One of the things I've started to notice more was how much my addiction is in my environment. It's all around me, all the time. Even though I thought I was doing a good job of hiding my addiction, even though I thought it was a “little secret” that nobody could detect when I wasn't actively using, it turns out I've filled my environment with it.
Which, I guess, makes sense. For years I've been involved in this. I have built a framework around me that was full of hooks...I would say “triggers” except that word has a different meaning these days.
So now I'm cutting a lot of things free. Not people, pleasantly enough; most of the actual people I know have been good influences and have been more than willing to make some little accommodations for me when I tell them what I'm trying to accomplish.
And it's an odd mix. I've started to look at things more subjectively instead of objectively. Even if, on the surface, a thing has nothing to do with my addiction, it still goes if it feels like it has “hooks” in it. Turns out addiction isn't about logic. Who knew????
That podcast that I like: it's not objectively about my addiction, but when I listen to it I can subjectively“feel” the hooks. It's gone. Same with that Netflix series I used to love. I don't know if the hooks were there to begin with or if they were embedded by being a show I watched when I was using frequently, but at this point it doesn't matter. And on and on. It's not just media, it's a lot of things. Certain clothing. Books. Some restaurants.
Now I'm finding new things to fill those spaces. And...it's kinda fun? I like listening to new podcasts. I kinda like spending time away from Netflix and reading instead. (And yes, those books that have “hooks” are gone now too. Which means I get to find new books!)
It's almost become a game: every time I feel “hooked” by something, I turn it off or push it away and there's a moment of excitement:
What new thing will I find to fill this space?