The stranglehold of addictions, attachments and distractions…
I used to dread opening my eyes on a Monday morning.
I would feel fear grip my body.
The overwhelming sensation of anxiety.
It was as if my nervous system had been hijacked.
Hijacked by the dehydration of alcohol and the withdrawal of chemicals.
My mind racing trying to put together the events of the last few days.
All to the thump of the drum pounding in my head.
Conversations and situations would rattle through my mind.
My whole body would cringe as I recalled memories of intoxicated antics.
Another prang of anxiety streaming through my body.
As my thoughts went to the day ahead.
Not wanting to face the world, face my responsibilities.
The feeling of unworthiness surging through my body.
I wasn’t supposed to drink this weekend.
I only went out for one. Why? Why didn’t I stop?
Same story different weekend.
If I’d even held out till the weekend….
This would usually start on a Friday, the rest was a blur of bars, clubs and parties.
My stomach in knots as yet more drunken recollections come flooding in.
Self harming behavior.
Unaware to the extent of the detrimental affects it was having on me.
Self righteous, selfish behavior.
Ignorant to how those around me were impacted.
Self loathing behavior.
Oblivious. On a constant cycle downwards.
Downwards towards despair. Digging the pit deeper.
My own grave of misery. Waiting to hit rock bottom.
When is this going to end?
This isn’t worth it. Never again. I need to stop.
I’d get a week or 2 of relief if I was lucky.
‘Dry drunk’, counting down the days to the next session.
— — —
This was my Monday morning back in my formative years.
On a Monday merry-go-round to no where.
As my use became heavier, it was not only Monday that I’d wake to these feelings.
And so the cycle continued.
I was one of the lucky ones.
I have lost people close my heart to this affliction.
Taking their own lives because it got too much, the hole was too deep. They could not see the way out.
The sand was sinking around their souls as they gasped for air.
Society promotes consumerism, buy this, buy that — its everywhere.
From such a young age we create these habits of wanting more.
Chasing. Never content.
Addictions, attachments, distractions.
Obsessive, compulsive behaviours — they come in many forms.
Some less obvious or directly harmful than others.
TV, phone, shopping, exercise, food, social media, gaming…
However we want to dress it up, these can all be avoidance behaviours.
Instantaneous gratification. The quick fix. The momentary relief.
Avoiding what’s really going on beneath the surface.
These behaviours are symptoms to cover up whats trying to emerge.
Oblivious to the emotions driving these behaviours.
The mind makes for a great accomplice but a terrible master.
There are some tender parts that are too scared to be exposed.
The addict mind can be so conniving.
I would convince myself with justifications of how I’d worked hard and deserved a drink, how I didn’t have a problem.
How all my mates were doing the same.
Denial and justification.
Addiction is a disease of the thinking.
How do I overcome the denial and reach out for help?
I can still feel resistance in owning my use as an addiction.
Maybe it was just heavy use, or maybe this is classic denial of an addict.
But one thing is for sure, I’m glad I did reach out.
To have done the work so these external stimuli no longer have such a tight grip on me.
By no means do I claim to be a monk or want to live a life completely dedicated to equanimity but I am grateful for having developed this awareness and not living a life of pendulating extremes.
At times I still lose myself, I find distractions through my phone or by working longs hours.
The shift is noticeable in how I turn up, especially with those closest.
Restless, irritable and discontent.
These behavioral cues are signs for me to look inwards and ask whether I am overriding my emotions.
This busyness can be a coping mechanism, to avoid deeper wounds from opening up.
For all reading this and struggling, I encourage you to share with a friend, a loved one, a professional, anyone.
If you know someone who is struggling then reach out ask if they’re OK.
I know from my experience it can be so hard to ask for help.
The friends I had around me made the difference.
I am grateful for them all.
I believe if we can find the courage to express whats burdening our souls, then we can create a world of deeper connection.
— — — — — — -
What are the habits and distractions that prevent you from living a life of deeper connection?
For further shares and insights click and follow on