There are many factors that can contribute to our addictions – our family’s experience with substance abuse, our genetic makeup, our mental illnesses and our lack of healthy emotional coping skills. One factor we often ignore but that can be particularly problematic is boredom. When we think of boredom, we think of it as being harmless. We’re bored and don’t have anything to do – that doesn’t sound like such a big deal. For many of us, though, our boredom represents something much deeper and more troublesome.
When we are bored, we are essentially disconnected from our purpose. We may not have discovered our true calling yet. We haven’t yet learned who we are or what we’re meant to do with our lives. When we don’t feel connected to our true selves, we don’t have a healthy relationship with our thoughts and emotions. We often will seek solace from our boredom in unhealthy behaviors and relationships. We will experiment with drugs to fill the voids we feel within us. Deep down we feel empty and unfulfilled. We feel lost, alone and confused. Boredom isn’t simply lack of motivation or inability to find something to occupy our time. It also can be a sign of depression and other mental health issues. When we haven’t connected with our life’s calling, we don’t have the internal guidance to help us move forward in life. We often stay stuck, paralyzed by our fears and our lack of self-esteem. We don’t feel worthy. We feel inadequate, so we don’t want to do anything with ourselves. We don’t have valuable pursuits to fill our time or dedicate our energy to. We’re wasting our potential and keeping ourselves small.
Boredom can function like a gateway drug for our addictions. When we’re bored, we’re not developing our interests and passions. We’re not finding ourselves. Boredom keeps us stagnant, disconnected from ourselves, from our purpose, and from our inner joy. When we’re bored, we’re much more likely to experiment with drugs to occupy our time and distract us from our feelings so that we can try to avoid our pain.
When we’re looking at the contributing factors to addiction, it helps to look at whether or not we feel fulfilled in our lives, how we’re spending our time, and what we’re giving our energy to. Boredom can cause us to seek relief in dangerous substances and behaviors, potentially causing us to develop addictions.
If you’re ready to seek treatment, we want to hear from you. Bayview Recovery is here to support you through every step of the recovery process. Call 888-570-7154 today for more information.