I promised a friend I would post this in my bio because she felt it was the most telling and honest thing I had ever written about myself.
“Hello, my name is Rachel and I am a functioning addict.”
In my head a chorus rings out in unison, “Hello Rachel”. If memory serves me right, next you are asked to display your shortcomings for all to see. I can only go from what I have seen on television, having never really been in a twelve step program. I start my story off by stating the facts. I have never used drugs. I only drink maybe twice a year. Although I have a healthy sex life I am far from a nymphomaniac. The extent of my gambling is a heavy loss of jellybeans to my daughter while teaching her poker. Having listed most of the common addictions, most would wonder what has such a strangle hold on my life. At the moment my brain is all consumed by “The Boy that lived”. Even though J.K. Rowling’s amazing series has inspired millions of our youths to turn off the TV and read, mine is a fanatical obsession. From daily hits on Mugglenet to becoming a devout mugglecast listener, I have let my newest obsession take over too many aspects of my life.
My life seems to be a succession of obsessions. I remember being as young as 5, obsessed with “Annie” the musical. So obsessed, I might add that I tried out for the part of an orphan. Thank god I can actually sing because that really could have been embarrassing. From Annie, it became Duran Duran and a line of others too long to list. What is it about me that I need to go from admirer of talent to superfan? Then one day it dawned on me. I have an obsessive personality. I am an addict, addicted to the high I get from these obsessions. Be it upbringing or “moral fiber” I never went down the windy road of the classic addictions. I had found a functional form of addiction. I could live my life day to day and function in normal society. Some of my close family and friends might have to deal with excessive rants about my chosen obsession but are tolerant out of love. In no other way does it outwardly appear that I am addicted. I care for my children well; I feed my husband a homemade meal every evening. I know it is cliché but I really am Suzy homemaker. I portray this façade to everyone, except those who are just like me.
Now it may be hard to believe but I get a physical high off of whatever passing fancy or celebrity I obsessing over. When I had the opportunity to get together with others who felt as I did, there was a heightened euphoria. One of my stronger obsessions was with the show Roswell. I traveled to Los Angeles by myself and met with friends I had connected with over the internet. Even though I had known these people for only a short amount of time the connection was instantaneous. We felt a sense of belonging with each other. One friend outside of my obsession referred to them as my drug buddies. These were people who my friend felt facilitated the high and even add to its intensity.
Having felt like a mental outsider, finding others who either share my interests or understand them is a rare find. This fan event it was like finding a Mecca to which my brain could travel to. As I write this I realize how odd that might sound to some. When your brain is in a constant state of multiple thoughts, you tend to need a vacation from yourself. Your life becomes a routine in which your body follows the actions it requires to live. Your mind however is entangled in so much that your frenzied synapses require a constant thought to focus all your mental energy. That generally becomes the obsession.
After much soul searching and deliberation, I have now decided that it is best to follow the obsession as long as it is not harmful to anyone else. As long as you have a firm grasp on reality and there have been no restraining orders issued, who are you harming? I have walked away from some of my forays into fandom with friends I would never trade for the world and who have become part of my life. At worst I lose the time and energy I devote to my obsession. At best this obsession provides me the mental escape I need to function through daily living.
I know in 12 step groups they end with the serenity prayer. It here seems appropriate too.
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.
Which HP Kid Are You?