Motion seems to be one of the most intoxicating things for us as people.
We like the idea of advancing, of creating, of doing something. Of being smart and knowing things and having answers.
When I quit using chemical intoxications, I didn’t have a lot going on. I was pretty much lost in the world. I got into school because that’s just what you do next, and something clicked. I started doing really well, making good grades and writing papers that people liked. I got positive feedback and started to feel like I was going somewhere.
This is as intoxicating as anything else and is not a good unto itself.
I was still avoiding the noise in my head, still looking for ways to dull myself to all of it, and I’d found it. I threw myself into “growing” as a person. I read all the time, I learned all I could about everything. It was all-consuming for a while.
I am not trying to say this is as damaging as intoxicating oneself with chemicals. I don’t know anyone who has died from learning or school or feeling self-satisfied in these things. I am only saying that this became my new way of avoiding dealing things as they were.
I threw myself into self-development and self-improvement and self-understanding. All of these begin with one specific word.
I became a little oblivious to a lot of things during this time and became obsessed with leaving the old me behind. I tried stuffing a whole lot of baggage into different closets and dressers and in the attic and air vents. Rather than dealing with it, I was just going to sprint away and leave it behind.
One of the hidden dangers about this form of intoxication is that not only will there not be anyone cautioning you, everyone will be telling you how good you are doing. Especially if you were a train wreck up until that point. No one will caution you about this path, which is dangerous.
We can get every bit as caught up in growing the self as we can in drowning it in intoxicants, and we are still doing one basic thing: avoiding what is.
It’s less harmful, but it’s still not reality.
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I write, podcast and make videos about living in freedom through mindfulness, intentionality, compassion, and equanimity.
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