Why are we all addicted to something? Why do human beings in our culture have this nagging, constant insatiability? What are we searching for, why do we feel like we are lacking, and why do we seem to be constantly trying to cure ourselves of restlessness, boredom, or anxiety?
I don’t know the answer to that question one hundred percent, but I have some theories currently, with the level I am at in understanding this issue myself. This question is the type that you ask yourself over the course of your entire life: the answer is ever-changing, growing as a person personally learns how to be happy in life without seeking so many external things.
As children, we are always searching for some kind of gratification. In children it can be observed that the more entertainment they are given, the more candy, television, toys, ect, the less satisfied they are with what they have. Children want more when they have more, and in places where children don’t have many things, they seem to have less insatiability.
However, which child is actually happier or more at peace? A child with almost nothing, or a child with any indulgence they want? It’s a complicated question, and the answer probably lies somewhere in-between.
Adults are absolutely no different from children in this respect, and sometimes they are worse: especially the way people live today.
Adults seek long-term, extremely taxing, ambitious pleasures that are often unattainable. When accomplished, these things often don’t actually made the adult happy. For example, a person might aspire to make $100,000 a year, have a nice car, a nice house, ect.
But when they get all the material pleasures they want, they meet the grim realization that it doesn’t feel any different: and now, they’re probably dependent on spending all their time slaving away for money to maintain that lifestyle that isn’t as satisfying as previously thought in the first place.
When I was younger and had to be homeless at the age of 17, I noticed I was just as happy if not happier while not having a home as I was when I did: I called this phenomena the “Euphoria Shelf”: feeling as happy as I did without a home, as I did with one, despite the discomfort of having to camp outside and struggle to support myself.
Here’s another thing: people are suffering from anxiety, depression, and other terms we give to the feelings we have. People rely on substances and pleasures every day to get themselves through doing jobs they don’t like for a living, to come home and barely enjoy the small amount of time they have left.
People drink coffee and many are severely dependent on it, using it to work their day jobs and to function in life generally when it is a much more unsafe habit than they ever realize.
Cannabis is something that can cure cancer and illness, and it is a fantastic gift from nature. However, some people get anxiety from smoking, and can’t stop anyway. Some people get social anxiety, an inability to do the things they need to do, a feeling of dependency or restlessness, or other things from smoking cannabis even though it is physically medicinal. In all honesty, some people are prolonging their ever-present, but sometimes suppressed feeling of insatiability by smoking weed every day.
Pretty much the sole reason people smoke cigarettes is because they simply want to step outside for a minute and have something to do with their hands. People never know what to do, we are hard-wired to want to stay active probably due to thousands of years of constantly hunting or tending to land to survive. We’re not biologically used to being this lazy.
The point of this article, is that any single dependency a person can have, from fast food, to alcohol, to tobacco, to coffee, to heroin, to cannabis, is a thing that is preventing further emotional and spiritual growth from taking place. Certain people can definitely strike a balance with using substances, but if they are feeding their complex of insatiability, they may be preventing themselves from growing and learning to be happy with what they have.
A person using any substance to try and fill the void in their soul is really just beating their head against a wall.
It’s obviously staunch sounding and prude to say it’s harmful to do such things as smoke weed or drink coffee, but from firsthand experience, I know myself that when I try to do something like that to ease my restlessness, boredom, anxiety, or whatever else, I’m really just prolonging the problem.
I don’t know how to solve the problem of anxiety, boredom, restlessness, or other emotions that make people want to use substances or insatiably seek things in life to make them happy, but I know that people are insatiable, and something else must be done about it in each person’s personal growth.
(Image credit: Addiction Art)