Everyone or most people are addicted or dependent on something or someone, knowingly or unknowingly. But there’s one commonality between all the addictions and dependencies, Escapism. People aren’t necessarily addicted to or dependent on a drug or a person, or an activity or anything, etc, it’s Escapism. Escaping your own reality, most people don’t even realize it, and the ones that do know what they’re running from, but it can be scary what it is.
I like to call it the Black Dog (Winston Churchill’s analogy). People are escaping or running from their black dog, the black dog represents the inferior emotions in you (fear, sadness, guilt, anger, hopelessness, etc). The problem is that the longer you run from that black dog, the bigger it’ll get, and more vicious. It’ll eventually catch up to you and bite you, or attack you. If you’ve been running from it for a long time, it’s gonna attack you really bad. Whereas if you turn around and face it, yes you will feel the emotions the black dog represents, but now you can see it, and it won’t catch you by surprise when you’re most vulnerable.
Don’t try fight the black dog, because it will fight back, and most likely win. Instead learn ways to trick it, tame it, and slowly that large black dog will start to shrink, it’ll always be with you, but now you live with it, and you know how to control it.
This isn’t a friendly dog, it wants to attack you, but you can make it less aggressive, and maybe eventually make it friendly. It won’t all be great, the dog will try resist and often times people give up, but the moments that the dog shows a bit of positive response to your ways of taming it, that gives you that little but of hope, and that drives you forward.
The black dog will always catch up, so stop running and face it, tame it. A lot of people don’t even realize that they’re running away, they just think that’s their life in a way. Then the dog bites and they don’t even know what bit them, and they’re confused about what they’re experiencing.
People say they find peace in doing this or doing that, or with this person. But when that thing or person is gone are you at peace? Most often that person won’t be, the inferior emotions will come back, because they are dependent on that thing or person to be there all the time to attain happiness. There are levels to it, some people cannot cope without their tool of escape, whereas some people get by, but aren’t at their best.
Finding peace with yourself is the hardest thing to accomplish in life, but the most satisfying. That does not mean that you don’t need people in your life, people can help you tame the black dog, but it’s ultimately up to you whether or not you take that help, and if you do, make sure you are in charge, and the other person is just supporting you to stabilize the black dog. After all, it is your personal growth, they’re just there to hold your hand and cross the street, that street can be chaotic sometimes. So take the hand as a guide.
I hope this helps at least one person.
Photo Credits: Welldoing.org