DRMacIver's Notebook

Failing to resist temptations

Failing to resist temptations

I am, as I've mentioned, bad at finishing things.

You know what I'm not bad at finishing though? Crisps. You put a bag of crisps in front of me, it's gone.

I am fortunately saved from pringles by my dietary restrictions, because the following analogy that I used to talk about whether drift was pleasant or unpleasant is 100% accurate to my experience:

Drifting is unpleasant in the same way that eating a tube of pringles is unpleasant. You know you shouldn't start, but then you do, and you're not really enjoying it, but you keep eating it, and then you get to the end and you think "Ugh, why did I eat that?" and then the next time a tube of pringles is opened in front of you you do it again.

I'm not even good at resisting the temptation of things I don't particularly like.

The first hard choice is my post about temptation and addiction, and it's an odd post to be sure, but one of the oddest things about it is that I feel quite so strongly about this subject given that I don't have any particularly scary addictions. I don't even smoke, I drink in moderation, I have minimal to no experience with harder drugs (and what minimal experience I have only in countries where they're perfectly legal, naturally). My worst addiction is coffee, and although that has this dynamic it also has other reinforcing problems. It's very much an addiction in the sense of it solving problems for me.

I have, incidentally, given up giving up coffee again. I made it to about two months before I came up with a very good justification for drinking coffee again. The problem is basically that coffee solves some very unpleasant gastrointestinal issues for me, so about once a week I have to make a decision between having a very upset stomach or drinking coffee (yes, it's partly that coffee makes you shit, but it's not just that. Decaf has the same property and doesn't seem sufficient), and having coffee about once a week means I spend the rest of the week craving coffee. I had a morning when I spent about 10 minutes of arguing with myself about whether I was allowed a coffee and eventually decided that this was stupid and if this was going to be my experience then it was clearly better to deal with the problems coffee causes rather than the problems that it solves.

Another example of the temptation problem for me is that I don't usually keep my phone in the bedroom. My alarm is dead right now and I needed to be up early this morning, so I made an exception and had my phone by my bed. Naturally, because my alarm was set for 6:30, I woke up at 5:30, and equally naturally because it's fucking cold right now and it was 5:30AM I didn't want to get out of bed, but then my phone was right there and before you knew it I was on Twitter. This is precisely why my phone isn't allowed in my bedroom.

A really stupid example of this is that I often shave in the shower. It's not good for my skin, and it doesn't produce a particularly good shave, but it's easy and it lets me extend my time in the shower, and no matter how often I have this argument with myself I often find myself gravitating back to this habit.

It's not particularly that I miss these things when they're not there. I do sometimes buy crisps despite knowing this, but mostly if I don't have crisps in the house I don't miss them. Coffee and Twitter solve problems for me, but not having Twitter in bed doesn't present a problem, and if you could somehow blanket ban shaving in the shower I would be completely fine.

But, in the presence of these temptations, I often cave. I appear to be really bad at listening to even a weak and off-tune siren song. I think it's that I can't not notice the call, and once I notice the call it's a constant nagging presence that I want to make go away, and I'm not very good at dealing with ongoing discomforts like that.