August 30, 2015

My Addiction to the Pleasure-Pain Loop.

pleasure, pain

Warning: Naughty language!

I’m an addict.

We’re all addicts.  In some way.  Addicted to meds, alcohol, cigarettes, love, drugs, sex, eating, phones, television, social media—you get my gist.

I too, am addicted. I’m fully and completely addicted to pain.

My life is a vicious circle of pleasure—pain—pleasure—pain.

This circle is hell, it’s a spiral that makes my head dizzy, my actions unpredictable and my life a mess. I constantly flee from pleasure when I find it and crawl home to the pain. I drag myself up the hill, fighting against all my inner instincts telling me to turn around.

The addict says, “Turn around and then what? Turn around and prance around like a f*cking fairy for a while longer? No, you need to do this, you need to come back to the pain, just for a little while—you can leave again later, and this time it will be for good. I promise.” 

But it never ends.

I choose to suffer.

Because I love to hate suffering.

Life as we know it is just a big mirror looking at us. Everything we do, we do out of habit, or out of fear from something we once knew. Some individuals will live their entire lives in pain, until something wakes them up. But I was not ready to wake up.

Because the more I suffered, the more dramatic my life became. The more stories I had to entertain my bored mind. And the more pain I could endure, the more intensely I desired the sweet pleasure that would ease the pain…again.

When I finally decided to leave my pain cocoon I would take myself far away to a pleasure oasis, where my mind was flooded with a sweet ecstasy, a brilliant trip, filling my life with colour and vibrancy.  Somehow, here I would thrive again.

During the peak of my pleasures, I begin to live how I want to live. I begin to march to my own beat. I start doing whatever the f*ck I want.

Like many who are addicted, we usually have multiple warning signs prompting us to change, but we will never change until we are finally ready to.

I would get ideas about how I could make my life sustainable in some way, I would brainstorm and journal ideas on ways to live without suffering, I would begin to see ways to successfully change—but habits are hard to break.  Addictions even harder.

There would always come a moment when I became overwhelmed with the joy.

And somewhere between guilt and fear of living too freely, I would always end my pleasure parade.

Slowly I would begin to drag myself down again, deep into the depths of pain, right back to where I was before I left.

Every time we arrive back to a painful place we immediately want to leave, we want it to be gone, but sometimes we just don’t know how to change our behaviour yet, haven’t learned not to crawl back to the same addiction, or how to we move away from ourselves, or how could we take a step back and realize that there might be more than just these two paths and we have the power to make another choice.

But for the longest time I just focused on surviving, so I could plan and save for my next big parade of adventures.  During those times I would hold on to the small memories, the little glimpses of light that (I hoped) would lead me out of this hell and back into a sweet paradise.

I’ve lived like this for the last five years of my adulthood. I always threaten to change, dare myself to find a new way of living without this darkness—but I just could not bring myself to do it.

Like an addict, the idea of leaving or stopping seemed impossible.

Then comes a moment in life, an epiphany, those ah-ha! moments. Those of us who are lucky will have them on our own, realizing our own faults and our own addictions and how much pain we are causing ourselves.

The epiphany came to me one evening, as I was driving home from a yoga class. The road was as empty as my soul and the beautiful sun was giving a lovely farewell to the day. My radio was off, the drive was silent, it was just me and my mind.

I began just watching my thoughts. “I need to leave, I hate living here, I’m so unhappy, this sucks, I’m so bored.” It was a constant repetition of the worst commercial you could think of. Then it clicked. Holy F*ck!

I slammed on the breaks and began to sob.

I cried and cried.

I realized I had fallen into lust with pain—the boredom and suffering fueled my desire to jump up and leave. It gave me something to talk about. Something to dream about.

Although my heart aches for freedom, my mind is entertained by suffering. The dichotomy I’ve trapped myself in will never die until I choose neither.

To end this awful game of tug-a-war I need to find the strength to stand up and walk away from both.

I’m constantly fighting my life away. I either live underground in a cave slowly dying or enamoured by a life on the mountain tops. Somehow I’ve forgotten about all the places that exist in between.

I need to learn to turn away from this pain I cause myself. I need to learn how to embrace life without creating tidal waves, and accept that it’s okay to live in a state of happiness for a while longer than just a few months.

Why do we choose pain? Why do we choose to suffer? Why does the idea of drama allure us so much more than the simplicity of happiness?

How is it possible to be so unconscious of the harm we cause ourselves? Is it because we surround ourselves with those similar to us, and only when we break away from our norm do we realize maybe we are the crazy ones after all?

I was addicted to pain like a person is to sex, heroin, or their phone. It was constantly lingering, something I never acknowledged, or never cared to admit.

In an era of social sharing we choose to share what’s good in our lives, painting pictures of ideals.

Let’s quit the f*cking joke.  Life is far more complex than a good Instagram filter. We all have our own addictions, insecurities and lies we tell ourselves, which keeps us trapped in some body that isn’t us. We all have our dirt. If you think you don’t, you probably just haven’t found it yet.

Suffering tears us apart, it takes us away from precious moments and creates more resentment than love. It creates this duality amongst our lives that makes us constantly choose this over that, fighting with ourselves, hurting ourselves and killing a life that could be miraculously imperfect.

But if we can admit our faults, love our weaknesses and share our seemingly dirty secrets we can being to grow again. By sharing we can begin to connect with each other and realize that this whole illusion of life is something we create by our own behaviours.

I don’t have the power to change you, break your habits or addictions—but you do.

We all have our true self hiding inside us crying out to be heard, but is covered up by the sh*t we do habitually, and unconsciously. It’s not easy to be real—f*ck no.  It’s scary as sh*t to admit our faults, but how else are we to grow unless we just f*cking do it?

Reality is such a b*tch, and balance is the secret we’ve all been looking for, unable to grasp like fine grained sand using a sieve to catch it. Maybe the sand is what we are trying to capture but the tool we think we need to use isn’t at all what we need.

Or, perhaps we don’t need anything to realize we are sitting in a sandbox surrounded by abundance and the problem is merely the idea that we need to use something to catch it.

Only you can decide.


Relephant Read:

Just Be. ~ Kara Bezuko {Poem}


Author: Kara Bezuko

Editor: Renee Jahnke

Image: Rob Hogeslag-Flickr


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