Sometimes it’s easy to squander away our money on “in-the-moment” fun. Drawing: Kevin Niederman

Sometimes it’s easy to squander away our money on “in-the-moment” fun. Drawing: Kevin Niederman

Column like I see 'em

I think I've said before in this column, and in no uncertain terms, I’m an addict.

What I'm addicted to varies from year to year, but for the most part, I've been able to contain my addictions to food and games.

As you can imagine, this involves me eating a lot of food and playing a lot of games, but it goes a bit beyond that.

With food, I like to stick to a single food for long stretches of time. Like, there was a year-long period where all I ever ate was turkey sandwiches with romaine lettuce on sliced sourdough bread and only drank Arizona green tea by the gallon. Nothing else.

With games, it's a more completionist attitude. If I buy a game, I will usually feel a burning emptiness inside until I purchase and own every piece of optional expansions to said game. The knowledge that my game or set isn't complete eats away at me like coke on teeth.

Or septum, depending.

If you get that joke, you might be an addict yourself.

Being an addict, I tend to stay away from activities already termed as addictive. I'm 25 now, and, all things considered, I'd probably drink alcohol if I weren't so burdened.

My parents do, and it's been fairly normalized for me. The only thing that has stopped me from even starting is knowing I would love it for sure, and shortly thereafter I would die horribly.

I'm not really the die horribly type.

Now I'm not trying to say that I'm better than an alcoholic. What I'm saying is that I’m an alcoholic already.

Yeah, it's true other addicts have it a little harder than an empty bank account and being in constant need of new pants, but I just got lucky realizing my tendencies before anything drastic could have happened.

Regardless of what, if something is so all-consuming it becomes a burden on the rest of your life—to the point where it becomes more difficult to function or live a normal life—that's bad.

Oh, you're just addicted to exercise or work? That's totally fine. You're getting good results from your positively focused addiction.

But you still left your four-year-old at home to try and figure out how to make grilled cheese sandwiches with a machete and a blow torch.


More than my actual addiction or acting superior to those addicted to worse, I just have to come to terms with the fact: I'm an addict.

I need to realize when I'm giving in, and try to stop myself. And it's really really hard.

But that's where I need to start.

Kevin Niederman is a junior studying nursing