As the steam from the shower begins to fade, I look in the mirror and I see her. I see an addict. I get dressed, center myself with a cuppa tea, and go out into the world. I look all around. More addicts. All of us with our unique demons. All of us with our unique gifts. Two of the many examples of how we are more similar than different.
I’ve tried to manage my addiction to DOING for years.
Let me stop here and note this:
As far as addiction goes, there seems to be a commonly held belief that certain addictions are “worse” than others. “More damaging” than others. Warrant “more attention” than others. But is that true?
Isn’t Addiction ADDICTION?
Whenever an outside substance (or act, such as gambling or overeating or sex, or yes, even doing) has control over you… If you, in any way, feel as if you are powerless over anything, doesn’t that count?
So let’s drop the hierarchy of addictions that says “bad” addictions include: X, Y, and Z and “not-so-bad” addictions include: 1, 2, and 3. Because even if we agree there is more of a correlation between X,Y, Z and mortality than 1, 2, 3, wouldn’t we also agree that no matter what the addiction, ALL addictions have a profound negative impact on our quality of life?
Like A Thief In The Night
And who wants their quality of life compromised? I want to live my best life, my most fulfilled life, and you do too. I don’t even know you, and I know this is true. Yet you still have your demons—the demons who compromise your quality of life. And I have mine. One such demon of mine, my uncontrollable need to DO, comes like a thief in the night, robbing me of sleep. But the sneaky little bastard that he is, also attaches himself directly on my back as I lug him around day after day. Of course he clings to my back, the better to ensure my self-imposed ‘doing’ rules are carried out!
Let me be clear: I, no one else, have allowed him to control me.
To give you a small taste, one of my self-imposed rules is: I must focus on goal oriented, productive endeavors AT. ALL.TIMES. Which translates to:
- no watching TV for pleasure, only learning…
- no reading books for pleasure, only research (except when on vacation)…
- no seeking or encouraging “light, purely fun relationships,” only deep, soulful connections with others…
And what do the … lead to? A heaviness I carry around in my bones, cells, and dare I say, Spirit? A heavy, unbalanced, unhealthy existence. One that is as real to me as if I had a needle in my vein.
It is a true addiction. One that I’ve tried developing strategies for over the years. Strategies to manage it, fight it, control it, cope with it, even embrace it.
How am I doing with it? Ask any addict and they’ll tell you they have good days and bad days. “Fifteen years sober,” you’ll hear. Followed by, “And it’s still a daily practice.”
It’s No Day At The Beach
Managing, fighting, coping—these things don’t work. Why not? Because they don’t offer long-term relief. Each is the beach ball you’re holding under the water. At first it’s no problem. You’re able to submerge that beach ball with close to no effort, your hands firmly holding it under the water, arms extended long. Three minutes later? Maybe it’s still a piece of cake. Just a few minutes more and your arms begin to shake, causing your hands to slightly slip. Ah, but you’re a clever one! So you switch positions and sit on the ball. There you comfortably bob, on top of it, quite in control. Until something as small as a gnat flies by, and you go to brush it away, throwing your core ever so slightly off-center, and the ball shoots five feet in the freakin’ air!
A beach ball isn’t a very sturdy foundation. But your belief system is. Yes, something you can’t see or touch serves as your foundation and anchor. How do you know this is true? Because you can FEEL it. Because your beliefs are REAL to you in a way that you don’t need to convince anyone else they are true. They are true for you. They speak to you, you speak to them. Your beliefs are the foundation you return to time and time again. (But your beliefs are not the same as your daily practice.** Your beliefs are a part of your daily practice, the crucial part that is your foundation.)
Because my foundation is Trusting in Life, in the Divine—a belief that everything happens for a reason, I ground myself in that foundation.
Wanna Be Free From Addiction?
- Acknowledge to yourself: An addiction I’m struggling with is __________________.
- My foundation (what makes up my belief system) is ________________________.
- Have your foundation be more than a vague feeling inside you. Make it concrete.
- Look at it, literally. Write it down on a piece of paper. Or share your foundation in the comment section below—you never know, your words may resonate with a reader in a way mine do not. You could be the conduit who helps someone take the first step toward truly living.
**Once you’ve written down your addiction and foundation (your core belief system), keep them handy so in the next post, we’ll be ready to launch into your daily practice. Foundation first, then daily practice, the HOW part. If you haven’t signed up for your free email update, you’re going to want to do that now. You don’t want to miss the HOW in the next post.
Let’s work through this together.
So you don’t want to wait for the next blog post to keep this conversation on addiction going? You don’t have to! Meet us over on our Facebook group page, where there’s an entire community of Pixie Dusters ready and eager to share!