Is life boring?

I have an alcohol, cannabis, caffeine, sweets, and general substance use issue. It’s not consuming my life. I’m not endangering or hurting anyone, as far as I’m aware. It’s “under control.” My guess is it’s similar to the one most of us have. But it’s definitely there, hanging over me. More than anything, it’s just that I often live from the belief that life without some indulgence is boring, that I need a buzz or treat to have fun or relax.

For the last few weeks, I’ve eliminated alcohol, cannabis, and coffee from my diet. My intention is to offer my body and mind a break. But more than that, it’s to test my assumption that life without them is unacceptably boring.

Here’s what I’ve found so far: There are actually a lot of relationships, events, TV shows, internal dialogues, etc. that feel acceptable with a buzz going that really don’t without one. In some ways, my life actually is boring without these substances.

But it’s not because life is inherently boring. It’s because I’ve let these substances lower my standards for what I will welcome into my life. Instead of creating a life that truly enlivens and inspires me, I numb myself to preoccupations and relationships that are a little lifeless to me.

It now feels so much more essential to find the relationships and hobbies that truly enliven me. For me, that’s writing. It’s playing music and singing. It’s going for walks. It’s relationships where I can be me and feel seen, nourished, and challenged.

What in your life is only acceptable when you numb yourself to it?

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