Over Coming My Obsession To Obsess

I have a problem.

The first part is admitting it, right?

I can’t help obsessing over something to a point of nearly driving myself insane.

I touched on that yesterday, when I discussed being addicted to movie news. But really, that’s only the tip of the iceberg, an iceberg that threatens to sink the ship of my life. (Unlike the Titanic, I never claimed I was unsinkable.)

I can’t exactly place my obsession. I used to think it was a need to buy things, as I have bought many DVDs and Blurays I have yet to unwrap, many videogames I’ve played once… for 10 minutes… and I’m six months behind on most my comic subscriptions.

I’ve been seeing a psychiatrist since last August, for seemingly unrelated reasons involving anxiety and depression. The whole process has made me more aware of my actions and behaviors, which for a hypochondriac like me has both been beneficial and overblown.

At this point, I think my obsession has more in common with hoarding than enjoying the act of spending money.

I’ve never watched Hoarders, but I have listened to Jay Mohr’s podcast, Mohr Stories, on which he has twice had the host/creator of the Hoarders Mat Paxton as a guest. Paxton talks about Hoarders as often keeping the most disgusting stuff, stuff that is complete trash to the common man, so they have it when someone needs it.

Oh, you need a dirty q-tip? I got that for you, ma’am! You need a diaper filled with poop? Got that too! I have several in fact. You want baby green or classic brown?

Now, I may not crap into plastic bags and pile them up in my closet (I still wouldn’t recommend looking in there, mother), but I absolutely cannot help myself when it comes to items like movies, video-games, and comics.

At work,I’ll take shit from movies I haven’t seen or movies I don’t particularly like, just because I may have a use for it some day (I’m not even allowed to sell them on ebay).

Have I seen Friends With Kids? Fuck no, but I kept the poster AND the banner because it has several actors I like on it (Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Maya Rudolph, and the very underrated Chris O’Dowd – that Irish fellow from Bridesmaids).

I also have the standee AND banner for This Means War, a movie that’s not even that good, but because I like Chris Pine and Tom Hardy as actors.

If a new poster or standee arrives in receiving, I’ll request it immediately, even when the movie holds little interest. Today, I requested the Total Recall poster, even though I disliked the trailer, just because Bryan Cranston is in the film (he’s not even on the poster).

It is a fairly cool poster, but what am I going to do with it? And what am I going to do with the 5 copies of the Ghost Protocol poster I have (at least)? Or my Grey poster and standee? Or the parts of the Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy standee I kept. All that shit is just sitting in my poor parents garage.

What am I going to do with the unopened blu-rays of Due Date, The Hangover Part II, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Che, Donnie Brasco, A Few Good Men, In the Line of Fire, etc, etc, etc and on and on and on? (I haven’t even seen half those movies…)

The closest I can tell, I have them all for the same reason that a Hoarder keeps a dirty Q-Tip. One night, we’ll all be stuck in my house, the world ending around us, and we’ll have just enough battery power on my laptop to watch a single movie before we meet our end.

Someone will say, “Damn, I wish I could watch There Will Be Blood one last time before I die.”

And I’d say, “There’s not enough battery power for a film that long, but I do own that movie, on Bluray, even though I never have any intention of watching it! Oh what a lovely apocalypse tonight will be”

This obsession with possession is the worst at work. As touched upon, I try to claim everything from every movie that has potential to be good. I’ve claimed items from The Avengers to Prometheus to The Dictator to Iron Man 3 and Avengers 2.

I tried to claim everything Avengers, all the standees, posters, banners, IMAX posters, etc. I had to relinquish possession of some of them so that other employees who deserve them can have them. Do I really need the Captain America Standee, Avengers Banner, and IMAX poster?

No, but it bugs the shit out of me that someone else is getting the IMAX poster.

I can literally feel myself losing my grasp on sanity at times, when I get wild bouts of anxiety over whether or not I was first to claim The Amazing Spider-Man banner. And I’m on Xanex already for fuck’s sake!

The same anxiety plagues me when a movie comes out that I want to see. I nearly went crazy passing by theaters and hearing the sweet sounds of the scores from Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol or Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Until I saw them, I became agitated that I hadn’t yet, even though I knew I had plenty of time to see them over the month of December.

I wish I could just let go. Quiet my mind whenever that endless want to possess more shit rears its ugly head.

I tried some breathing exercises at work today after I looked at the Avengers IMAX poster,  but no sooner had I dismissed one obsession than another raised its ugly head to take its place (kind of like Hydra; “Shoot down one plane and hundreds more will rain fire upon them. If they cut off one head, two more shall take its place. Hail Hydra!”).

Like I wrote yesterday, this obsession can be an absolute need to know all I can about something, or the need to share my opinion online (the later plagues a bunch of people and is a direct result of social media).

I understand why there are a million Trolls out there on forums, tearing down those who create, for no reason more than to be contrary. I used to have to express my opinion on Joblo; write about why Avatar was going to suck, or defend Spider-Man 3 and Indy 4 from fanboy backlash.

I know none of it is important, but in the moment it all feels like life or death to me.

Like earlier today, I was dead set on writing the following on FBook, just cause: “Dear Idiots, thank you for paying 14.50 to see a movie you already own. Love, James Cameron.” Though I haven’t written it yet (except for here. Sorry about that whammie, Titanic fans), sometimes the mood strikes and I can’t prevent myself from going online and tearing down something other people love, like Twilight or Hunger Games, or just giving my opinion in general about whatever. Like, “Hey I saw Drive before all of you, and it’s awesome! Go see it in a month when it’s released.”

It’s so bad that I sit in the movie theater, while I am watching the movie, already concentrating on what I will say about the movie online afterwards.

Everyone doesn’t need to know what I think about everything. I don’t need to buy every movie I “may want to watch someday. (I realize how ironic it is to say on a blog completely about myself.)

I have a completion complex. I blew $40 dollars last week on South Park Season Fifteen, simply because I own the other complete 14. I mean, it’s a rocking season, but it’s all available for free on www.southparkstudios.com. I’ve repurchased not just Blu-Ray copies of my DVDs, but also special editions of Blu-rays I already own.

Several months ago, after getting my Captain America hoodie (one of the few possessions I use daily), I decided I needed to have a Capt. shield as well. I put it off for months, but this week I finally cracked and bought it. I also ordered a replica of Driver’s jacket from Drive that cost over a hundred dollars. I bought $200 worth of podcasting equipment that is gathering dust. My parents bought me an HD camcorder two years ago and I have yet to shoot one skit.

My name is Nick Doll and I have a problem. I spend all the money I have, and money I don’t have, on shit I may never use.

I obsess over stuff I have no control of, or has no value to be known.

I need help. But on the other hand, I also need to understand why I am this way.

Is it backlash from my parents limiting my spending to my allowance as a kid? Am I filling some other void in my life (lack of a girlfriend, maybe)? Do I collect just to show off? (I did take a photograph and catalog all my comic books yesterday so people can see what I own online.) Is it related to some childhood “trauma” like the time I was heartbroken that we didn’t get out of the rockies in time to see my cooler older male cousin who I idolized, only to receive a new Darkwing Duck VHS from my grandma? Was it seeing my late Water Polo coach’s collection, amazed by its sized, and content when later on a bus ride to Utah he saw my binder of DVDs and said “not a bad start?”

Or was it the time I didn’t buy something, never had a chance to again, and regretting it. Cause that’s the thing, I rarely regret buying useless shit, but if I do have the willpower to avoid a Blu-ray that is cheap but I don’t love, that’s when I most feel regret. When I didn’t buy something.

I don’t know why I’m damaged in this way, yet I am thankful to have had a mostly tragedy free life. It could be much worse, I could be collecting sexually transmitted diseases or crack (not that one hoards those two, exactly).

Really, this is just what I like to call a “white people problem.” In this case I have too much bitchin’ stuff and no willpower to resist adding to it.

I don’t like it. I don’t like obsessing over something so unimportant when there is so much else to do in this world. “The things you own ends up owning you.”

I guess the only option I have is to try harder to muster up some willpower when I hit Target or Amazon, try to breathe deep and be calm whenever a new poster that I “must have” rolls in.

I’ve still only touched the surface of the forces and events that are slowly driving me insane. I could write forever, but I do have work tomorrow at noon and it is 5am now.

I’m hoping putting this all in writing will help me better understand myself, why I am self-destructive with spending, why I’ve never had a girlfriend, why I continue to mourn my cat more than any other loss I’ve encountered. That’s the “Dear Diary” aspect this blog will sometimes take, though I won’t always be so boring and self-absorbed.

It may not be a good read for you (let’s be honest, no one read to this point, cause it’s not interesting or amusing to lay one’s worst habits out in front of him.), and for that I apologize, but I need this, it’s like therapy through blogging.

I plan to make funny here in the future, and post my geekier musing on Breaking Geek.

Don’t worry, I still plan an in depth look at Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and Harvey Dent, but screening those movies twice in 3 days has not yet allowed me to take in all of Nolan’s Bat universe’ suttlties. Each of those columns have potential to be even longer than this one, so it will take a day off to get those out of my system. Let me just give this tease… Batman Begins and Dark Knight are the two best comic book films by about a light year, because of impeccable themes and character development. But more on that later…

Thanks for listening to my condition, doc.

Until next time… waffles.