Uncorked 2 – Still Pouring…

Last post, I uncorked and began pouring out the foul things that have been fermenting inside of this bottle named, “me”.  I admitted my avoidance of issues and began to share things that I have recognized as substitutes for what should be “real” in my life.  Here we go again, more…, as promised.

We left off where the vicious cycle had led to isolation and loneliness.  Let’s get this straight right up front.  I’m not meaning to stir up trouble here.  Just hold on a minute and hear me out.  I am here today to admit my substitution of social media for real time relationships.

Did you ever hear anyone say that you can become addicted to Facebook?  I think they are right.  I’m not saying it is all bad.  I am saying, it can be a substitute for what is real.  It gave me a false sense of being connected.  My perception was that I was really communicating and someone was really listening, but the reality was mostly one sided.  I was communicating, but not many were listening.  If anyone was listening, they were operating in stealth mode, you know, those who just check into Facebook to spy, but never let you know they were there.  You get just enough comments or “likes”, on your status to keep you coming back, but is it real communication?  Is it real intimacy that leads to satisfying relationships or just a lot of acquaintances???

There again, I love Facebook and Twitter!  I do really care about my friends and what they have to say.  I won’t be giving it up anytime soon, as those relationships are valuable to me.  I just can’t let it take the place of all communication with the outside world.  It worked for me for awhile, but there again, I did use it as another band aid to cover the owie, but never make it heal.  I want more from my relationships.

I’ve substituted other things too, in varying degrees of abuse.  Most things used in moderation are OK for us and won’t hurt us.  It is when “things” are used in a way that they are robbing from our daily lives, our lively hoods, our relationships, that they become abuse or even addictive behavior.  Just because it feels good, doesn’t mean it’s good for you and yes, you can get too much of a good thing.

I don’t think I am prone to addiction, but I have tasted enough of it that I experientially understand it.  If you abuse something enough, allow yourself to feed the appetite for it, allow it to be nourished and grow, before you know it, you will be consumed by it.  The more consumed, the harder it is to let go or get free from it.

What else can we substitute for what should be real?  Probably anything since it is possible to use anything in the wrong way.  Alcohol or drugs can keep us from feeling what is real, or to help us feel good.  Sex can be a substitute for intimacy and real relationship or commitment.  Some fear or are unable to connect on an emotional level with another.  Fantasy can take you to a place of escape.  Pornography can be a quick outlet.  Any of these things, if allowed, if fed and nourished by us can become all consuming.  They can and will take over our lives.  They can and will take control and leave us feeling powerless to let go of them to have what is “real” once again.

I admit that I have allowed many things to be substitutes, diversions and distractions for me.  How have I broken free?  Not sure that I totally have, but I do know that I first had to recognize them.  Then I just stop feeding them.  I stopped allowing my mind to go there when I had the desire to pursue one of them.  And it’s true.  It does die.  Slowly over time, I’m not drawn in their direction anymore.  Do I screw up from time to time?  Of course, but I don’t give up.  I keep picking up, starting over and moving forward because I want what’s best for me.  What’s best is what is real and I am pursuing it, one day at a time.

Care to share your thoughts on substitutes, distractions or diversions?

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4 thoughts on “Uncorked 2 – Still Pouring…

  1. Anita says:

    Hmmm. I agree with you That ANYTHING can become an addiction, and thatany things can become a substitute for what is real. In the past few year. I have experienced the value of relartionships in a whole new way, lolled at them in a whole new light. I have always been about relationships. What has changed for me is that now, it’s as much about what I leave in a relationship, not just what I recieve. I’m not always good about being considerate, yet I am not selfish. Face book has allowed be to enhance the relationships I’ve had and create or renew others that have been left by the wayside through the passage of time or circumstance. I hope the trail of “likes” and comments leave behind a hint of the person I want to be. Considerate, graceful in life. I think you are the same…

    • bspargo says:

      Don’t get me wrong. I am not giving up facebook. I love that it helps me stay connected with people who I no longer cross paths with on a regular basis. I love that it is a tool that helps me build the relationships that I have. For me, I just need to not allow my online time take the place of real time relationship building. And yes, Anita, your trail of “likes” and comments makes me and all who know you feel loved. Know that I appreciate you, I appreciate your “likes” and I always notice.

  2. Sue Bishop says:

    Well said! Got me to wondering, was my “quick fixes” easier to spot when I was younger or now that I am older?
    I thought “growing” up, becoming more mature, much wiser, would lessen the need to “bandaids”. And yet I see I have just gotten wiser with what I chose to use a bandaid when life isn’t going the way I would like it. good challenge to rethink things thru!

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