I use to be a total news junkie. I could tell time by what was on my local affiliate. NPR was a constant companion to me for years, at work, at home, in the car. I enjoyed the constant influx of information. It was somehow comforting, something I could rely on pretty much 100% of the time. It was a perfect distraction.
But then, my life started to change, and I found that the extra noise was no longer necessary. So, I decided to take a break from depressing news of petty politics, third world strife and things entirely out of my control. And when that happened, I realized I was using the news service as a crutch. If I could hear about the problems of others, I could avoid thinking about my own, or at least push them to the back of my mind.
It was a defense mechanism. I needed the distraction to not become overwealmed. And now, I recognize how others in my life distract themselves from problems. Some do it with alcohol, others with drama, and others, myself included use an abundance of scheduling and activities.
I'm glad to be out of the habit of distraction. Part of the reason I was able to break the habit is that I was able to detract a number of stressors from my life. But, it's a process, that I'm learning takes time and patience. I'm continually trying to simplify my life as much as possible.
This morning I found myself on the sidelines of tragedy, not knowing what to do or how to help. So, my first instinct was to put my distraction in place and let the back of my brain process the loss of a friend and another friend's loss.