Seems a lot of people can relate to my last post. I’ll share John’s story, but first, let’s briefly review what I mean by the Addiction behind the Addiction: You have a life pattern that is commonplace and seemingly benign. But when you do too much of it, you’re more vulnerable to acting out in a way that’s more obviously problematic, more clearly an addiction.
As soon John learned about this idea, he knew right away what his ABA was: screen time. He was always turning to TV, the internet, his iPad, or smartphone.
So he started pushing the four pause buttons sometimes instead of always going straight to screens. Here’s how it went last Sunday night:
Declare the Thought: "I am so done with all of my duties and responsibilities and being around people and figuring out what they need and how I can help them. I just want to veg... escape... I want oblivion."
Face the Feeling: If I don't turn on the TV or get out my phone and check sports scores or political news I feel antsy, out of sorts."
Notice what's Now: Heaviness in my chest. My two kids youngest kids hanging near me. My daughter’s asking if she can read her chapter book to me. It’s a mystery she’s really into.
Do what’s You: I'll let her read to me. That will have more meaning to me in the long run than watching a football game I couldn’t care less about. My son snuggles up there with us and my daughter reads chapter after chapter. This is the most I've ever read with her and both of them are loving the time together.
It was 8:45 when they were done reading and John felt so relaxed he just laid there in his bed. He ended up falling asleep and slept for the next nine hours straight until it was time to get up Monday morning.
John had been exhausted!
If he had turned on the TV or his iPad instead, how well would those have restored his exhausted body and given him what he really needed? It may have felt like “down time” to him, but chances are he would have stayed up even later. In fact, sometimes at night he finds himself so tired he doesn’t even have the energy to get up and turn off the TV!
Instead of getting more sleep and correcting the existing imbalance, his ABA would have emptied his tank further, making him even more vulnerable to relapsing with porn.