by Holly Varni
April 27, 2022

I’ve been thinking a lot about the drama I have voluntarily invited into my life. What makes it even more ridiculous is that it’s not even real, which I suppose is worse and makes me appear bonkers. The only redeeming thing I can say about my state of sanity is that I’m not alone. A lot of people have done the same thing. The drama I’m referring to doesn’t involve me directly—I’m merely an observer, which I believe is a more polite term than addict. I’ve gotten hooked on a TV show and found out I have eleven seasons to catch up on.

The high level of drama drew me in like a smoker to nicotine and a diabetic to a donut. I don’t understand the spell that’s bewitched me. I can’t stop watching it or thinking about it when I’m not glued to the TV. My self-control has gone out the window along with all my free time. It’s like when people slow down as they pass a car accident to get a good look. Well, it’s as if I’ve set up a lawn chair on the side of the road and have plopped myself down for the long haul. I cannot look away from this show.

I’m sure there is some psychological explanation for this obsession that’s taken hold of me. I know intellectually that I shouldn’t care about these characters. I mean, they’re not real! But the emotional side of my brain can’t let it go. Mind tricks or subliminal messages must be involved. When I looked worried, my husband asked what was bothering me, and I told him I couldn’t stop thinking about this TV show character. The more I discussed it, the more alarmed he looked.

“You mean this person is imaginary?” he asked.

I scoffed. “Not imaginary! You make them sound like a cartoon character. They’re real on TV.”

He didn’t comment on my concern; he only announced that he would be in charge of our finances from now on.

I talked to one of my grandchildren about it and he laughed saying everyone binge-watches their favorite shows. Binge-watching wasn’t a part of my culture growing up. If you loved a TV show, you had to wait a full week to see the next episode. The space in between allowed you to carry on with your life normally and not be preoccupied. Now I’ve been sucked into this world where I can watch it all day, neglecting getting dressed or making meals. The result is that I haven’t showered in three days, all the snacks in the house are gone, and my husband says I’m killing him by starvation.

Eating whole meals and hygiene aren’t the only things that have gone to the wayside. I’ve substituted reading, puzzles, and lunch with friends for watching this never-ending drama. My brain is on an adrenaline high from constantly being entertained, so it’s interfering with my sleep.

The lines between the real and imaginary have been blurred as I spend endless hours watching TV from my bed or sofa. It may not be a fulfilling life, but at least it’s comfortable. The lack of movement and exercise is also turning my muscles to mush. I realize that I need an intervention. The only solution is to go cold turkey. I’m stepping away from it all to get back to exercising and living life. I’ll finish sewing projects, clean the house, visit a neighbor, cook a good meal, and pay attention to my husband. I’m going to relearn how to enjoy quietness and focus on my inner self. I’m redirecting myself away from the drama. . .

Starting tomorrow.

Two days tops.

Okay, by the end of the week.

I have to finish this series first to find out how it ends. That’s the only sane thing to do.