Thursday, March 8, 2012

Addictions and REHAB PROMISES - Lenten Update

I've been blessed. Drugs, cigarettes and alcohol are not addictions to which I have a propensity. My prayers and empathy go to those who do struggle with these vices. However, I have not gotten away unscathed. My addictions are of this world as well - specifically creature comforts and electronic gizmos of every type. As I made my Lenten REHAB PROMISES, I was struck by how easily I am drawn in...to comfort foods, Facebook, Pinterest, blogging, and any other thing that strikes my fancy. Like a true addict, I experience peaks and valleys.

In looking at my addictions, I see that I am not that much different from my addict brethren. We all aspire to change, find inspiration and resolve, and make promises to ourselves and others: and yet we fall. If you read my initial post, you saw that I was inspired and champing at the bit to begin my newly minted resolutions. As I experienced the first week, however, things settled in and it became a bit more tedious to adhere to all of my promises. I have faced temptations in many ways, one of which I will speak of in this post.

Whenever you try to limit something that cannot be altogether avoided, you are running an uphill race. Like the dieter who still has to eat in order to nourish her body, an electronic media addict faces her temptation daily, while pursuing worthwhile uses of same. As one of the fortunate few who are able to remain home, my self-appointed vocation is as a pro-life advocate. This is something I have done since I was in high school and Roe vs. Wade first became law. I have personal reasons - as detailed in When 'Pro-life Except Really Happens - and am also driven by the teachings of my Church. In this capacity, many most days will find me perusing news articles, blogs and posts by pro-life groups. I then take what I have found and redistribute it to those with whom I am in contact.

Having majored in Art, with an emphasis on advertising, it is quite natural for me to network and broadcast information about the things about which I am passionate. It's amazing how many really great contacts this housewife in rural Kentucky can make, simply by sitting in front of a monitor! In my pro-life rebel days, I could conjure up a pro-life protest of 60+ people within a couple of hours with just a few well-placed phone calls. At one such event, we were protesting the use of a Catholic Parish Center for a pro-choice political candidate's fundraiser...the priest for that parish actually joined us! So this type of sharing, if you will, is just like breathing to me. The trouble with this, however, is that like with many good things, electronic communication carries its share of temptations. I have good intentions but - you know what they say about good intentions paving the road...
So here I am, in the midst of Lent and working on my resolutions and W H A M ! - there's a project that I just can't say 'no' to. You see it has it all:

  • Pro-life angle - check 
  • Church angle - check 
  • My Catholic Sistas  - check 
  • All of my valuable, like-minded contacts -check. 

So just like that ::snap:: I'm immersed to the point of obsession. My poor husband - who knows the drill - just looks at me longingly as I make phone calls, snap photos of unsuspecting visitors, and obsess in general. Of course the outcome was great, my friends really stepped up, and I did my small part in helping a fellow Sista with her awesome 'I have a say'...here comes the Catholic Church video.

Now you might ask, 'so what's wrong with what you have described? Your effort went to a worthy cause, right?'

Well, it's not just that I spent the better part of three days collaborating and gathering photos - I also took the time to chat, post, and literally stalk Facebook and my email account. Every ding, every chirp, every notification sound was like the tantalizing smell of a juicy steak on Good Friday! And I totally caved for those days. Friday (a day of Facebook fasting) was an all out computer day...even Saturday and Sunday found me perched in my chair far more than necessary. And so, here I am, like any repentant addict - making excuses and plotting the success of 'one more chance'. So I take in a deep breath, straighten my shoulders, and make a mental resolution to start anew.
Dear Jesus, accept my flawed efforts, allow good to come from my keyboard, and help me to temper my flawed human passions.
AMEN!