I used to think I had no addictions. I didn’t drink, I didn’t smoke, didn’t do drugs, didn’t crave “a career”, didn’t do gameing…It all seemed pretty healthy, but alas, I suffered from one of the fiercest and most taboo addictions there are: Stress.
Stress was the exhilarating fuel that pumped through my body 24/7. Stress was the mastermind, the innovator, the sublime saver-of-the-day. It was the generous I-can-take-it, let-me-do-it. It was the happy-pumpin’ you-go-girl! It was the immensely enthusiastic and super excited. It was the confirmation that life wasn’t dull, predictable or overpowering me. No, truly, Stress told me “you are in control”. “See how much you’re doing?” “See how much you’re achieving? “That’s you!”
There is no AA for stressaddicts, If there was, that’d be a big recognition that the basis of our economy is screwed. I’m not talking about ‘the money’. Our bosses profit from our stress-addictions and their bosses profit from their stress addictions. Stress makes good business, but unhappy employees. And those employees, well that’s all of us. So imagine admitting to the immensity of that. Clearly it cannot be done.
But would it be, truly, the end? I thought it would be. Yet I’m coming out the other end. I discovered, that stress, after all, is only one of the ways to power our lives. It feels natural, because it’s been engrained in our systems. It feels good in a way, because biologically we are put in super-survival mode, the mode where all our super powers are activated. Only trouble is, we really cannot sustain that mode for long, no matter what we think. Yet, we don’t know any different, nor better. So, all we do, whether it is “work”or “relaxation” tends to be stress-based. So, after work we go and ‘relax’ by shifting our stressed focus from work to working-out, or drinking too much, or whatever.
There is a different way, a gentler way. And initially, it feels incredibly boring, and scary. We’ve come to believe collectively that when we stop running around, we’ll drop dead. And in a way we do. When we stop running, we drop into the deadness inside of us, all the places we’ve been avoiding. But it’s not a pit, it’s a tunnel, and out the other end you’ll find you’ve found a different way to fuel your life. Peaceful, yet inspired. Dynamic, yet calm. You’ll have made it out of the Stressaholics Anonymous Collective Consciousness. Into the place of perpetual holiday.