Saturday, November 25, 2017

Curing My Addiction As Taught By Rats

Addiction has been an interest of mine lately. Mostly because I find myself prey to it.

My drug? A Samsung Galaxy J3 Prime. 

It's not the most expensive or interesting phone but it gives me the calling, texting, and app abilities that I need to function in this 21st century world. It just also causes me a lot of trouble because I can't seem to put it down. Other than the obvious trouble of it sucking away my time better spent on work, class assignments, my family, sleep, etc., I think it's also been a large contribution to the growing bulge forming at the back of my neck from being hunched over it so often. 

When I was in my Freshman year of college I grew a sort of hatred for my phone. It was a simple Nokia brand with no touchscreen or smart phone abilities, but that's not the reason I hated it. I hated being attached to it. I hated society's expectations for me to have my phone within vibrating distance at all times, a slave answering to their every beckoning call or text within seconds. So my way of sticking it to the world was to toss my phone to the edge of my bed and ignore it for hours on end. Take that world! 

Years have passed and now my body and mind have grown accustomed to my bionic Android limb. A little too accustomed for my taste.

What to do, what to do?

I guess uninstalling Candy Crush for the umpteenth time might help.

What also might help is to compare myself to a rat.

One time some guy did an experiment called the Rat Park Study. He put a rat in a cage with two water dispensers. One had just plain water and the other was laced with heroine. After some amount of time the rat stopped drinking the regular water, became addicted to the heroine, and drank until it died of overdose.

So he came to the conclusion that heroine was extremely addictive and once you start taking it you'll just take it until you die.

But then he realized that there were some flaws in his experiment. All the rat had been given to do to pass the time was to drink the water, drink the heroine, or stand there and stare into the universe of his cage. So after contemplating the answer to his tiny universe, he had nothing left to do except drink himself into his grave.

So this guy did a do-over.

He put a bunch of rats together this time in the Rat Amusement Park Of The Century. There were toys, there was food, there were games, I mean this place was just loaded with fun rat stuff. And there were two water dispensers, one with just water, and one laced with heroine.

And guess what? No rats got addicted, and no rats drank themselves to death.

Why? Because there were places to see, things to do, and friends to squeak at! There were things more exciting than drinking heroine-laced water.

So I get it.

I need an Emilyn Amusement Park Of The Century.

The question then arises, what makes up my amusement park? This is what I have been working on lately. Building my park to pass the time. Trying to remember what I did before the installment of my bionic Android limb, and venturing out to find new hobbies and toys.

My List So Far: 

1. Read delicious books both for giddy pleasure and to expand my brain muscle.
2. Crochet stuff with yarn both from patterns and as composed from the mess of my mind.
3. Run around the neighborhood in tennis shoes and work out clothes. (Bonus: my mile time is down to 9 minutes!)
4. Contribute to the internet with my blog ramblings
5. Sing sing sing.
6. Hike in the Utah mountains that I've always taken for granted.
7. Walk around with a camera to my eye stealing images from the world.
8. Auditioning for theater things and not getting in, but having fun and hoping for next time.

Writing them down gets me all excited about life again and makes me want to toss my phone to the back of my closet with my flip flops and last semester's astronomy textbook. On silent mode.

Goodbye extra limb, hello Rat Park Study 2.0: Emilyn Style. 

No comments:

Post a Comment