Vice: that thing you use to make you feel better, escape, cope, or deal, but it only serves as a temporary fix. You may be the self-evolved person that has worked through their stuff, but most of us unfortunately, have that thing we use in life to “deal”. This may fall under the stigmatized addictions we think of with substance abuse like alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, illicit or prescription drugs. However, the purpose and the reliance on these vices is not so different than the ones we don’t necessary think of like love, food, sex, pornography, working, shopping, weight obsession, or social media. Through the dependency on any of them, a person is able to escape and detach from their current reality. In essence, one does not really have to deal with his or her own inner being. He or she can instead lose themselves in the pleasure of their chosen escape path.
By choosing to be present in life and face it head on, you are choosing to deal with your pain, your insecurities, your feelings of vulnerability and questions of inadequacy. If you keep moving forward and keep avoiding, it is easy to suppress the stuff that hurts the most, but you are unable to actually grow. Using a vice makes us not fully present in our life but it can drown out the past or prevent us temporarily from worrying about the future. The pleasure takes over and for a short-lived period, we are okay, until we aren’t again. This is why we are constantly seeking and never really satisfied. It’s easy to judge or sympathize with those with active and noticeable addiction problems. It’s harder to address our own pain or take a look and what we use to avoid and distract ourselves from our own inner being.
Therapy, silence, breath work, meditation, and prayer can all be used as a way to sit with our inner being and drown out the noise of our ever thinking and fearful mind. Within the stillness, we can stop seeking. Though you may argue that your vice is not hindering your life and there is nothing wrong with experiencing the pleasure it brings you, it is ultimately taking you away from your inner peace. Because no matter how much of it you experience or consume, you gain nothing in return. Your pain and insecurities are always lying right there beneath the surface. For support in working through your own cycles of pain avoidance, reach out for a therapy consultation at Growing through Grace in Evansville, Indiana.