dependency, there are underlying issues that must be overcome.
Again, whether you started using your substance of choice way back when because it was fun or for some other reason, by the end, there are certainly issues that you are either trying to numb away
or to simply avoid. The range of possibilities of what that may be is rather large (past trauma, a poor view of reality, depression, loneliness, hopelessness, etc.., etc...) but the fact is that there is SOMETHING or several
things that are causing you to try and escape or mask your day to day existence.
For some folks, a discontent arising from their day to day existence or rather the role that they play in it can be one of those contributing causes. What you do for a living (and this can apply to homemakers, students, retirees as well) consumes the majority of your waking hours, so if you hate or dread whatever it is that you do; well that’s a problem. If that’s the case, then there are 2 major culprits at work that can lead one to seek “relief” through the use of dependent activities or substances. Those two being STRESS and BOREDOM, or a combination thereof.
For now, I’m going to concentrate on how these two factors come into play in a work/job environment.
STRESS- Job related stress can be caused by all kinds things and here are just a few random thoughts (quotas that are expected to be met. Very common in sales and production related fields to name just a few. It’s just a job right? So leave it at the door when you leave for the day. That’s not easy if you have the fear hanging over your head that if you don’t meet quota, your job is history. Now some people view these quotas as a challenge and rise to the occasion and bust their butts and do whatever it takes to reach them and doesn’t worry about it. Other people, however, do take it home with them and obsess over it to the point where thinking about anything else is almost impossible. They NEED relief from the incessant anxiety and fear that comes along with it and presto----Relief in the form of a bottle.
Then there’s the stress of simply having to get up and go to a job that you hate. You may find it demeaning, below your capabilities, meaningless in the big scope of things, too physically or mentally demanding, even dangerous perhaps, etc…Whatever the case, if you hate and dread getting up to go to where you spend the majority of your waking hours, then that’s a problem and trying to find some way to put it out of your mind is completely understandable.
The meaningless part I think is a HUGE issue for many in the throes of addiction. This is where I feel it also extends to people like stay at home moms, newly retired folks, even students. If you feel like your day to day existence doesn’t matter, makes no difference and isn’t leading anywhere, then it’s pretty plain to see how that can lead to feelings of despair and the need to “medicate” or alleviate those feelings.
BOREDOM- It doesn’t take much thought to understand that if you are in no way stimulated by your daily life, then boredom and complacency very easily sets in. You start to see life as just an endless series of humdrum loops. Get up, do your boring routine, go to bed and REPEAT. Seeking oblivion for temporary relief from this pointless (in the addict’s mind anyway) existence is also quite understandable.
Some people are OK with all of this. They suck it up and accept that work is work and it doesn’t necessarily have to be rewarding, they see it as a necessary means to survival and don’t get all wound up about it. Some people just aren’t terribly ambitious and view a boring but safe life as OK, a kind of “it is what it is” view. Most of those folks probably don’t have dependency issues.
It’s for those of us who somehow deep down inside feel like that there is supposed to be more, that life is supposed to be rich, rewarding, meaningful, and even joyful, that are the more likely candidates to fall into dependency to just be able to cope with the perceived injustice of it all.
So, what’s the answer to overcoming stress and boredom in our day to day existence in order to live a more balanced and rewarding life? I don’t pretend to have any foolproof answers to those questions but I do have some ideas.
Stay tuned to the next blog entry or you could always, read part 2 of “The Freedom to Recover” I touch on
that kind of stuff there as well.
Enjoy your Sunday folks and never forget, you are in charge of creating the meaning, or lack thereof, in your