Distraction. We tell ourselves that it’s fun to be distracted, that we need it even, so that we don’t have to feel all those pesky emotions we’re so desperate not to feel. Drugs, food, lust, masturbation, even music. The problem isn’t necessarily with the act itself. It’s the fact that we’re using these acts to dull the pain. The pain of losing a loved one, the pain of breaking up with a lover, the pain of not being able to stand up to someone, the pain of a shitty day at work. The thing is, when we dull the pain, we also dull all the really nice emotions too.
Companies everywhere want you to be addicted to something. In fact, they need you to be addicted so that they can keep selling you the “solution”. Addicted to watching naked people get it on and put in compromising situations? Good. Now we have a reason to shoot a porno and charge you money. Addicted to drugs or food? Great! Here’s another drug to help you get off that other one and here’s an even better drug to help you lose that extra weight you’ve put on.
There’s always someone somewhere waiting to profit from our addictions. But we need to ask ourselves why we are addicted to begin with.
Apparently we all love feeling nothing. You could say we are addicted to it. She buys lots of pretty things for herself to cover up the fact that she’s lonely. They comfort her… for a moment. He drinks and parties all day everyday to cover up the fact that he doesn’t know what to say to people and if they saw who he really was they probably wouldn’t like him very much. So he “turns up” and is comforted…for a moment.
If we’re being painfully honest here, my problem was PMO. Porn Masturbation Orgasm. So many guys have this problem and don’t even realize it’s a problem. I sure didn’t.
Like so many men, I started as a young boy wanking it out of curiosity. Then curiosity turned to pleasure and pleasure turned into addiction. Every time I felt bad I would PMO. Feeling lonely? PMO. Bad day at work? PMO. Bored? PMO. What I didn’t know, was that every time I would do this a hormone called dopamine was being released in my brain. Dopamine is the “feel good” hormone and acts as a reward system every time we do something that feels good. The problem is, dopamine will start to only be released when you do that specific thing that makes you feel really good. Eventually nothing else in life will feel as rewarding. Everything else will begin to feel dull and boring and unfulfilling. You feel lost and depressed, seemingly for no reason, and the only thing that brightens your day, is your addiction.
Addiction is addiction. The brain can’t decipher if your on drugs or watching porn and it really doesn’t care. All it wants is to not feel bad. It wants to stash those emotions away and just feel good if only for a moment.
Well, that moment is fleeting and pretty soon those emotions find their way to the surface and we need to smother and stuff them back down again. Or do we? What would happen if we let those thoughts and feelings come up? We’d feel sad, and mad, and jealous, and afraid. To most people, these are bad things to feel. But we were given emotions for a reason. We are meant to feel all of them, the full spectrum.
Into the Woods
You need to go through the forest in order to get passed it, right? It’s basic logic, but everyone, myself included, always chooses the hard way (disguised as the easy way). We try to find a way around the forest because it’s dark and creepy and there’s lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
But Dorothy had to venture through the darkness before she could come out the other side. True, she was met with even more terrifying darkness once she came out that other side, but by that time she had seen so much. She had gained three new friends and a newfound confidence. She got the nerve to face her fear and ended up victorious. And so can we.
It’s impossible to feel nothing and feel happy at the same time. So far we’ve all been content with feeling nothing because it feels better than feeling bad. I don’t know about you, but that just isn’t enough for me. I don’t want to fucking settle and neither should you.
Angels and Devils
Look at it this way. There are at least two voices in our heads, right? The positive and the negative. When we drown our sorrow and dull our pain, the positive voice becomes harder and harder to hear and the negative one takes over, eventually becoming the only thing we hear and listen to. We start to believe that things are hopeless. Things will never get better, so we should settle on what we’ve been given and keep doing things that hurt ourselves because the pain only lasts for a little while, right? Wrong!
The pain keeps coming back until you deal with it head on. The universe will keep throwing things at you until you do. It’s basically saying, “Hey you! You’re not fucking getting it yet, are you?! Well don’t worry, I got something really special for you next, mothafucka!” Okay, maybe it’s not quite that harsh, but you get the idea.
If we learn to let ourselves feel the way humans were designed to feel, then we’ll come to life again. Personally, I don’t want to feel numb. I don’t want to feel nothing. I want to feel everything. I want the smallest things to give me pleasure like a clear blue sky or when someone makes me giggle. Ha, I said giggle.
We need to be children again. We can take a cue from them, they’ve got the right idea. Everything is new to them and they find happiness in the simple things. They haven’t been corrupted by us adults yet.
I think I’m back to normal and feeling like my old self again. It’s safe to say that I won’t be touching myself anytime soon. I’ll save the goods for an actual person. A special person. Someone just as special as me.
Until then there are other pleasures to be had. There are so many things I want to do in life. I just have to remember that feeling happy, trumps feeling content every time. So, how are you going to feel today?