Addiction is a side-effect of our fast-moving, consumerism culture these days for may of us. If reading that sentence has the hairs on the back of your neck standing up, it’s cool I get it. It’s fucking offensive and yet if you pause and reflect without the defence mechanism you’ll agree.
Addiction is on the Rise
Here we are, surrounded by the instant gratification of the internet, big box outlet stores, travel which is more accessible to the average joe, higher education, social media..and we EARNED it all right? Or have we been conditioned to think taking the edge off is completely acceptable and actually expected BECAUSE we are a society that is more adept, wiser and more in touch than ever?
Our culture is out here out-performing our wildest dreams and yet we see so many of us grasping to achieve work-life balance and not lose ourselves in the pace. We are people who genuinely are chasing something, with high dreams and plans and yet we are often incapable of experiencing the moment of today without discomfort.
I’m speaking from my own perspective of course, as a recovering alcoholic/addict who has seen the black-hole of despair and also the beauty of recovery. At 9 years in recovery I have had a chance to view my past relationship with substances and alcohol from a different lens. I was a person who aimed high, achieved and moved forward to the next experience in all aspects of my life. I was overwhelmed by running from a feeling of inadequacy. This feeling was with me from a young age…call it a gap in my soul or whatever you will…it was something that made me feel different and ‘less than’.
I grew up in the 70’s and have lived alongside of the growth of consumerism and I flourished on the surface. As the internet appeared, I had the ability to compare myself to an entire world and access to information to become whomever I wanted to be. To me this was a GIFT…and I grabbed it. Pinterest, Instagram and all of my other platforms facilitate viewing the lives I would love to have and Google helps me research how to get it.
These are miraculous advancements…but also for some of us they are an escape. Take a moment and ask yourself if you are escaping when you pull out your phone for a quick check, or booking a holiday, planning a party or shopping for things you don’t need.
If we’re honest, many of us will admit to ourselves that we have become conditioned to viewing this as a deserved action. Mommy-wine, boys night out…..tropical escape ladened with booze. It is a fact in our day and age.
Addiction is Numbing
Numbing from life will never produce a satisfactory outcome. Some of us slide by because we catch our behaviours in time and others see their bank accounts draining, their family lives suffering or even a loss of physical, mental and spiritual health for those of us who fall deeper into the addiction behaviours.
Each one of us is given today to experience and it’s up to us what we do with it. Today I hope that this little piece has given you cause for pause. The desire to take a look at what your behaviours are…how you personally find peace.
With addiction numbers on the rise, it’s time for us to truly dig deep and learn to live in the moment in a way that feeds our soul. No more numbing…no more chasing happiness. Happiness begins when we can quietly reflect and know that we are wonderful in the moment no matter what stressors life is throwing at us.
If you are someone who feels they’ve lost control, there is hope. We are pulling back the veil of addiction and these days there are 12 Step Programs, Wellness programs, therapies and more that can help. Reach out…seek and find your own personal answer but whatever you do…don’t ignore it. You’re worth it.