Monday, October 27, 2003

Confession of an addict
For most people, I believe, life is a continuous process of dealing with addictions. Addictions don't necessarily have to be illegal activities or things universally recognized as unhealthy or wrong. We can see ourselves as addicted to anything we make use of to escape ourselves. This may be quite a lot of very ordinary things we do on a daily basis, such as watching a lot of television, getting very angry at things we cannot control, shopping to much, eating too much, or too little, writing a blog, reading blogs...

Anything can be seen as an addiction if we use it to escape dealing with life.

Often, when we realize we are too dependent on something, we overcome it by simply supplementing it with another dependency. If we're lucky, the supplement is less harmful than the original dependency. Sometimes the supplement is so harmful that it destroys us and/or others.

A person is considered well adjusted if his addictions are not too harmful, or are widely regarded as beneficial activities.

Few are strong enough to be aware of their dependencies, all the more so to successfully control them.

But, whether we are considered well adjusted or not, the great majority of us are always on the run. And we find it hard, if not impossible, to admit this fact to ourselves.

Once I thought I had found a way out of this cycle, but it too became a dependency. It turned out I was worshipping the teapot, instead of drinking the tea. [based on Wei Wu Wei, couldn't find a link]

Every morning, we wake up to a new day of coping with our pain and dealing with the dependencies we use as medicine to alleviate it. We are all drug addicts, and every day we have to face the danger of our drug pulling us under.

Yesterday, in the Yarkon Park, I saw some graffiti written by Braslavs on a big concrete block. One side of the block read 'We must be in a state of happiness all the time' and the other side read 'There is no despair in the world'.

But how can we ever be happy, truly happy, if we turn our back on our despair and deny its very existence? Surely happiness is not something we deserve, or can take for granted, but the well-earned result of being able to live with our despair, look at our loneliness, touch our pain, without denying these feelings of ours their place nor running away and hiding from them. When we can do this, when we can really accept the down sides, we can stop running and begin enjoying ourselves.

I'm not there yet.

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[The weirdness above is not about anyone particular who may be reading this, by the way, in case anyone thinks he or she sees him or herself. It's all mine. Excuse me if I've got you all scratching your heads.]