Addiction Confession

For a long time, I thought I was one of those people with a non addictive personality.  Like most people, when you think of addictions you think of alcohol and drugs, right?  Who am I kidding?

An addiction is an addiction and addictions come in many colors, shapes and forms.   You may have one and not even realize it.  Yours won’t be like mine or quite possibly anyone else’s. When you discover it, you may not even think it’s an addiction and/or serious.

Some addictions can steal time, money, friends, family, or productivity.  Some are actually okay to have. But… if it serves no purpose and keeps you from being the best you can be then maybe you need to take a hard look at it.

Even if you should discover that it’s there, you may want to weigh it’s impact on your life, in which case you may want to blow it off or do something about it. If you aren’t sure,  you could ignore it and pretend it isn’t what it is or you may just give into it, wallow in it and not give a flip about it. After all, what’s the big deal if it’s not killing you or anyone else… or is it?

At some point in your life, later on in your life, you may be forced to take a harder look and begin to fight it.

That’s me. It has taken many attempts and fails to realize these habits are a form of addiction because they control me. That’s when I had to take a closer look and gain control.

Mind you, I cannot be so arrogant to think I’ve actually gotten the upper hand because I haven’t.  Recognizing you have a problem does not absolve you of it. I’m like on a see saw, up and down.

My addiction?  As harmless as they may seem to you, they are real to me.

Sweets.  Binge watching T.V. while playing games and procrastination. I might add… I have an excuse for every single one of them.

SWEETS

I’ve always known about this one and in times past it was never a problem. I could pick up a gallon of ice cream and eat the whole darn thing.  A package of Igloo’s or “drumsticks” and eat them all in one sitting.  When I was young, physically fit and active, it was no biggy.  I also didn’t do it all the time.  It only became a problem in my later years when it started affecting my weight, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and mood. I’m not sure when it happened because it crept up on me slowly.  Perhaps it was because as a kid, we weren’t allowed many sweets, so it became an obsession. My favorites.

It affects me the same way as my reaction to alcohol. The next day after a sugar binge, I go into a deep depression.  And then guess what? Yup, I need a sugar fix and I start looking for anything that might curb it.  Sometimes there’s nothing sweet around, but guess what?  There’s popcorn. Quick sugar conversion carb. Yup! It is.  Get a nasty carb and it quickly turns to sugar.  I don’t like bread, so it’s not my go to, but if I can’t run to the nearest 31 Flavors… I’ve been known to settle.  Oh! and guess what?  A cocktail or drink at the end of the day works too.  I may not be an alcoholic, but alcohol is loaded with sugar!!!! (BTW I rarely drink alcohol)

You may not know it, but start taking notice.  If you have an extremely cranky day or feel a deep, dark sadness after a sugar fest, or with one too many drinks with a friend, then do something about it now.  Your body is trying to tell you something.  Keep in mind, this won’t apply to everyone. We are, after all,  uniquely different.

In my case it has affected my health and my motivation.  When you’re in a downer, it’s all you can do to get out the door and do something productive.  So guess what happens? I justify to the next addiction.

T.V.

Here’s the ugly gory.  Because I write screenplays or I should say have the goal to do so and I’ve written a few, I justify sitting in front of the T.V eating my sweets or whatever.  After all, an artist must study her craft, right?  I especially binge seasonal shows, but not all shows.  My hubby, God bless him, never complains or puts me down for which I’m grateful.  BTW, I am not obese and never will be but I’m certainly unmotivated at times.

My goal is to study the formatting and seeing what people are watching and why and that’s good. BUT, I’m obsessive.  Once I start a show, it’s day in and day out until it’s over and then on to the next.  Much like the box of ice cream.  I keep going until it’s done and I seldom hop around from show to show and when I do, it’s to accommodate hubby.  He’s not much of a T.V. guy anyway.  He’s on the computer either working his eBay after his regular day job or and now thank goodness, riding his bike again.  (His truck broke down, so he started riding to work until they could figure out what was wrong with it and now that he’s back on the bike, he’s remembering how good it felt.)

The problem here is that I usually have a game going simultaneously, so how much am I really getting out of the shows I watch?  I could do so much more. So out the window go the important things.

Screenplays.

PROCRASTINATION .

Procrastination and excuses go hand in hand and is a result of all the above.  I want to write great T.V. and/or a great screenplay, but… my self confidence, for lack of a better word…sucks!

What I’ve learned from T.V. is that the shows with agenda’s seem to be the ones that get made and that is discouraging. Many of the shows these are making “moral” statements, and I use the word loosely.  They are conditioning us and our children to adopt certain lifestyles.  Everything and anything goes.  The supernatural is fostered and I admit, I’m a sucker for a good surreal experience as well.

And when I’m in my melancholy state, turning out a good script is difficult.  If I don’t feel inspired, how can I inspire? So, I’m in a downer, I put it off for when I will “feel better”, “happy” and motivated.

TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF

Now it may seem like I’m plugging someone else’s blog and I guess I am, but when I was reading a blog some of you may follow as well, called bgddyjim ,  I realized that my addictions were keeping me from being and doing amazing things.  Every time I read his blog, I’m inspired by the discipline it takes to stay on task. Over coming any addiction is not easy. It takes work recovering from an addiction and he’s the proof in the pudding, you might say.

And in light of that I’m making some changes.  I have been working out in a haphazard way for some time, but am finally getting a routine that is more frequent. I wish I could go cold turkey on the sweets, but given that so many things have sugar in them, I’m eliminating the obvious ones first and learning about and adding acceptable substitutes in moderation.

First thing in the morning,  I generally turn on the news which, when I’ve heard them repeat the same thing over gain a jillion times, or when when the crap shows come on, I go over to shows on Netflix or Hulu.  Well, I am not turning the T.V. on at all. Finis. I have to do it this way because I have no self control and I know it. (By the way, this goal was short lived, so I’m starting again.)  It’ll be the hardest to control since it is important. Note to self:  I said control because I can’t very well eliminate it, but what I need to change is the game playing while watching.

I have scheduled the completion of a short film by the end of next month, which will hopefully be used to generate income for a bigger project.  Wish me luck.

And, because Jim mentioned how important his sponsor is in his last post, it dawned on me that I was in need of one.

The first group I joined was that of a group of novelists, bloggers and news reporters.  That was fine.  We’d critique each others work, but there were no screenwriters.  The problem with that is that in screenwriting, less is more.  Novelists tend to be wordy.  They have to fill the page with words.  It’s show, not tell.  We don’t have to explain or go into great detail about what is happening. Characters are not overly wordy.  “Readers”, the gatekeepers to producers, the ones your screenplay must get past first are looking for white.  White pages.  If there are too many words, it generally gets tossed without even getting looked at. Yeah, that’s how it is.  So, when people in this group read my screenplays, they kept wanting more words, more elaboration. So, I left the group.

San Diego is not a big movie making stand alone location to be, but it’s made leaps and bounds.  In the last five years, more groups and people are popping up everywhere and so, voila I found some recently.

A friend of mine, in the business, who puts on the Da Vinci International Film Festival  in Hollywood, once told me the best way to see how your work is doing is to produce your own.   Last year I helped with a film called You Are Me, which has won an award and made it to another film festival.  Blog6

Recently, I’ve connected with a group of new filmmakers, wanting to produce and act.  I will be working with them in filming The Late Bird, not my writing, but with the prospect of doing mine at a later date.  Right now we are still seeking funding through Kickstarter.  Not much has been raised yet but… if you care to help?

Since then, I found this other group and was eagerly accepted.  My new group:  SD MediaPros  Filmmakers who encourage one another by offering classes to give new filmmakers like moi the tools to succeed.  Woohoo!

Why didn’t I think of that before?

 

 

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The Whole Picture

I know a great deal is happening in the world today.  Attitudes are changing, some good, some not so good.

In this mash of over stimulation and feeding of opinion, from every form of media and friends, how do we get the whole picture?  The TRUE picture?

Truth is relative, that’s a given truth be told. So much of what we believe is influenced by those around us, our friends, neighbors, educators, religion (if we attend), media and if we read, books. Sadly most of it comes from a combination of media and peer pressure.

Peer pressure is something we just can’t seem to avoid. We’re like cattle or perhaps sheep off to slaughter. Friends are an integral part of living and heaven forbid we disappoint friends. So that leaves MEDIA. MEDIA is the most damaging. TV especially because more people watch TV than listen to radio, in periodicals or the daily paper. Why people believe what they hear on TV as gospel is beyond me. Most of it is “he said, she said” anyway.

I recall an interview a few years back of an actor who had for several seasons or perhaps years, had played a villain on a long running soap opera.  He said in the interview, how surprised he was at the number of people believed it was for real. He was frequently being chastised on the street for being so bad. One day, he says, a woman literally came up to him from out of the blue and hit him with her purse.  The audience of course laughed, but what a sad commentary of how “our” belief system is influenced.  That’s why commercials work and why certain ones are aired at certain times and channels for a specific target audience. That’s also how our children’s minds get formed without us even being aware.  That’s how it is though.

How many people rely on media for their information?

TV news anchors and various talk shows constantly skew their information and cut and paste to present information to fit their own agenda. Now social media is in the mix and how even more impactive that has become.  Because now it’s the man on the street, showing us “live” as to what is going on.

Tell me, has anyone stopped to think how it is that someone just “happened” to see and shoot something as it unfolds from beginning to end and in it’s entirety without prejudice?  Who on earth is ready to roll all the time?  It’s hardly likely unless the event was contrived in the first place. Think about that. And the public believes it? Incredible. Generally if you see something happen, it takes more than a few seconds to get your camera rolling and by then you probably missed a good chunk of important information. It’s hard enough to get a good reel when you plan to shoot it. Trust me.

Low tolerance, high tolerance. It all goes awry when it comes to personal beliefs.  For example, someone may say they are tolerant of this or that and appear for all practical purposes to be so until someone who has an opposing ideology attempts to present theirs. Suddenly their “tolerance” is out the window.  What it really boils down to is so and so has no right to their voice if it conflicts with mine. In other words mine is right, theirs is wrong.  Period.

It’s human nature to hear what you want to hear and if you dislike someone you may be even more inclined to isolate the incriminating or what you want or need to indict them. Sometimes people don’t bother listening or hearing the whole message.  Oh, but wait!  Perhaps the whole message wasn’t shared, just a little this and that. Perhaps some media power that be edited it to discredit  one or uplift another.  How would you know?

There’s no doubt that if we want the truth, we have to go hunting for it and like hunting, it takes work and patience to find truth behind the stories that are being told.

I understand we are all under time restrictions, but do your best.

If you don’t take care, what you see is not necessarily what you’re gonna get. You could be in for a surprise.

We as the human race can be so foolish but for this country’s sake,  lets not be. Our future depends on it.

Do your homework folks.