Why am I addicted to escaping reality?

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Answered by: Vonkeisha, An Expert in the Alcohol and Drugs Category
For a while I thought I had everything figured out with my life: good job, student at The Florida State University, great boyfriend, awesome living situation, and great friends. I was set on marrying the guy of my dreams and walking happily across the stage to pick up my degree in Religion. In Feb. 2014, my God had other plans for me. This was that moment I quickly understood why the preachers would say "be careful what you pray for" or "trust God" this was that moment.

My life had enough of me and was beginning to push me away. How is that so? Well, I have learned that the path we're faced with isn't selfish as we are, it wants us to go find ourselves instead of pretending that we are happy where we are. I wasn't happy, therefore my life wasn't happy. Gradually I became addicted to escaping reality. I was a displeasure to my patients, friends, family, my lover, and most importantly my God. I remember praying and asking God why am I not changing, What's wrong with me?!! I changed friends, I am a Christian now, I go to church.

Tears pouring down my face like a child being taken to daycare for the first time. I was kicking and screaming for a way out. In that moment I realized the Divine was setting up my request from a prayer I scribbled 4 days prior. That prayer included something like, "God bless me with the opportunities to get help from this depression, surround me with people who understand my journey or people who have survived this journey." Four days after my cry for help, my mother escorted me to a substance abuse rehab, I needed help from being addicted to escaping reality. There I found the true meaning of Faith.

My life was hectic at the time. I was trying to maintain relationships, school, and work. I was a full-time student working 16 hour shifts at a hospital. The grief of my 20-year old sister's death had resurfaced from 2012 and I was rejecting love because I felt unworthy. The unworthiness of my adoption replayed in my head and I wondered why did they choose me. My escape from reality felt necessary at the time. I thought I would either die or go crazy if I didn't numb myself.

Regardless of my constant Nirvana, all the pain and feelings came immediately after sobriety. Substance abuse is all about the need for more, more, and more. Trying to fill a bottomless void, that tricks you into thinking you'll be happy with a certain house, certain car, or certain person. The harsh reality hit me when I realized nothing was making me happy and the drugs ceased to provide that first hit of ecstasy. Powerful drugs like money, men, work status, and religion are harder to break away from because they all suggest some form of normality. Truth is, I needed any distraction to keep me from dealing with childhood wounds.

It is possible to use religion to distract self from self-love and self-evolution. Learning a God and committing myself to others all while I suffered to maintain sanity. This was all apart of the addictive self because I needed to feel as if I was doing something right in my life. Only to find out that treating others as self didn't mean leaving self behind.

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