I have always done things in an all-or-nothing manner. It was just how I did things. Now I guess it is defined as having an addictive personality. I gave up sucking my thumb in childhood for food. Food became my coping mechanism. I turned to food for comfort, solace, when I was happy, sad, depressed or just because. It set the pattern for a life time of insecurity, overindulgence and weight problems.
I would binge eat. My favorite afternoon binge was a big bag of chips and a 1# bag of M & M’s. I remember stopping on the way to places to get fast food and scarfing it down while I drove. I remember sneaking food late at night.
Thank goodness those days are long gone. A time of craziness, grief therapy, and lots of prayer have changed me to a more manageable style of living.
Now, the addiction bleeds over into what I watch on tv, what I do in my spare time and the games I play. I’m the kind to indulge in marathons on tv. When I find tv shows on Netflix, I tend to wait until the season is over and then marathon watch a show uninterrupted and without commercials. It might take a few days, but I watch it until I’m done.
When I do hobbies, I’m the same way. I might be interested in painting and it will last about 6 months and my attention moves to something else. I’d read books for a time, and then I’m done. I’d make rosaries for a season, and switch to something else. I would crochet or knit but had to make something quickly before I got bored.
I think it is because I have many interests and they all have to take turns. It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I have the attention span of a turnip.
Right now, I am glued for hours at a time playing Harvest Moon Tree of Tranquility on my Wii. I recently pulled it out again and immediately got addicted again. I have about 3 different Harvest Moon games, all similar with slight differences.
The main part of the game is spent in starting a farm. Weeding, hoeing, planting and watering crops, and then harvesting and selling them for an income takes up most of your time. When you earn enough money, you can buy a chicken coop and raise chickens and ducks and silk worms. You can sell the eggs, hatch them to get more chickens, or turn the eggs into mayonnaise. You can cook them into different recipes.
Everything you do costs time and energy with the end goal of making money to survive. You can forage in the grass for herbs, along the beaches for shells, pearls, or clams, or you can go fishing. You can eat what you catch, or sell everything. You have to gradually buy cooking utensils and appliances for your kitchen, and better tools to help you water, hoe, chop down trees and churn butter.
You can get a barn and raise milk cows, sheep and ostriches. You can sell the milk, turn it into butter and cheese and impregnate your cow for more cows. You have to cut grass for fodder or buy it to keep the animals fed and milk them daily.
Trying to juggle all of your chores keeps you extremely busy. You have to milk the cows, gather eggs, feed silk worms so you can get silk cocoons to spin into yarn, feed the animals or put them into the pasture, and pick crops and water every day unless it happens to rain.
Once you play the game long enough to build up stamina and buy better, easier-to-use tools, you have more time to get things done. You can go chop down trees in the forest and beat rocks to get stone for building supplies. You can enter the mines and beat rocks for iron, copper, silver, gold or precious gems.
It is amazing how addictive it is trying to finish all of your daily tasks and make sure you remember to put something into the shipping bin to sell so you have money to live on for the next day.
Besides all of the daily chores, there is the goal to find and restore the lost rainbows to revive the island to previous health and to find the Harvest Goddess.
You can befriend everyone in the village and get married and have children.
I’ve never managed to find the end to the game, if there is one. There are so many varied things to do you really can’t get bored easily. It is repetitious but you are always striving for a goal.
This is a game rated E for everyone and is still strangely compelling and sucks up a lot of time. I’m enjoying it immensely. I’ll probably play this every day for a month or so and then I’ll switch to something else.
Do you do things in spurts like this? To me it is normal. Is there anything you do that seems to be compulsive and addictive? It’s just a way to spend my extra alone time.
And the journey continues…