There’s a big difference between choosing to enjoy a gloriously delicious meal while celebrating with your friends and choosing only processed foods while sitting on the couch night after night in attempts to numb the pain you are experiencing. One is an experience of love and the other is an experience of pain, of fear. While both may seem to be bring pleasure to your life, they’re not the same. The later will relieve pain, yes, but only temporarily. You can only bury whatever it is you’re running from in Doritos for so long, and then there comes a point where you have to rise up, make the decision that you are worthy, take action that helps to heal whatever situation or deep-seeded trauma you are dealing with, and take steps in the direction of welcoming love in.
The same concept applies to an addiction to your cell phone, alcohol, other drugs, and anything used to numb the reality you have created or to avoid facing what requires healing.
Let’s all call ourselves out. Let’s put down the numbing agents – whether it be the mindless Instagram scrolling we do while taking a cab ride, the bag of chips we demolish after a day at work that knocked the crap out of us… the booze, the cigarettes, the weed, whatever you do from a place of lack and complacency instead of from a conscious place of love, excitement, and growth.
Practise separating yourself from your drug of choice, even just a little bit, and it will be worth it. When it seems difficult, do not give up. Don’t rob yourself of experiencing the beauty of the world simply by not giving yourself the opportunity to look at life’s experiences through clear eyes.
Give yourself moments of agency. Set yourself free. Draw the line for yourself; learn to understand how much exposure to these agents is crossing the line. Be faithful to this line. When you cross it, let it go. You are growing stronger and closer to the intentions of your soul every day.
If it takes professional intervention, seek help. Do not fear help; embrace it. Success is often best achieved through therapy, coaching, medical assistance, or other forms of support. This does not make you weak; it often does just the opposite – it empowers you.
Find an outlet and release that allows you to work through your stress, your thoughts, and emotions in a healthy way. Maybe you express yourself through making music, maybe it’s running, maybe it’s dancing, maybe it’s painting or colouring, maybe it’s lifting weights, or maybe it’s writing. Just do that thing or those things and start working through whatever it is you are trying to numb, whatever you’re so afraid of that makes you need to incessantly stare at your phone. And if it’s just boredom, find a project that fills your heart and ignites a creative fire within you.
In her book Braving the Wilderness, Brené Brown describes the importance of facing our emotions instead of attempting to drown them in addiction:
Pain will subside only when we acknowledge it and care for it. Addressing it with love and compassion would take only a minuscule percentage of the energy it takes to fight it, but approaching pain head-on is terrifying... . But what we know now is that when we deny our emotion, it owns us. When we own our emotion, we can rebuild and find our way through the pain.
Give yourself more credit. Don’t pretend you don’t know the difference between participating in something for enjoyment versus doing something to numb emotion or to fill a void. You know which is which; sure, sometimes you get lost, but when you truly listen to yourself, you hear the truth.