Addictions

So I’ve been thinking about addictions. Whether it’s a substance/chemical addiction (cocaine, nicotine, alcohol, caffeine), behavioral (sex, working out, intrusive ruminations, emotional eating, shopping), or emotional (falling in love addict, unhappiness addict) many people seem to have one. Some addictions have been known to have a genetic factor and people often talk about having “addictive personalities” – all things considered, aren’t addictions just about how people cope? And what is it that we are trying to cope with? Basic anxiety? Anxiety from uncertainty? Anxiety about death and dying?Anxiety from loneliness? (All of which point to existential anxiety). Other anxieties? They rear their head in a variety of ways and we adopt a variety of ways to cope – granted some addictions are healthier than others. But I wonder, if we could rid ourselves of tension, angst, worry, fear… would we? Would life feel stagnant? Regardless, it’s not possible (unless you take tranquilizers and just live life dearth of emotion) and it appears that we are all bound to experiencing some level of anxiety from just being alive. So instead of finding ways to control it, avoid it, suppress it – what would happen if we just let ourselves be with it, feel it, and attempt to understand the ways we respond to it. What are the sensations of it? Where do we feel it the most? What triggered it? Can we let the feelings and sensations wash over us and pass, or must we call someone, drink something, smoke something, do something?

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