I thought this was an interesting article, knowing from personal experience that an explanation of ‘choice’ is just too simplistic. The research is ongoing, but it is enlightening, to me, that we are beginning to understand the social and psychological effects behind addiction.
I ran across a quote from Frederick Buechner the other day, and it stirred up a few thoughts:
Boredom ought to be one of the seven deadly sins. It deserves the honor.
You can be bored by virtually anything if you put your mind to it, or choose not to. You can yawn your way through Don Giovanni or a trip to the Grand Canyon or an afternoon with your dearest friend or a sunset. There are doubtless those who nodded off at the coronation of Napoleon or the trial of Joan of Arc or when Shakespeare appeared at the Globe in Hamlet or when Lincoln delivered himself of a few remarks at Gettysburg. The odds are that the Sermon on the Mount had more than a few of the congregation twitchy and glassy-eyed.
To be bored is to turn down cold whatever life happens to be offering you at the moment. It is to cast a jaundiced eye at life in general, including most of all your own life. You feel nothing is worth getting excited about because you are yourself not worth getting excited about.
To be bored is a way of making the least of things you often have a sneaking suspicion you need the most.
To be bored to death is a form of suicide.
~originally published in Whistling in the Dark and later in Beyond Words
I, too, know the pitfalls of boredom.
Personally, it’s when I feel I have “nothing to do” that the mind tends to wander…and it’s rarely an innocent trip. Honestly, it’s one of my easiest “triggers” toward a massive addiction habit I’ve been saddled with; the “thorn in my flesh” so to speak. So boredom is a huge thing for me.
I immediately need to shift my mind toward some other daily task, even if I hadn’t originally planned on accomplishing those things that day. Suddenly, they become massively important, for my sanity, for my moral strength, and, ultimately, for my faith walk.
Sometimes, diving into the Word helps.
Sometimes, penning a few of my own helps.
Sometimes, simply going for a walk to clear my head helps.
Even making dinner while the classic rock blares away on Spotify has helped.
That’s the funny thing about moving beyond the trigger: it’s never been one singular thing that leads me away from the temptation. “Instead of going here, go here, every time”, doesn’t work for me. Maybe it’s the variety of alternatives, I don’t know. All I can tell you is that having an arsenal of several options seems to lighten the tendencies to remain in any appeal of the habit.
The only thing that doesn’t help? Dwelling on why I’m bored and how to prevent it in the future. For me, this only tends to spiral into the, “well if A is inevitable, then so is B…”, and off I go.
Yes, boredom, idle time, “down time”, whatever you want to call it, will inevitably happen.
What you do about it often determines your character. Simple as that.
Thanks for the reminder today, Frederick!
Have you ever had one of those friendships where over time you just sort of slowly drift away from each other? You’re not sure if you’ve outgrown the relationship, or your interests have changed, or like so many other things we once held significant, time has just worn it away.
Oh, you still see each other from time to time, exchanging pleasantries and engaging in an oddly uncomfortable and blessedly brief conversation. But it’s not the same. The effort just isn’t there to make it work anymore; to make it worthwhile. Eventually you just give up; giving a slight nod and pleasant smile as you pass each other on the sidewalk.
That’s kind of the way I feel about my addiction to porn now. Oh, he’s still around. We still run across each other from time to time. But he’s merely a shadow of his former self. Really, he’s not even making much of an effort to maintain my attention anymore. He just seems to go through the motions like, “Alright, I’ve still got to be here for a little while longer—gotta collect the paycheck, you know—so . . . you know . . . hi.”
It’s sad really. He was so formidable at one time; overwhelming really, in his charismatic allure. Continue reading Porn Addiction . . . My Old Friend