Are You Addicted To Drama?

addicted to drama text

Are You Addicted To Drama?

Just notice how attracted the mind is to special effects, drama, and speeded-up versions of life. 

Our thoughts and fantasies are not very satisfying or fulfilling. Like watching television for hours on end, they leave us feeling empty.

You can never get enough of what does not satisfy.

~ Nirmala
 
There is a ‘soap opera’ in the UK called EastEnders. It has one of the highest ratings on television. It shares the ongoing stories of the residents of the fictitious Albert Square in the East End of London. When I was younger I used to watch it, but now I catch only small snippets if it happens to be on someone else’s TV when visiting them. This soap opera is probably one of the most miserable programmes on British television, yet millions of people watch it 4 times a week – every week, with extra episodes thrown in every so often.
 
What this program lacks in inspiration, positivity, motivation and joy, it makes up for in anger, hate, resentment, envy, abuse and tragedy – and yet millions of viewers tune in every episode. Why is this so?
Drama Eastenders Christmas
Every Christmas, a time of joy, peace and goodwill, EastEnders likes to provide its viewers with the most miserable Christmas episode ever and people flock to their TV’s in their droves.

 

I know some may say “It’s exciting!” “It makes my life looks a bed of roses in comparison” “It’s just part of my life”. Yet as someone who prefers to experience a more peaceful life, five minutes into the program and I felt depressed.
 
A large portion of human-kind is addicted to drama.
 

Negative News

 
When we watch the news; suffer from watching the tragedies taking place around the planet; watch TV that focuses on tragedy; allow children to play computer games full of violence and tragedy, well, isn’t it just tragic?
 
 

I Used To Be Addicted To Drama

 
Apart from watching soap operas, the news and more, I felt my life would not be complete without the ‘excitement of drama’. Not consciously, I felt this often unconsciously, it was a part of my world and those in my world. A part of me feared releasing the addiction to drama; it told me ‘peace would be boring’, and it was very wrong.
 
 

Drama Comes In Many Shapes And Forms

 
  • Drama can be an attachment to health issues. Yes many people are attached to health challenges. Instead of accepting health issues they will create a whole identity around ill health.
  • Drama can be a huge addiction to one’s story
“I suffer from depression”
 “I have OCD”
 “I am always in pain”

“Life never works out for me” 

  • Drama can be the need for someone to be sick or in trouble so that you have to take care of them. Co-dependency. The need is for drama so that you can feel important or needed in the world.
  • Drama can be that your life is improving for the better, but you self sabotage it,  or putting a spanner in the works at the crucial time when change is coming.
 
  • Drama often runs in families. Whole families thrive on a group drama. There are those whose entire families go from one health crisis to the next.

 

Releasing The Addiction Can Feel Scary!

 

People don’t want their lives fixed. Nobody wants their problems solved. Their dramas; their distractions; their stories resolved; their messes cleaned up. Because what would they have left? Just the big scary unknown.

         ~ Chuck Palahniuk
 
An addiction to drama can not only be an identity for many people but it also brings them a feeling that they belong. A sense of out-of-balance love.
 
It’s natural for families to come together when one of them is ill, but there are many instances where this is the only time they contact each other. The drama of sickness is the glue that holds them together. In many of these families, there is always someone who is sick. As one recovers, another falls ill, or needs an operation, or dies. They thrive on drama, their story of sickness. It’s what holds them together as a group, a tribe. If one family member was to become content, healthy, think differently, they would no longer fit in, they would no longer be part of the family unit. Of course these families may have chosen these particular experiences in this lifetime, this is also a possibility. But if you are reading this and pondering your own story, you may be here to transform that experience and make the changes necessary to step out of that pattern.
 
 

Groups Formed On Suffering

 
A group may begin with the intention to help people through a particular challenge. It could be mental health, drug problems, eating disorders – any challenge, but the group is only as good as its leaders.
 
If a group leader is addicted to drama, the group will never evolve and grow. Instead it may continue with a foundation of mutual suffering. Patting one another’s backs when hurting; soothing one another, but no-one in the group going beyond the iron ceiling of the group dynamic.For example, there are many instances in Alcoholics Anonymous where a particular group runs out of new members to comfort and support. One or more of the old members will relapse into binge drinking to ensure the continuation of the group’s purpose.

 
For a member to find balance, to grow and become healthy, they would no longer be part of the support network within the group, unless the leader showed by example that there was a way through the suffering. So I say be wary of joining groups, unless there is evidence of evolution beyond the challenges faced. Group leaders are role models and need to take responsibility for being a good example of growth and change.
 

Changing Takes Time, and Sacrifices Need To Be Made 

 
Beautiful White Lotus Flower
I say sacrifices, but what I actually mean is change. At the time it may feel like a sacrifice but over time it will become a blessing.
 
About 10 years ago, when I still indulged in family dramas, speaking to the people involved, regaling my woes, and they would regale their’s, was just a condensed version of EastEnders. As I changed to viewing life more positively, my conversations became shorter and I no longer fitted in. I have had to accept and surrender to this over the years, but I am glad I took the step.
 
I stopped watching soap operas, stopped gossiping and stopped watching the news. I began to look for the deeper meaning in life’s challenges not just the surface level of suffering. It took time and it still takes a lot of focus.
 

Positive News Versus Mainstream Media

 
Are You Addicted To Drama?
There is a newspaper called ‘Positive News‘ which in comparison to mainstream media sells fewer newspapers. This is because most people have allowed themselves to become saturated with the negative news, the tragic and suffering side of life. Many need a fix of drama to feel alive. But there is a far more freeing way to feel alive and that is to become present and to begin to question whether the choices we make are aiding us in thriving as a species, or declining mentally and emotionally as a species.
 
We need more enlightened news reporting so we receive clearer versions of the facts without dramatising and planting seeds of fear, deeper into an already fearful world. It is unfortunate that a fearing society is easier to control, and an empowered society is not, so perhaps we are reaching that tipping point of real change right now.
 

Eating Information

We often ingest toxic communication from those around us and from what we watch and read. Are we ingesting things that grow our understanding and compassion? 

~ Thich Nhat Hanh
 
Be careful what you soak in with your eyes & ears. Like eating food we also digest information. You may feel its okay to watch consistent negativity but over time it seeps into our consciousness, and more especially our subconscious.
 
For example war movies and horror movies. When you begin to saturate yourself with these kinds of images you are then more likely to be less affected by murder & atrocity in the physical world. You become desensitised. It becomes okay on some level. You can watch the news quite easily. Unless it’s in your backyard it may not even register on your inner radar.
 
Imagine your child playing computer games. Chopping heads off creatures, blood everywhere. This over time affects the child’s sensitivity to real violence.
 
Be careful the food you feed yourself through all your senses, not just through your mouth.

 
 
 
 
How do you view this topic?
What would you like to see change?
Do you feel you may be addicted to drama 
and why do you think that is?

 

 

 
Photo Credit:1st Photo: http://www.shesingssweetly.com/
2nd Photo: From Various online sites
3rd Photo: Copyright 2013 All Rights Reserved to Kelly Martin
4th Photo: From Various online sites

 
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Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin is the author of ‘When Everyone Shines But You’ , a passionate writer and blogger questioning life’s illusions. After what seemed like a decade of intense anxiety, feelings of failure and grief from the loss of her father she chose to take a mindfulness path and has not looked back since. Kelly encourages people to find the treasures that lie within the pain and suffering and to learn to see themselves as ‘enough’ exactly as they are, right now through her writing and You Tube channel .

12 Comments

  1. September 1, 2013 / 1:42 pm

    Great post Kelly, saying it like it is. I have never quite got Eastenders (although I once watched Neighbours and Home & Away ha). I have sometimes wondered exactly what it is that causes humans to have a propensity to be drawn to tragic stories – it's like, for example, if you drive past an accident, it's so easy to turn your eyes towards the accident to see exactly what's happened. In simple terms, maybe it's because we have been so over reliant on the mind rather than the heart – but maybe there are other reasons, not sure.
    It does take time to withdraw from drama in your life, and I maybe still enjoy a bit of it from time to time – but awareness of these things has been important for me.

  2. September 1, 2013 / 1:46 pm

    I so agree with this Kelly. I used to watch the news. Since stopping, I've felt much lighter and less negative. I also think the same about other programmes and books. I tend to stick with good stuff. I'm even like it with music now too. I've found that I naturally turn off any music that doesn't feel good to listen too. Its good to have control of my own mind x

  3. September 1, 2013 / 4:11 pm

    Totally Rachel. Mike still watches news on-line and reads a lot of it but he is quite into uncovering the truth behind the news. I am not able to detach from the news at present so prefer to not watch. Funny but I can watch intriguing weird programmes like Utopia or The Returned that can be quite dark but in a different way, feels quite clearing.

  4. September 1, 2013 / 4:13 pm

    I used to watch Neighbours and Home & Away it was my coming home from school tv LOL And how true, we do gaze when passing in cars, no idea why. I guess its not something we do so often though so its not seeping in nearly so much. I still focus on releasing drama, its an ongoing experience, sometimes easy to get sucked in dependant on who you are around too.

  5. February 16, 2014 / 10:15 am

    Great article Kelly, I really enjoyed reading this – it never ceases to amaze me how so many people have to have a drama going on their lives – it's like they thrive on it. Thinking about them and creating more – what is this perpetual drama circle, why do they need it?!

  6. February 16, 2014 / 10:18 am

    Thanks hun. Yes it keeps a lot of people going and the television just fuels it further. I feel some people choose this kind of life prior to coming into the world, I guess its just another way of life-force energy experiencing things. What do you think?

  7. February 16, 2014 / 8:57 pm

    I couldn't agree more, although at this point in my life I am still a TV addict, I read with interest what you said about your conversations with family getting shorter as you took on a more positive mental attitude, I believe the same is happening to me. The hard part is not getting exasperated with people who do not view the world the same way you do once you have found this new way of being/thinking. When you try to explain by shifting their thought process they can feel a whole lot different, they don't want to know, "oh it doesn't work for me" etc etc – it doesn't because they don't want it to aaaaarrrrrgh !!! And breathe……. I am trying to be a better person and not lose patience when they refuse to see a solution but its very hard!

  8. February 17, 2014 / 8:15 am

    I hear you, I still watch TV but tend not to watch soap operas or anything like that, I watch comedies or sci-fi. I was talking to my mum last night and she was real into the drama and her words on repeat are 'I will never change me' and I thought, yes you won't not if you don't choose to, it's all a choice LOL

    The thing is people need there a stories and until they are ready they won't hear a new way of thinking and they often do not hear from those closest to them anyway and breathe lol ! Good luck!

  9. February 17, 2014 / 5:07 pm

    I saw this earlier today……….."You must learn a new war to think before you can master a new way to be"………just made me LOL thinking about this conversation!

  10. February 18, 2014 / 3:41 pm

    Totally agree, great message! Thanks for sharing hun 😀

  11. April 7, 2014 / 6:55 pm

    I could not stop reading and saying, "yep, been there and done that." I gave up gossip, news and other forms of drama a few years back. It was just so draining on me, thank you for sharing this.

  12. April 8, 2014 / 3:37 pm

    Hi Jessica, lovely to have you pop by my blog. Giving it up is such a release, I found giving up gossip the greatest and not reading newspapers the next. Sometimes that can be a challenge on social networks do you find? As people share news speedily.

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