It’s All in How You Use It

We live in an extremely diverse culture even with all the attempts to manipulate and control us into conformity. There is a ginormous menu of experiences available and I waste less and less energy and attention judging others for their choices that are likely way different than mine.

We can’t really know what addiction, crutch, silly diversion or ridiculous activity is doing for another. Perhaps they need it to navigate a tricky period of their life or they are learning or balancing something.

Addictions to drugs, overeating, overspending and the like are, of course, serious. Then there are the kinds of addictions like overexercising, watching too much television, chronic complaining and such that are common enough that we can get by with them although they do damage to our lives.

Probably every one of has addictions–soft addictions like Facebook, reading fantasy literature and the like. It seems to be part of being human.

Caroline Myss says they allow us to maintain a given structure of behaviors by locking us into patterns of choice. We can know our way around in the world of those behaviors, know the language, excuses and adapt to the consequences even though we may loathe them.

I’ve successfully managed addictions seemingly by upgrading to less harmful, less expensive ones.

One of my current ones is immersive roleplaying. I get to control an avatar that encounters vampires, aliens and giant squirrels. It’s tremendous fun and it actually benefits me in many ways which would be a topic for another post.

But I do tend to go there when real life things are a challenge and I’m not sure what to do. In fact one of the reasons I stopped posting here back in April or so, besides wanting to spend more time outdoors as I wrote about, was because of this activity.

I like to think I could quit and I’m sure I’ll get tired of it eventually but I have noticed that I keep it pretty much a secret from people I’m acquainted with in real life.

There are worse things that other people are doing. And a lot of times it’s how we use something, as is the case with guns, alcohol or sex.

It’s just something I consider sometimes as I watch myself and others navigate the time we live in.


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