By Daniel Louis Baseggio
When I decided to tackle such an ambiguous topic as addiction, I knew I had to really immerse myself in its multifaceted arena
in order to fully comprehend all of its functions and allure, I turned the spotlight on myself….
Let’s face it! Be it substance or behavioral addictions. Every single one of us could list at least one ailment that we struggle with….
Act 1: Scene 1:
Ruby’s Diner waitress…
“What can I get you love?”
“I’ll have a double fudge chocolate cake, an ounce of your top shelf sativa, Vodka on tap…a side of Passive aggressive…followed by 3 Valiums!”
“How would you like that served?”
“Hot, lit, wet and straight up!!!
“Would you like to supersize that to the XL deluxe for just $1 extra?”
“Yes please…Why not”
In a society that enables addictive behavior, especially when consumerism and consumption is concerned, America really takes the cake on profiting on addictive personalities, but is our general well-being taken into consideration when we consider the accessibility of these vices?
the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity.
physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance, and or behavior, and unable to stop it without incurring adverse effects.
With SO many desirable things instantly within our reach, how can we tell the difference between what is an addiction and what is a need or desire? I think it’s more a question of sustainability: Is it taking from us? Or is it providing for us?
Let’s start with the two types of addiction styles. We have chemical addiction also known as substance abuse and behavioral addiction referred to as addictive behavior or non-substance addiction.
If an addiction is defined as something that we can’t live without, without adverse reactions as a consequence of giving them up, then how are they formed in the first place? As a reformed smoker, I remember the first time I ever tried smoking.
It was summer break in Australia and my older brother had just returned home from boarding school. I was about 14 and he was 2 years older than me. I remember idealizing my older brother and looking up to him as the way-shower…so when he told me he took up smoking, naturally I wanted to try it…
Looking back it shocks me that I was so desperate to fit in that I defied everything that my body was telling me. Come to think of it, I had a similar introduction to alcohol…
I remember hearing…oh, it’s an acquired taste! Well, that’s just a whole lot of bull! Now I know that “acquired taste” is code for the resulting effects outweighing the taste and side effects! I believe addiction to be a question of self-worth. Looking back, I see an innocent boy trying desperately to fit in and be seen in the world around him, but at what cost?
In 2019 the United States spent a staggering $240 billion on advertising. Advertising with the intention of driving us to consume more! Brainwashing us to believe that we need more, of what they are selling in order to live our best lives. With addiction on the rise and with so many resources available to always have the next fix, how much of this $240 BILLION plays directly to our addictive nature as humans, and how much is it actually providing for our needs in a sustainable fashion….
“Consumerism is the idea that increasing consumption of goods and services purchased in the market is always a desirable goal and that a person’s well-being and happiness depends fundamentally on obtaining consumer goods and material possessions.”
Let’s just sit with that for a minute…
Our general well-being when linked with consumption is directly associated with accumulating material possessions? What message is that sending, not only to us, but to our younger generation?
With today’s most valuable resource being our personal data, are we being directly manipulated to form addictions? I think the real question is back to that of our worthiness: if we truly believe that we are enough, then we don’t need anything outside of ourselves to fulfill us.
In order to truly overcome this behavior, instead of swapping one addiction for another, in a chain of events that only takes away from us, we need to turn the spotlight on ourselves. I read an interesting article at the beginning of the COVID shutdowns.
This article predicted that Hollywood was set to lose $20 Billion over the course of 2020! that’s our money as a collective! We hold all the power when it comes to consumerism! So why have we never recognized this before?
Partly because we have been specifically targeted and separated into demographics based on our personal data and buying power! And also because of the rapid increase in variety and accessibility, be it medications, alcohol, party, drugs, shopping, food, sex, fitness, etc., the more we have been individually targeted and specifically catered too, the further away from the collective power of the whole we have become.
If we can accept accountability, and be vulnerable with ourselves then we can apply the power of discernment, with a focus on what the addiction is filling within us, then, we can begin to gain our power over it.
Is it as simple as acknowledgment? Is that enough to claim our power back over these hidden addictive patterns? I actually don’t know. But the acknowledgment alone has definitely helped me.
Once we can gain that power for ourselves, maybe then we can finally join together and really implement our innate power as a collective! Let’s face it… 20 billion is enough money to really make a difference in the world!
Question is…how would YOU spend it???
Do Right And Fear Not
Find Daniel Baseggio on Instagram @daniellouisbaseggio