At the end of last week, I became acutely aware of the fact that, since moving, I had developed too strong of an affinity for watching television. There it was, hanging right in front of the bed: my constant companion, my break from work, my night time lullaby. Yup, having a TV in the bedroom really is as bad as they say.

At the best of times it was harmless: a quick laugh at a lighthearted sitcom or simply getting informed about the skeleton of a prehistoric snake. But this growing addiction too often reared it’s ugly head in the form of Joan Rivers’ Fashion Police or *gasp* former Playboy Playmate Kendra’s reality show (I’m gonna regret revealing that one).

No intervention was needed; I just knew.  I had to break the cycle, so on Saturday I set off to purify my soul through a 24h TV detox. I’ll admit that it wasn’t that ambitious. Heck! In High School I used to participate in Ad busters’ TV Turn Off week on a yearly basis. I had recently lived over a year without cable. This would surely be a piece of cake plus it would make good fodder for my new blog.
Turns out, not so easy.

Cold Turkey:

I had conditioned myself Pavlov style. When the clock struck noon (Project Runway on E!) I automatically reached for the remote before remembering my resolution. So I went to the kitchen to get a bite to eat. By 12:30pm, I was ready to throw in the towel, before remembering  that I had wanted to blog about the experience. Crap.

So what exactly did I do with my day? I read. I worked. I got outside. I Skyped my family, I wrote; if I couldn’t distract from my thoughts, I sure as heck was gonna express them. And of course, I agonized over what I had set off limits. I felt anxious, I felt restless, I felt jealous of my almost-in-laws for watching their Spanish soap operas. I was easily set off. “Wait. Is that Ellen I’m hearing through the wall? Oooh I love Ellen,” I would groan. By night time I found myself fantasizing about Dr. Sheldon Cooper’s crazy antics. In an email to my best friend, I wrote: “The thing is right in front of my bed, staring at me, taunting me, calling me with it’s come hither look.” Quite frankly, it was getting creepy.

Day Break:

After some light reading, I fell asleep, comfortable as can be, knowing that I would wake up with TV viewing permission all over again. I slept well. Then Sunday came and something strange happened. I didn’t turn the TV on all day. It just didn’t happen. I worked, did yoga, meditated, went for a walk. My TV detox had gone from 24h to 48 without even trying. I felt good.

Only one problem. When I finally turned on the TV again, I caught an episode of Breaking Bad for the first time. Now I fear I’ll never be able to pry myself away again.

Do you ever unplug the TV? Do you find it makes a difference in your mood or habits?