As I think about politics during the past four or five years, one thought emerges—addiction. This article is only my opinion and based on what I notice in myself and others. It is food-for-thought.
The word addiction is a noun, and Merriam Webster’s definition: a compulsive, chronic, physiological or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, behavior, or activity having harmful physical, psychological, or social effects and typically causing well-defined symptoms (such as anxiety, irritability, tremors, or nausea) upon withdrawal or abstinence.
Draw a stick figure and then erase the head. You now have a visual of an addicted person. Think of familiar negative, not positive, addictions: cigarettes, alcohol, junk food, a person, and prescription or street drugs.
All addictions are not equal. Take cigarettes or drugs or a person—the dependence decreases, or deflates, with the first drag, pill, or encounter. Alcohol, sugar, or junk food is just the opposite—one swallow of vodka, one sugar cookie, or one potato chip starts the addiction and your need for more increases or inflates.
No matter one’s political preference our national addiction involved many things: daily chaos, continual conflict, anger, a leader with no verbal filter, numbers of deaths, conflicting information, conspiracy theories, etc. Now, we are in withdrawal, and I am enjoying the slow feeling of freedom and health at the return of my logical head and emotional control. I have no twelve-step meetings to attend but get support from the addictive substances fading away. It seems our nation’s out-of-character behavior is gaining realistic and calm control. Thank goodness.
COVID, as with all stressful situations, gave us an excuse to relapse. We lost our everyday lifestyle, and politics provided a path to express emotions and release frustrations. Now, in rehab, the news and late shows are boring, we have virus fatigue, and our ability to tune and get a quick fix has lessened. It seems the addiction is no longer in control. Like losing unwanted pounds, we are healthier and can pat ourselves on the back for discarding an addiction that snuck up on us—just like all addictions.
Leaving you with a quote from Swiss Psychologist Carl Jung: “Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.”
Until the next time: Live while you live