Addiction and Irritable Brain Syndrome
According to my wife, Elisa, sitting, is the “new smoking.” But most of us don’t think of sitting as an addiction. We typically consider substance abuse, like alcohol, cocaine, or tobacco as addiction.
But according to renowned prognosticator and Irritable Brain Syndrome specialist, Dr. Bendover, OD, MS, PhD, addiction is “the relentless repeating, pulling, or downing of a substance or any activity that becomes so compulsive it ultimately interferes with everyday life.” Then maybe, just maybe, the activity of sitting is like smoking, especially if it creates pain, fear, and anxiety.
So, basically, what Dr. Bendover is saying–we’re all addicted. To make matters worse, most of us don’t have a safety net to fall back on. No network of family, friends, or co-workers to help intervene in our sitting struggles. In fact, today for many of us the only close relationships we have are with two dimensional images on social media via our i-phones.
Dr. Bendover also states, “that compulsive Wi-Fi behavior, including the internet, may negatively affect your health and personal relationships.” Wireless gadgets often cause headaches, social-media anxiety, and public infertility—all symptoms of Irritable Brain Syndrome.
So it is that we are constantly faced with several different influences as we make decisions about whether to choose doing or just being present in the moment. Personal, cultural, and philosophical factors tend to remain subconscious as a consequence of the way we process and value information. Through the Wi-Fi revolution, information not money or relationships has become the currency of almost everything. And so it seems, as with money, friends, and information: more is better!
We are addicted to collecting information, and the constant search for scientific evidence to back up our behavior. We seek answers through TV, print, and the Internet. We keep collecting and accumulating, and when it is time to analyze, assess, and evaluate, we are instead inundated with more information. According to Dr. Bendover, compiling and processing information increasingly substitutes for being or thinking. More importantly, the information overflow has made it almost impossible to detect intentional falsification by omission–leading to further confusion and IBS.
Irritable Brain Syndrome can be sticky and often explosive, especially in social settings. Unable to deal with real people vs virtual two-dimensional i-Forms, we find ourselves being pulled by our addictions to escape reality–even going so far as saying, “I’ve got to take this” to an imaginary text or tweet. Back in the good ol’ days–BC Wi-Fi—people often wore their garage door openers on their belts pretending it was a pager going off.
For those who suffer from Irritable Brain Syndrome (IBS)–isolation, pretending to be happy, and unresolved anger are predominant and dangerous flags that an IBS 12 Step Program might be necessary. Like AA, you would identify yourself as, “Hi, my name is John, I’m a IBSer.
Here are a couple of suggestions–particularly in social settings–that might help. Limit checking your i-Forms to 20 or 30 times a day, instead focus on important daily tasks before engaging with email/social media/meetings. That way you’ll minimize i-Form distractions.
Or, if that doesn’t help, stop checking your ‘info’ during daylight hours, instead get up in the middle of the night, when you are not disturbing anyone. That way you can look at your social media accounts without feeling guilty. If you can’t fall back asleep, not to worry–you’ll have plenty of time pulling or downing your other addictions.
If you’re wondering why you’ve been feeling like crap lately, there may be some truth that Wi-Fi causes IBS and the creepy-crawlies in overall health, well-being, and productivity. But the worst—and most upsetting to everyone—is how these i-Form changes have affected the time we spend with one another–one on one–especially with our pets.
I always cringe when I see a Mom and her kids walking their dog, while obsessively checking their phones the entire time. They are not being present with their dog, but out in cyberspace with their i-Forms. No wonder their pets are disturbed. You may not be that bad off, but still looking at your phone more than ever–maybe right now as you’re reading this. What you probably haven’t noticed is how negatively this impacts the quality of your connection with your loved ones. Oops, they probably don’t care either, because they’re also busy with their addictions.
One of the hardest parts of dealing with i-Forms—is that, unlike booze, drugs, or gambling, it’s socially acceptable—even encouraged!! In fact, it seems like every day a new technology is introduced that promises to make us “more connected:” we can now check our emails, social media, and the web at any time, from any place, and anywhere. Heck, you can even twitter when you’re in the middle of an Irritable Brain Syndrome stinky-poo—letting the whole world know exactly what you think.
Wow! What progress! Almost as uplifting as antibiotic resistant bacteria. So it is, in this age of tweets, texts, abbreviated thinking, and 24/7 connections we’ve never been more mentally constipated, prozacked, or regurgitated. The net-effect of always being connected, more and more of us are suffering from IBS. We’re more addicted and less interpersonally connected than ever before. Instead of simply being present in each moment and feeling connected with those around us, our attention is increasingly imprinted on two-dimensional screens.
Like being lost in a bad video-game our modern lifestyle differs dramatically from the simple environment we evolved in. Virtual reality is now just another word for, “Hello Will–are you there?” I’m sorry what did you say? Does not compute. Danger. Danger Will. Danger Mrs. Robinson.
With this in mind, I am recommitting my German constipated attitude to never i-Forming in any form. So, if this is also an issue for you, what can you commit to? What steps will you take? Let me know on my Facebook page. Oops. Sorry, I almost forgot, I don’t have one.
Love, ya. Oops, there I did again. I used abbreviated tweet-ly-dee-talk to say ‘please like me-goodbye.’
Come to think of it, it seems everybody loves everybody and everything nowadays. Actors and musicians tell their fans that they love them. People end conversations with ‘love ya’. We love neighbors, friends, pets, movies, cell phones, money, and shoes… like, eh, love has been watered down to near-beer status by its overuse. Heck–even McDonald’s motto is ‘I’m lovin’ it’.
And you can’t just wipe it away by more abbreviated social commentary or ‘like eh, like eh’ a selfie-stupid-grin, waiting for life to get on its tippy-toes until things get better. No. Eventually we must go deeper, otherwise we are headed down MRSA Highway and a pandemic state of Irritable Brain Syndrome, praying for the good ol’ days of Ozzie and Harriet or ‘Hallmark-Movies,’ hoping for a pleasant outcome. Yes, it seems we’re all addicted.
You see, when times are sweet, it’s easy to ‘like eh’, love one another, but when life happens and the going gets rough, liking someone and being, is more important than ‘like eh,’ lovin’ them, and doing.
So today, this Day, while the world is stuck in ‘like eh’ vortex of addiction, abbreviated thinking, and meaningless phrases of ‘love-ya’…. just be still, and know.