I found so many themes that corresponded with addiction this weekend that I feel compelled to talk about it with you.
Yes, most people know it was the SuperBowl this weekend. Sports fanaticism is many people’s addiction of choice. Although there are benefits to feeling like the “twelfth man” – being part of a large community, sharing in the team’s successes, and having something to watch on Monday nights – in many ways it serves as a distraction or permission. Distraction from my life, successes I wish I had professionally, and the admiration I wish others had for me. It also gives us permission to behave foolishly (yelling about a call), drink a little too much, and indulge. Between the distractions and behaviors it permits, it’s no wonder why so many are addicted to watching football.
This weekend we learned of Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s death. It is under investigation, but largely assumed that he died from a drug overdose. Drug addiction can serve as one of the most accessible and strongest escapes from reality there is. So what are we escaping from? Alcohol is a legal drug, but we can easily over indulge. Be observant when you do so. What were you distracting yourself from?
Too often we are unaware of what’s informing our actions and living without intention. Yet we have so much going on in our heads – what your partner said to you this morning, how your boss treated you, negative opinions of yourself. But we’re not allowed to air out that dirty laundry in most places. So we put on a mask that shows the world “everything’s great, I’m just fine.”
So where do those undesired thoughts and depressed feelings go? They’re there. Always. They won’t go away until you observe them and validate them. Make those thoughts and feelings legal. Explore them. What are you so afraid of finding in them? That you’re not perfect, that you need to work on your marriage, that your boss isn’t always pleased with you? So do the work!
Choosing to hide the thoughts and feelings is only a temporary fix. Soon, you will need an escape or distraction if they fester too long.
Make the choice to not feed your addiction. Make your thoughts and feelings legal for further exploration. Make your needs a priority and do the work! You can get the things you really want – but the first step is to listen. So listen good!
Always be your best self,