Is addiction better than cure?

I am a person who possesses a lot of discipline with regard to the things I deem important: for example, I am rarely late at meetings, and it has come to my attention that I am usually the first to arrive at the rendezvous point. I also exercise when I deem myself needing it, and I also have discipline to submit pertinent requirements on time. However, I still lack discipline with certain things, and most important among those are my wanton purchases on eBay. Despite the helpful comments that people have suggested in my previous elaboration of this quasi-addiction of mine, I have not been able to successfully conquest this demon of spending on unnecessary things. I have purchased some more video games the past month, in addition to purchasing a vintage set of headphones (which, to my dismay, are uncomfortable despite having good sound).

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I am not worrying that I will sink into debt: I have saved a significant amount during my college years just to account for my whims in the future. I am worried, however, that I will keep on spending despite the fact that I know my parents are not having an easy time with our current finances. There are so many things that one can want; there are only very few that one actually needs. I want to integrate this idea within myself so that I will no longer desire or fawn over things that are ultimately unnecessary as well as a waste of good money. Each of my vintage games serves as a reminder of the money that I have wasted: I am just hoping that I keep these reminders to mind and no longer seek for other vintage video games whose proper place is in the past, or at least heed these reminders until such time when I have proper income to spend on these items.

These current missteps have led me into reflecting upon myself and consequently on the nature of addiction. I am but a mere student, so I cannot qualify the different nuances of addiction but only relate it with regard to myself and my empirical observations on it.

In the past year, I sought to wean myself out of anime not because I hated the medium (I loved it, and still love it), but because I knew of the upcoming rigors of medical school. I did not realize by then that addiction does not really completely disappear in a human being; it only rather jumps from one point to another, as with anime and vintage video gaming. I stopped watching anime because I knew it would waste a lot of time, and I sought for alternatives to channel this addiction. Instead, my love for anime became transmogrified into a desire to collect vintage video games, games that I know I will not play or use in the long run, but merely collect.

I have always loved video games, but I never explored its history beforehand. I am personally more attracted to the quirks and idiosyncrasies of video games rather than the tried-and-true consoles, and that was what led me to obtaining the Casio Loopy. The rest started from there, and while I can rein in my desire for the time being it remains to be undeniable that I just want to log-in to eBay every once in a while and explore the different unique games of the past.

I think I want to be driven by anime once more, because despite its time-consuming nature it is a very economical hobby, especially if one merely watches the anime and is not driven to purchase figurines or any of its corresponding merchandise. I may be called a cheat, and perhaps even a pirate, but at least in the long run I will not be a threat to my family’s well-being, as what my current perfunctoriness is doing.

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I know it is quite impossible to stop purchasing on eBay just like that. That is the reason why my post is titled as such: while going cold turkey is difficult, my suffering would be eased just by channeling whatever symptoms of withdrawal that may arise to watching anime. If I want to search for a cool old system, game, or console, I will just watch another episode of anime. I think that I have used medical school as an excuse of not watching anime, when, in all reality it is only death that stops man from doing anything ultimately. There will be time to watch anime so long as I have love for it: it does not matter whether I am studying to be a doctor or a lawyer or a researcher, as long as I still have love in doing something, I will have time to do it.

Of course I still have to rely on hope and perseverance in order to accomplish this weaning out of my shopping addiction. It is very possible, though, seeing that it is not a stoppage of addiction that I am after (that will certainly take a lot of time), but a transference of addiction, an atavistic channeling to my addiction of the past, which has been anime. With this said, I hope one will keep on reading and participating in this site, as I will also try to update more and try to return to the vein of writing that has made me relatively known in the blogosphere.

Have any of you guys experience a biting form of addiction other than anime? Has anime been much of a bane to your life as well? Or has it made life more tolerable for you, providing an escape, and thus feeding your addiction? Have you fared well in life even without anime? A board on 4chan specified a term, ‘ronery,’ for people who find more in life in anime than in the realities of their situation. Do you feel like that? Ultimately, I ask the question: is any addiction really better than a realistic, definitive, weaning-out cure?

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15 Responses to “Is addiction better than cure?”

  1. Kaboodle Says:

    I give you comments. I actually do understand, and your method to wean off buying is sound. Some say you should stop everything, but everyone needs a hobby, and I think what separates a hobby from an addiction, is HARM. A hobby is harmless, while an addiction is harmful. With your game buying, you’re harming yourself in the long run by depleting your resources. While with watching (easily downloaded) anime, you are not harming anyone, just simply relaxing. Now, some will say “INDUSTRY HARM” But I don’t consider harm on something he obviously wouldn’t have bought anyway, (if it ever made it to america.) Admittedly, you can get addicted and spend far too much time watching anime as well, but that is much easier to tone down on, then a collecting habit. You can watch anime more readily then you can buy a game, and if you regret a download, you can just delete it, not have it sitting on your shelf, taunting you day in and day out about your bad decisions.

  2. zzSleepingzz Says:

    My personal belief is that if you sought help, you stand a higher chance of your “binge buying” being a symptom of an underlying problem, than an addiction. Binge buying, or impulse buying, can appear addictive on the surface, but often is a symptom of depression or bipolar disorder. Are you happy or content when you spend money, but remorseful or regretful afterward? Addicts aren’t usually remorseful or regretful. They only appear that way in order to manipulate others; usually in the hopes of another fix. If they are, they are often in the early stages of detox or sobriety.

    I’m an addict. I was addicted to drugs and gambling, and am still addicted to nicotine and caffeine. I quit drugs cold turkey, without any rehab. In behavioral psychology, one of the most common and easy methods to create change in a behavior is to change the environment. That’s why so many people succeed during rehab, but fail once they return to where they live or lived. I changed my environment, by not only changing where I lived, but by also changing my friends. I also had to find productive ways to spend my free time, and accept the fact that not only was I unhappy with aspects of my life, but that I had to adapt to go beyond what could not be changed.

    I’m into anime, and I don’t think anime is unproductive. What is unproductive is the time wasted waiting to download, and downloading what I want to watch. It can easily waste an entire day getting a few hours of anime. I gave up anime because of the wasted time, and recently started watching again. If I begin wasting too much time again, I’ll stop again.

    I can’t say what will work for you, but whenever dealing with a negative behavioral response, you want to first ask yourself if there is a specific reason or reasons for said behavior(s). If there is, and you know it, you stand a better chance of succeeding.

  3. Gmoney Says:

    At least when you watch anime you are getting something ( alot of people might disagree). I have nothing against collecting games but when you are not playing them then that’s just money burnt. The way I see it one should follow the path the creates the most memories, so it’s a simple equation really : life + anime = memories x2 , but life + games + not playing them = memories + memories -memories -money

    oh and who said watching anime is a waste of time? I can’t count the number of times I’ve broken the ice with some one else using quotes from anime. (lame reason but still true XD)

    one last thing: being a pirate is a man’s dream !!!! (context matters not)

  4. Michael Says:

    zzSleepingzz:

    I don’t regret having bought these things. I actually think I wanted them and bought them to compensate for my childhood days. I have been a kid who often held in his desires so as not to be a burden to my parents, and I have often wanted to buy video games when I was still young. I even don’t regret having the new set of vintage headphones, although I wished they were somewhat more comfortable. I don’t want to manipulate others, however, and it’s still my own money that I spend.

    I have my stint with addiction, though, and I haven’t regretted anything. I loved playing DotA three years ago, and I still love playing it now, although I have to control it because I have medical school. I stopped being addicted to DotA because I changed my environment, indeed, and in a way also changed my friends (I switched schools and places). I also started playing sports, and all, but I still couldn’t find anything as anime’s substitution and so I just kept on buying. I have to agree with you, however, that it’s not the anime itself that’s unproductive: I have never regretted watching or being a big fan of anime, but the downloading and waiting part. I really just want to transfer my energies from this buying (although even with this buying I control myself, often times not exceeding bids of 10 dollars, as it will be expensive coupled with the shipping).

    As I said, I believe it’s just my wish-fulfillment kicking in after 15 years of latency. I wanted a lot of video games and stuff as a child, but I didn’t have the money to spend on them. Now that I do, I spend on them. I am willing to continue doing that so long as I have still a significant saved amount, but now that my parents are having difficulty coping with the credit card finances I simply have to stop.

    Kabsev:

    I was actually thinking of that. At least the most I would have wasted is time, and while that’s still valuable, at least it isn’t monetary in nature. I am depleting my resources: I am eating up my savings. I also recognize the consequences of watching anime and collecting vintage games, so thank you for clearing that up as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  6. Angelus Says:

    I too have a highly addiction-prone personality, in all sorts of ways – anime/manga, software (I just love buying productivity apps!), and other far less socially acceptable things. I can maybe fix the eBay one for you though – just buy something from me and I’ll give you feedback that’s so terrible nobody will ever want to sell you anything again ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. Komidol Says:

    There is nothing wrong with being addicted to anime. You have merely opened your mind to the joys of being an Otaku! YOU MUST TRANSFORM THAT ADDICTION INTO RAW, PURE, 200% LOYALTY!

  8. Michael Says:

    Angelus:

    I also had a stage where I was very involved with peer-to-peer software (about half a year ago) and it wasted my time as well. I don’t want to be permanently banned from eBay, though. I mean, I bought my mother my Christmas gift to her from there. I just want to wean myself from being so involved in vintage video games. But thanks for the offer, hahaha. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Komidol:

    Actually, that’s something I came to realize recently. What’s so wrong about watching and fanboying anime? Other than regulating the time spent on it, there’s little problem to appreciating anime.

    I love that avatar of yours. R2 must have affected you a lot. Thanks for commenting.

    Keep them coming, guys!

  9. Baka-Raptor Says:

    I’m addicted to not buying stuff. I was raised to be excessively cheap, and against my better judgment, I continue to be excessively cheap. Even when I go to anime conventions, I can’t bring myself to buy stuff that I know is worth the money. It really sucks.

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  11. Ryan A Says:

    I like your resolve Michael. I would say, go with it. It doesn’t seem that you want to keep eBaying, and I think you might acknowledge it’s not very productive; reading a book or watching a series is more likely to yield a greater sense of accomplishment.

    You can find time, even if it’s just a couple episodes a week. ^^

    Personally, I find myself struggling to stay addicted to anything, which is not a cure, but likely a separate problem altogether. An example would be that I really have to strive to keep up with seasonal anime, because I could easily resonate for hours in the simple meditation of doing nothing. Same goes with coding, which I tend to enjoy because of the problem-solving, but I can lose interest very fast.

    I just look at it as an addiction to life, and the feeling of being alive… constantly doing the same things over and over doesn’t make one feel alive… I’m struggling to not feel alive, while trying to stay addicted to life. Monotonous ways, I don’t enjoy… but underneath, I enjoy the experience of media and coding. So I continue ^^

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  13. Michael Says:

    Ryan A:

    Thanks for that. I actually incorporate what I have done in posts now just so to remind myself of my stupidity. And I think I can, especially with the time I spend doing nothing or just sleeping around.

    Regarding your inability to stay addicted to anything, I have the opposite predicament: I have to be addicted to something to cope with existence. It’s a shame, but I’m like that. There must be something I have to be extremely passionate in for me to operate normally. I don’t know why, but the addiction also helps me focus on doing other things.

    Being addicted to life is a great thing. I should learn from you. ๐Ÿ™‚

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