The Subtle Nature of Addictions.

The story of unnoticed slide into addiction realm and awareness tactics that I use along the way to come out of it.

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

The longer one doesn’t see the signals, the deeper the slide would be.

The slide signal.

I caught myself doing it again. What you may ask, well watching how Macfarlane talks about South Park’s creators and their pity war. Seems totally out of the context? Well, you are feeling the same as I was. I didn’t plan on doing so. The thing that finally stopped me, was my battery running out of juice. Thanks to that, I had this small window where I could ask: “What am I doing now? What would I like to do now?”

Writing. That’s what I wanted to do. But I had multiple uncertainty thoughts covering it. Imagine tossing one uncertainty thought and then another, almost like a tree branch over the activity of writing. “Do I really want to write now? What would I write about?” Piling one onto another so when the time comes, I have all this mess to go through. Dealing with tree branches you can scratch yourself with anxiety and that's unpleasant. At that moment it’s easy to avoid it all with eating a cake again.

For me this is one of the first signals going out of the path I would like to go. I don’t know what comes first, me eating the cakes or a chicken. Just a chicken and egg joke here. A signal, that if I don’t pay attention to it, it goes out of hand. I wrote about it in length, already. I noticed it before that, when eating something supper sweet, all other activities all of a sudden become less sweet. Like writing, reading or just drawing taste less sweet to do. The more passive and more rewarding activities are the ones you’d like to taste.

On top of it, it comes in a really gentle and sneaky forms. “It’s a b-day party, just eat a couple of them here.” Looking at the cakes from the celebration in a fridge: “We need to eat them, I can’t let them be on my parents shoulders, I want to help.” See those small moments of sliding into it.

Those are the first signals. There are more behaviors of yours you can notice, but they all follow the same pattern:

It’s almost like for the moment you need to forget, to be ignorant to what is happening, in order to continue doing it. Watching a YouTube video and not really wanting.

And out of this characteristic, there comes the solution to it.

Connection tactics

What warms me a bit is that I started to put more and more awareness into those moments, so I’m less unaware of them. I see that I am watching, and not really doing what I want. Then I go “Aha, here we are”. I punctuate whatever activity, I do with small moments of being present. I just comment over it like a sport commentator: “Approaching a 4 minute of the video, that he doesn’t really want to watch, he keeps going, and keep looking at it.” Maybe more boring commenting than that, but it’s sound funny.

Then when you are fed up by all the moments not really doing what you’d like the next step comes. Processing the pile of uncertainty covering the activity you’d like to do.

Here I have also one trick. To every uncertain question, I answer like a stainless steel robocop: “I write.” “What topics would I write about? — I write.” Would I write standing or sitting—I write.” It’s simple, I write it all. You can even say it in Arnold’s terminator voice so it’s more cool.

Now being back writing almost three thousands and five hundred words, I can say that I went through all the branches, and just wrote. It feels even good that I did it. But here comes another hurdles along the way.

Reward hurdle

“I need to reward myself right?” wanting to cut myself away from writing, after writing the draft for this article. That’s another sneaky moment where you can go to binge-watching.

In my case it all originated from this belief that whatever I do, I need to do it perfect. Tip-top. Throwing another branch of uncertainty over the writing.

For that I recall one sentence, when Sam Harris talked to a Leo Babauta. They talk about this fear, and then he said this: “Imagine you can’t do it wrong, what would you do then?” Well, I would go to Mars. Okay, no, I would write.

Even looking over what I just wrote, you can see the premise here of ever present moment doubts, and those little signals, of going sideways of what you wanted.

What I started to do or what, I would like to share is:

Going of the roads watching drag race between Porsche Turbo S cabriolet and GT3 bring awareness into it. Be aware that you are doing. Binge-watching? Binge-watch fully. Looking at your turned off computer. Look fully. Writing? Write fully. Whatever you do it fully. There isn’t this blank place of Schrödinger’s cat doing and not doing.

Reading it I feel like a fricking motivator speaker. I don’t want that. It just, yeah it turned out to be this by itself. Mostly, I write it for myself as a reminder. Oh, boy and that I need them.

The one tool of awareness that I use is; writing. Writing for me is the beam of light that helps me shine even more awareness to those situations.

So the next time, I can notice the signals earlier, act faster and balance it out to follow whatever North star I envision for myself, simpler.

Awareness into whatever you are doing human and see ya tomorrof,

Luke

Written by

Just writing.

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