"I guess I have a lot of problems, so many that I don't have time to go into them all in detail. Suffice it to say I'm anal, obsessive, vain, quick to temper, overly introspective, lazy, judgmental, insecure, and self-righteous. Probably the most annoying thing about me is that I'm hugely opinionated. But I kind of make up for that by always being right."

Thursday, August 18, 2005

...Is Half the Solution

Actually, when people say "Admitting you have a problem is half the solution," what they really mean is "Realizing you have a problem is half the solution." That does make more sense… but it’s still wrong. In fact, for me, realizing I have a problem is half of the problem.

Take something like jealousy. I can be in the middle of a jealous rage, and suddenly have an epiphany: "I’m jealous because my mother was promiscuous, which has caused me to distrust women. It’s so clear. And if I act out of haste now I’ll not only make things worse, but end up hurting this person I truly love. Yeah, yeah. That makes sense… You sleazy whore!!"

See what I’m saying? Being a bastard and knowing you’re a bastard are two different things. And when those two things converge -- trust me -- it’s sheer hell.

Ultimately, when people say "Admitting (or realizing) you have a problem is half the solution," I think what they mean is, "You can’t solve a problem until you realize you have the problem." Again, not true. Say you’re in a large shopping mall. You’re buying a bunch of stuff with a credit card when your husband turns to you and says, "Honey, the interest rate is really high on this card." Well, unbeknownst to you, he’s overheard by a hoard of marauding barbarians who come rushing through the mall, knocking over displays, shoving people out of their way. As they approach, swords and axes drawn, you pull out a credit card and say, "Don’t worry. This card is based on the prime interest rate." Suddenly the barbarians stop in their tracks. See that? Problem solved, without you ever even knowing it even existed.

So, anyway, if you’re not admitting this problem to yourself you must be admitting it to someone else, right? But how does telling a friend you have, I don’t know, diarrhea, for example, help alleviate the problem? Obviously, it doesn’t. But if you’re sitting there wondering why all of this horrible stuff is squirting out your ass, and you suddenly go, "Wait a minute, this is what they call diarrhea," then you may well be on the road to solving the problem.