It was about obsession. And letting it go. For last few years, I have become “addicted” to Starbucks chai. If I were even close to one of those stores, I would go in and get my “fix”. I do not specifically go to Starbucks to get it – except when at work sometimes – but if I was passing one by, I would usually go for it.
For past few months, its been part of my regular breakfast. And strangely, I was also putting on weight no matter how little I ate otherwise or how regularly I was exercising. So, two weeks back when I took stock of the food I was having and where the issue was? I realized that the mischief-maker could most likely be Starbucks Chai with high sugar content. That put me off.
So off, that is, that even though I deliberately walked past a Starbucks store (I went through a building purposely to go past it to test myself!), I didn’t feel the urge to have my “fix”.
This has happened to me a few times before as well. Just letting go an obsession – simply.
First was when I was in 7th or 8th grade. I had never been someone interested in reading books, while my classmates were always reading something or the other. Then one day during my Summer vacation, I picked up a “Hardy Boys” book and got hooked. So hooked that by the time the school started I was reading three books back to back a day. I just loved those books.
The school started, but my obsession with the “Hardy Boys” mysteries remained and I would come home and go for it. Soon, my homework and tests got affected. One day, my Mother shouted at me for disregarding everything for this obsessive reading! The next day, I looked at the situation and realized that its not a smart thing to be doing. But how do I get rid of my obsessive habit?? I came home…. picked up all the books I had borrowed from the library and returned them. I, then, came home and burnt my library cards. Since then I never joined that library and never read any other fiction book. Bad fallout, but I didn’t mean to not read any more fiction books. I did not really fight myself to leave the ones I was reading. Just that I realized that I was being obsessive and saw why it was dis-empowering to be so.
In the second instant, I suddenly got interested in chess when in my 9th grade. To me sports always meant something to be done on a field and played physically. I was good at field hockey, cricket and soccer as well as athletics (sprints, high jumps and long jumps); but cerebral games were not my staple or choice. But for a few weeks, I saw my Father play chess with his friend and most often beat him to it. That made me wonder if I had that gift as well? So, I learnt the game and started playing with friends in the neighborhood. Soon, I was beating older boys and then the grown ups in my street. Such was the thrill to outmaneuver them that I soon became obsessive. And as it happened before, my study / homework etc started getting affected. One day I got another drilling from my Mother and I decided to simply not play chess any more. I haven’t played since.
Letting go your obsessions is not easy. You cannot say that today I will leave my obsession. That doesn’t help. I have learnt through my experience, that once the realization comes to you that what you are doing is a debilitating habit then you can simply walk past it. For me, it was a matter of control. I could not bear something controlling me so much that I would be a weak being when I came in contact with it. I had to be in control!
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