Is this what we have come to? Glorifying binge drinking and inappropriate behaviors? To top it off one of the women interviewed in this episode had the audacity to say that she acted as she did because she wanted her daughter to see her mother as a strong confident woman. Really!? Are these the actions of a “strong confident woman?” I beg to differ. The only reality here is that we glorify irresponsible behaviors. How are we being responsible to our children when we let these types of exploits be glorified on television? Do your children really know the difference between fiction and reality? By being complacent and not addressing these kinds of displays we run the risk of allowing television’s reality to become the tacit arbiter for “responsible” behavior.
For those in recovery, already feeling separated from everyday life, seeing behaviors like this readily accepted, even thought of as amusing entertainment, is truly sending the wrong message. For those who are truly interested in supporting someone in recovery, they must learn to also reconsider what they choose to surround themselves with, particularly their choices in media.
In many ways recovery is about rediscovering who you really are. Part of the process is assuming the mundane routines and relationships of everyday life as well as trying new things. In doing so, however, everyone concerned in the recovery process should be mindful to plan ways to spend quality time with friends and loved ones that is free from the painful reminders of former addictive behaviors. You may be thinking that it is only a television show but for a recovering addict it may be harder to separate the so-called “reality” on display from actual reality.
For an addict keeping their addiction alive is time consuming. Every moment of the day is spent thinking about drugs (wishing you had them, or how and when to go get them). One of the biggest challenges in recovery is how to fill up the time that was previously spent dedicated to perpetuating the cycle of addiction with positive constructive behaviors and habits. Understandably many rely on media to fill their time and distract them from obsessing about their addictive impulses. To be clear there is still worthwhile programming to be found on television. But this isn’t about television so much as figuring out ways to organize your time in such a way that maximizes your recovery efforts and keeps you on the right track.
While feeling bored is quite normal, especially in early recovery, it is important to know what to do in order to deal with these feelings and refocus your energy on something positive in order to avoid relapse. The question becomes, now that you are clean and sober, what would you like to accomplish?
Perhaps you would like to take a class at a community college, or go back to school to earn a degree. Maybe you want to dedicate yourself to being a better parent and spend more time with your children. Or maybe you want to focus on your physical health by eating healthy, exercising, and getting adequate sleep. Perhaps you want to start volunteering your time to help others with their recovery. This not only gives you an opportunity to see how far you’ve come, but gives you the satisfaction of helping others.
Whatever your goal, focusing on the things you want to accomplish will not only keep you motivated, but fight boredom as well. By creating your own reality and being a real role model for others fighting addiction, you can face any challenge and live a happy productive life.