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.
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?
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.
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
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
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.
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
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 .