Posted on September 19, 2019
by Steve Janowick

Hello, my name is Steve and I’m an addict!

I’ve been denying it for years and it’s time I faced it and did something about it.  I’m tired of my addiction negativity affecting my mental health. I’m tired of it ruining my relationships.  I’m tired of it defining my self-image and determining the value and meaning in my life. But most of all I’m just sick and tired of being so damn dependent and needy – a pathetic slave. 

I want my life back!

The monkey first jumped on my back decades ago when I was a kid.  Hours spent sunk into our living room couch, zombie-like, in front of the television.  Or entire sunny Saturday afternoons locked in my room, huddled around my cassette collection and a boom box.  Yea, it was a problem back then, but it was also manageable. I was still somewhat in control. The monkey really didn’t sink his gnarly digits into me until the early 2000’s when the internet became a ubiquitous part of the human experience.  It was then that the dopamine went from short bursts every now and again to a constant intravenous drip. It was then that my brain seemed to trip, and over-stimulation took over my life. 

It was then that the silence totally ended for me. 

I really can’t remember the last time I was at peace – in a total restful state of mind.  When I took solace in the stillness and the nothingness. When I was fine being inside my own head with absolutely no outside stimulation or distractions.  When just staring into space was productive. When fulfillment and serenity went hand and hand. 

When boredom was actually…okay. 

Today, if I’m driving in the car? Have to listen to my ITunes.  Lying in bed at night? Have to watch some re-run on Netflix. Waiting in the doctor’s office?  Have to stare at YouTube videos like some five-year old with ADHD. Bored after a shower? Just prop that phone up, grab a towel and go to town!  Not because I’m horny or aroused or anything like that, just because…well…why not? Yea, I’m now a desperate junkie constantly jonesing for my next fix of some artificial stimulant to take up the space in my head. 

Because that sure is better than any cerebral silence…right?

Is this progress?  Is it evolution? Sure, our lives are way more convenient and expedited now because of all this technology, but at what cost?  Because every single person reading this knows deep down that he or she is also addicted to the mental over-stimulation that is induced by it.  That a tiny bit of who they once were has been chipped away. But how many are willing to admit it? 

I’m guessing not many.  Ain’t no way in hell we’re deleting that Facebook app on our phones.  I mean, how could we possibly live without it? Gotta stay connected, right?  Gotta check it every 37 seconds to make sure we’re not missing the latest gossip from those important people in our lives that we haven’t seen since high school!

Well maybe, just maybe, we should stop worrying so much about staying connected to them and just shut it all down for a while, detox from the dopamine (from the over-stimulation) and start worrying about staying connected to someone who really matters…

Ourselves!

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