How can anyone be addicted to struggle? How can it be that a person can actually want drama and chaos in their life? Struggle can be something that is addictive because of its opposite – boredom. When the boredom was overtaking me, I never realized what was happening to me, but now I understand. Let me explain.
As a homeless person there is so much struggle, everyday is a day to try and stay alive and there are tons of things to do in order to fix your situation. There are appointments to keep, jobs to apply to, books to read for self-improvement, it can be as if you never have a moment of free time on your hands. This trying to become a better person and live a better life can become addicting. While I’m doing all of this self improvement, what happens when I get a job.
Getting a job and living in a shelter requires many different sets of skills because you have to plan your life out. If you live in a shelter most likely there is not a lot of room for your belongings, you have to plan out how you do simple things like take your clothes to the laundromat and report to appointments, all while having to work. It’s exhausting but there is something that is very exhilarating about it, it’s all about self-improvement. You save your money and keep working and struggling and then what, you get an apartment.
The act of moving into a new place, working out when you are going to move, how you are going to move, setting up house. All of these things are very exciting, but once you are out of the shelter and on your own, then what? Life becomes ordinary, there is a struggle and that is the struggle of everyday life, but there is now this boredom. Nothing seems as exciting as it was when you were homeless and that boredom can drive a person insane. A person can become so addicted to chaos and drama that they sabotage themselves in order to get back to the drama of being homeless. I don’t even think that it is something that is done on a conscious level. I know that I never did it on a conscious level, why would I want to be homeless? Why would I not want to have a job? Why would I not want to be able to support myself? All of these are questions that I have asked myself and that I am sure that others have asked themselves as well.
What’s the answer to being addicted to a struggle, I suppose it lies in finding something to do with my time and learning to love a normal existence. I believe that self-improvement is a good thing, but I can’t let it become something that causes me to lose sight of the overall goal, which is to be happy. I think that I became a person that wanted so very much to succeed that I would throw away something in order to start all over again. I suppose that I could call this mental illness, the mind being on some loop that keeps repeating itself – over and over and over again. Even though I was not addicted to a physical drug, struggle had become my drug, I couldn’t and didn’t know how to live an ordinary life. This is something that I am still learning, I try every day to have a routine so that I won’t feel bored and I try to imagine my life, not as a homeless person but as a person whose day-to-day existence is just slightly off kilter. Yes I am fixing the mess that I created and yes I am doing this for the last time because I finally understand what I was doing in the first place.
Struggle is a good thing, just look at the people who work so hard to build buildings, climb Mt. Everest and perform a number of things that are considered impossible. We all must have struggle in order to survive, if not life becomes a routine of repetitive motions. I never want my life to become repetitive and boring, but I also don’t want to be addicted to the things that bring me down.