using the TV for good and maybe writing some articles if it's not going to be taken out of the house altogether. I have been addicted to my computer of late, but I am trying to learn and develop some useful skills going forward.

    Don't be scared Storyteller, be SMART.
  15. Thestoryteller1

    Thestoryteller1 Active Contributor

    Has writing about TV occurred to me at some point- of course it has. Especially when I can definitely use any extra money to start saving and so on. However, the last time it occurred to me, I had no other job (I do now) and I was afraid that if I do that, I would start watching TV more than before, not less, because it would be my job.
    Sure, there is nothing wrong with taking it as job or something, I do agree, BUT...Well, for one thing there are so many things I want to do in my life. I don't want this to be my life, I do want active life, out or in the house, and doing a single thing for too many hours doesn't help. And while I do now do my daily job and work the watching around it, it does restrict parts of my life- like not getting enough sleep, or not getting to learn a language...
    I have said this already few times- I have TONs of things waiting for me to get back to them...I guess I just got way too scared at some point and now I avoid starting those things. Also, I had previously a time period with huge social anxiety, and while I am almost better now, it's an almost situation. I put myself out there, meet new people, meet friends and so on, but every once in a while, I think when I'm under more stress, it comes I am careful about how many social situations I put myself in. Sometimes social things are what I need, and sometimes they get me to panic attacks...Anyway, this leads me to my next point....

    ...YES! Well said and good advice. No matter in how many ways we spin this, the truth is watching that much tv is a bad habit/addiction that I want to break, and of course it's not pleasant. And of course no matter what knowledge I have, change will scare me...but I have to start at some point...
    Someone gave this suggestion earlier and I kind of like it- starting to watch TV every other day. I think it's a great idea. The last time I watched least amount of TV was when I had a day that was filled from morning until going to bed and even then I watched about 2 hours of TV around meals. The last time I didn't watch anything...frankly, I am not sure, but probably a long time ago. So...enough is enough.
    This week, I will try not to watch anything on Thursday and Saturday (not counting workout videos, those I need for the working out part:))...let's see how it goes. There is difference between being smart and being intelligent. And it's not smart of me to keep hurting myself and keeping myself in a box of my own making because I'm scared to try again. Okay, so, 2 days of not-watching and tiny restriction on my watching otherwise doesn't seem like a lot, but it's a start...I'm also starting to consider just quitting cold turkey for a might do me good.
  16. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    "This week, I will try not to watch anything on Thursday and Saturday (not counting workout videos, those I need for the working out part:))"

    :)Like I have been saying all along, you know exactly what you need to do. It's the application that's usually the problem and that's not unique to you. So please don't beat yourself up too much. And thank you by the way. Your excessive television viewing that sparked this discussion, is a reminder for me to get cracking with a Zumba workout I have been missing for months.

    In the meantime keep working on putting the wheels in motion to achieve a proper balance.
  17. Lizel

    Lizel Community Champion

    If you think that you're starting to get addicted to tv then the best thing to do is go out, go outside to people.
    Then you will be to tired to watch tv or won't have the time to watch it.
  18. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    There is nothing in this thread but great advice. Thestoryteller1 can attest to that. It's all about developing a system that works and sticking to it. I am anxious to hear what progress has been made. Do let us hear from you again soon.
  19. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    Well, getting addicted to television is something much better than getting addicted to drugs or other substances. But I know what you mean. If you cannot minimize or limit your T.V watching then I suggest look for educational channels that will somehow give you new information about things, so that your time wasted on watching television will be put to good use in a way.
  20. goldenmaine

    goldenmaine Active Contributor

    This is better than being addicted to anything more dangerous like alcohol and drugs. It is really tempting to binge watch series and also watch TV for very long hour. The shows are so entertaining and fun that we forget how long it has been and forget the time. You can divert your attention to other things like listening to music, exercising or even sleeping, if you really want to avoid your TV addiction. It can be done gradually, by lessening the number of hours of TV watching.