“Drugs are not my problem, reality is my problem. Drugs and alcohol are my solution”
This amazing quote was uttered by the great theologian and philosopher of our time, Russell Brand.
If you don’t know who that is trust me he is a funny British guy with skinny jeans and awesome hair. Before he became famous though, Russell battled a heroin addiction for years that even now makes him “resenting the woeful ratbag I once was who, for all his problems, had drugs.”
The quote at the top, from an article he wrote about his experiences sums up perfectly what it means to be addicted to something.
For him it was drugs.
For you it might be alcohol.
Or the opinion of others.
Or most probably since you are on this site, porn.
But what he says about reality is true for whatever it is for you.
Drugs, Porn, the opinion of others. It doesn’t matter. The addiction is not about the thing you are addicted to, it is about something much deeper.
Something far more difficult to discover and therefore to fix.
When it comes to addiction there are many reasons why we become addicted in the first place. There is the fact that some of us have addictive personalities that draw us to behavior and substances that eventually will control us. Then there is the science stuff. The stuff about how when we do something that makes us feel nice inside we want to do it again. So we put ourselves in positions to achieve that feeling again. But our brain adapts and then we want more and then more and after that… just a little more.
Of course there is never just a little more.
Then there are the underlying issues that all of us addicts have. The things from our past, the painful experiences, the times we were yelled at by a parent because they were having a bad day and we felt like we were to blame, the Dad who wasn’t there for our big game or to watch us receive a prize in school. It makes us feel unlovable, undeserving and different.
Someone has to blame something for these feelings.
And most of the time you blame yourself.
So you change your behavior to fit. You make sure you don’t make your mum yell again so you shirk down into yourself, hoping that this will please her. You don’t want to get in the way so you hide.
Of course, and stop me if this sounds familiar, but at some point or another you get yelled at again and you don’t understand because you’ve been trying to please her and you’ve been trying not to rock the boat but here you are again, feeling like crap. Wondering what you can do to change.
This is a familiar pattern. It may look slightly different to your experience but I’m betting that you know what I’m talking about.
These experiences shape us. These feelings modify our behaviors as we get older. Our attempts to keep up drain us.
It’s almost like how you act isn’t able to make someone happy.
Now as we all know this is not entirely true. Watch your girlfriend’s face as you bring her flowers unexpectedly some day or the relief and joy as you bring a friend dinner who you know has been stressed out of their minds in work.
The things we do have the power to give life to people in so many wonderful ways.
But just sometimes we need to stop and remember there is nothing we can do. A parent or a friend has their own issues and they need someone to lash out at. Or the bullies themselves are being bullied at home and so they too…yeah you guessed it, need someone to lash out at.
Most of the time
It’s not about you.
Which has huge implications for your life.
When we are made to feel small or made to feel that we are unloved and undeserving it changes our whole lives. We start behaving around people differently; afraid of not being accepted. We don’t open up to people because in the past we have just been dismissed. We are frightened and we do not want to feel that pain again. We don’t try new things, passions we once had diminish and we give up easily. All because we don’t think we deserve these good things. So we hide and cower and become a shell of who we are.
Then we turn to porn…or drugs or drink or other people.
Something has to make us feel good right?
Porn is not your problem, reality is.
And when our reality is deeply rooted in how we see ourselves, and when we see ourselves as worthless, this spells trouble.
Getting over porn is difficult. But starting with how you see yourself is part of the bigger plan. Which means allowing yourself to feel part of life. To embrace who you are, huge big puss filled warts and all, knowing you are still loved and have a purpose. To know that life will throw up some major curve balls but these are never the end and never the full story. You are you. You are not perfect. That is OK. In fact it is more than OK.
Soon life will take on a new breath. Soon reality will not dictate you to walk destructive paths.
Then the only problem you will have will be how to fit in everything life has to offer.
And that’s what they call a great problem.