I was listening to a morning show last week discussing real-life scenarios of people becoming so consumed with something that it significantly impacted their romantic relationship. The callers’ stories ranged from video games to guitar playing to CrossFit. The radio hosts were even talking about a lawyer that specializes in divorce due to CrossFit obsession! Say what? It seems so extreme when you’re on the outside of that story, but how do you know when you may be immersed in something so much that it’s taking over your life?
An unhealthy addiction can be literally anything. Even ordinary pieces of our lives can become all-consuming and end up costing us relationships, work and well-being. So, what are your warning signs? How can you recognize if your interest is too much?
Consider these ideas and questions if anything came to mind as you were reading above:
1. During a handful of days (or a full week), carry a small notebook or use your smart phone and track how you spend your time. This way you can see what’s going on more objectively.
2. Taking some healthy time away from your interest is anxiety provoking. It’s difficult to imagine or difficult to do. Try taking a week off, the equivalent of a normal vacation, and see how you feel.
3. Do you keep trying to cut down on the amount of time you spend engaged in this interest, but always struggle to follow-through or make it happen? Maybe you find yourself using excuses for why it’s okay “just this time.”
4. Check in with your friends and family. Ask their opinion. Even if they say you’re good to go, they’ll probably appreciate that you cared enough to get their input.
If it’s something that feels out of your control, seeking some support could give you the extra boost you need to get things back in balance. Find a professional in your area using Psychology Today or try out the Mayo Clinic’s self-help app AnxietyCoach.