The addict seeks release at a time of yearly renewal

Support Local Journalism

LOGIN
REGISTER

Enterprise columnist

\n

The bright, fresh new year is the traditional time for making resolutions, and most of us set the resolution bar so high that we ditch our resolve by Valentine\’s Day. I\’m predicting my own failure in similar fashion, because I don\’t actually believe that I can accomplish my New Year\’s resolution.

\n

That said, I want to give it a go.

\n

And that said, I have no faith in me, but what the hey, let\’s throw it against the wall and see how long it sticks.

\n

In 2011, I\’m going to try (forgive me Yoda, but I fear I have more “try” than “do” in me on this matter) to give up following politics. I\’ll still keep track of the news, via print newspapers and certain non-political websites. It\’s not politics per se I wish to abandon — just the hyperbole. I want to be aware of politics, but I no longer wish to be psychologically and emotionally engaged with politics.

\n

So, MSNBC, don\’t take it personally. It\’s not you. It\’s me. I just need to find myself, you know? Figure out where I belong in this crazy, mixed up world. But hey, let\’s stay friends. Oh, and I\’d like my Van Morrison CDs back.

\n

Going cold turkey is rough, so I already started on my resolution in increments. Joe Scarborough and the “Morning Joe” crew were the first to go. All the bickering and opining became boring, and one morning and I just got fed up and hit “delete series” on the DVR.

\n

“The Rachel Maddow Show” was next. It happened during a recent PBS airing of Dr. Christiane Northrup. During a pledge break, I clicked over to Rachel. Northrup had been explaining the damaging effects of inflammation on the body, and suddenly there was Rachel, borderline-apoplectic over the newly elected Republican majority\’s announcement of their strategy for the next two years: Block all Democratic bills, regardless of content. This is only slightly less repugnant than Sen. Mitch McConnell\’s proclamation of the Republican party\’s singular goal for the next two years: Make sure Barack Obama is a one-term president.

\n

And you thought our “representatives” were fretting over your extended unemployment and foreclosure notice. Silly American.

\n

I recognized this perpetual Red Team/Blue Team melodrama years ago, and reregistered “Decline to State” in protest. But how could this come as a surprise to Maddow? Has she not been watching her own show? Surely she knows this. She\’s just acting dismayed to reel viewers in by the heartstrings.

\n

And then the ironic juxtaposition kicked in: Dr. Northrup had just been discussing how inflammation in the body is not only unpleasant and uncomfortable, but physically damaging and destructive in the long term. It leads to disease. Even death. And it struck me that all this “We\’re good, they\’re bad!” political sensationalism is inflammation to the spirit — unpleasant and uncomfortable, and in the long term, probably spiritually damaging, destructive and soul-killing.

\n

Following some on-the-spot naval gazing, I recognized that I avoid things that increase inflammation in my body. So… why am I actively choosing things that increase inflammation in my spirit? And of course, there\’s no other answer than, “Because you\’re a dipwad, that\’s why.”

\n

And just like that, I pointed the DVR remote at Rachel, said “Goodbye, Rachel,” and pressed “delete series.”

\n

And Keith stands alone.

\n

The next few times I watched Keith Olbermann\’s “Countdown,” I started paying attention to how I felt. Although the information was valuable, I felt anxious, annoyed, depressed and sometimes despairing. And I asked myself, “Do I have any control over any of these things that caused me to feel this way?” Answer: “No.”

\n

I can vote, true. But in the end, no matter who you vote for, once your guy/gal is elected, he/she is swept up into the “Cluster-&#%$ for the White House,” as Jon Stewart so aptly calls it — the never-ending struggle for re-election, to the exclusion of all else. And if one of the most inspirational and brilliant people of our generation, Barack Obama, can\’t even change it, what\’s the point in getting all wound around the axle about elections? Or politics?

\n

That doesn\’t mean I won\’t vote anymore. Of course I will. But I\’m not putting any more psychological energy into national politics and the perrenial Cluster-&#%$ for the White House. I recognize that in the end, I don\’t have any power to change any of it. My angst and energy is wasted on politics. I\’d have equal success raging at the weather.

\n

So, for my resolution this year, I\’ll draw upon my Al-Anon days, and when the temptation to become white-hot screeching furious over the latest political twist and turn flares up, I\’ll recite the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

\n

Wisdom to know the difference. That\’s really what I\’m striving for. And let me be clear, I\’m not saying that national politics isn\’t important. Clearly it is. I\’m simply ready to explore whether I\’ll be less anxious, annoyed, depressed and sometimes despairing if I stop sucking on politics like a crack pipe.

\n

Addiction is addiction, baby, and Step One is “Admitted we were powerless over (insert your favorite addiction here)…”

\n

And with that… Goodbye, Keith. We had some good times, didn\’t we? I\’ll always love you. And hey… It\’s not you. It\’s me.

\n

— Follow Debra DeAngelo on Twitter. Links are posted at and http://www.edebra.com and http://www.wintersexpress.com. Find Debra\’s columns online at http://www.wintersexpress.com, http://www.edebra.com and http://www.ipinion.me

\n

Total
0
Shares
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Article

The best Christmas present I\'ll ever get was nothing at all

Next Article

It was the best of e-mails, it was the worst of e-mails

Related Posts