Addiction vs. Rewilding
I struggle with alcoholism. I sometimes have the urge to get completely fucked up drunk. At one time in my life I smoked more than half a pack of cigarettes a day. I sometimes binge on television shows and don’t leave the house for days, just watching entire seasons without so much as stepping out of my bedroom to take a piss or even eat a meal. I do this also with video games. I check my facebook way too much, even when I know I probably don’t have any reason to. Okay, so I’ll admit it. I have an addiction to certain aspects of civilization.
I’ve written about how I don’t feel guilty and that I don’t consider myself a hypocrite but I’ve never really touched on the simple truth that some of us… um… have a problem. That still doesn’t make me a hypocrite! Nor do I believe that I should feel guilty about my addictions. Certainly the guilt I felt for smoking didn’t make me want to stop smoking. Guilt does not work all that well as a motivator, especially because addictions fill a void and it feels good to have that void filled. In a sense drugs like alcohol and cigarettes create the void for which they need filling by creating the chemical dependency.
Dependency. It seems that word lies at the center of addiction.Â As living creatures, our bodies have certain dependencies; air, water, food and shelter from elements. Some believe we have sensuous dependencies like the caress of another persons hand. We need these things or we will die. But you wouldn’t say that we have an addiction to food; we need it to live. When we talk about addiction, we talk about artificial dependencies or unnatural dependencies.
In order for our masters to keep us from revolting or rejecting this culture, they have to make us dependent on it. Like an abusive “bread winner” making a spouse believe that they need the person or they will perish without them. By denying us access to land, food and information they keep us locked here, forever slaves to their system. Long ago, they simply forced us to give them some of what we make. Now most of us don’t know how to live outside of this system and even if we did, they would not allow us to if we ever grew in numbers.
Like any drug or addiction, in order to get rid of our dependency, we must find something else to fill the void of the addiction or work hard at weening ourselves from the addiction. Rarely, people can do this on their own. The rest of us require a culture of support for dealing with withdrawals, cravings and searching for the other things to fill the void.
Feeling guilty for seeming like a hypocrite while lacking a culture of support to help you become less dependent on civilization makes no sense and further only works to paralyze those who want to find a way to kick the addiction. This guilt becomes a wall. To relate what I said in Hypocrisy vs. Rewilding to addiction: when people call you a hypocrite for using modern technology to create a culture of support to not use modern technology, it implies that you must quit “cold turkey”, like jumping into an ice cold sea instead of lowering a life raft.
In order to understand how to break an addiction, I have to ask, “Why do I watch entire TV show seasons in one sitting?” What void does that fill? Why do I have a void there? Does boredom make me watch them? Can I consider boredom a void? Perhaps it works as a “toxic mimic” of stories around the campfire from our ancestral days? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I need to ask them. And I need a community to think about these things with me. We need rewilding support groups to help us deal with our addictions in a guiltless, non-judgmental way… Another reason to start a rewild camp in your area!
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