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I like the 12 steps, and 12 step programs, and some of the tools they offer for healing, recovery, self awareness, and growth in so many situations and circumstances. So no mockery intended at all! This post may be a bit tongue in cheek, but conversely I am also deadly serious about all this. We Americans really need to break free of our addiction to Screaming Panic Porn.

  1. We admitted we were powerless over Screaming Panic Porn—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

We are only going to speak of the first two steps on account of the fact that they are so huge. I literally used to be a major news junkie and a political junkie, about 15 years ago. It eventually gave me anxiety, depression, fear, high blood pressure, and an overwhelming despair for all of mankind. Also, it served to separate me from my first love, Jesus Christ.

If you don’t know what Screaming Panic Porn is, it is click bait, it is propaganda designed to manipulate you into taking a peek, triggering an emotional response. The mainstream media and advertisers are absolute experts at it, professionals. They know how to hook you. They are wayyyy bigger and badder than you are.

I am actually not vulnerable to the other kind of porn, the visual, sexual kind. I find it horrifying and kind of sad but there is no draw there for me, no temptation. I am however, highly vulnerable to a trigger, an emotional hook. We call it “click bait” for a reason. You are the fish and the hook is baited and hidden. Fear sells products.

We often think of drugs and alcohol, or food and sex, substances and external things as being addictive, and they are, they can be, but not often discussed is fear. We can actually become addicted to fear and fear spreads faster then any virus. In fact, on the internet we actually call that, “going viral.”

There are so many reasons why fear is so addictive. Biology plays a role, our brains are hardwired to spot danger, to be alert to potential threats. For some fear is also so familiar, so comfortable, that we need to it around in order to feel safe, “normal.” Also, our lives are often “boring.”  I like “boring,” but if your day consists of cleaning toilets, throwing some laundry in, having the same arguments with the same people, and then going to work to do the same repetitive tasks you’ve been doing for decades, fear can become a diversion, a distraction, a high.

They got me this morning with a silly headline, “Entire City Destroyed in Public Health Crisis!” Gasp! What? A whole city?? Pompeii, folks. They were actually talking about Pompeii, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. It was basically just some more Screaming Panic Porn. Do everything you are told unless you want to wind up as fossilized ash in somebody’s archeological dig!

I have to be exceedingly careful about what I take in and how much and what I do to process it all. It’s a little bit different if your addictions are to emotions and feelings or something like food or sex. You can’t just give up emotions or give up food. You have to spend a lot more time on managing your addiction, how much and what you consume and in what context. It’s kind of like just trying to keep the car between the railroad tracks and not veer off into the ditch.

So, because of this I am keenly aware of when I am being played, manipulated, lured, tempted, and conned into walking in fear. Fear is most often a liar, too. It’s selling you something. It is a marketing agent. “Choosy moms choose Jif!” Are you a bad mom with no powers of discernment trying to kill your children by buying the wrong peanut butter? That may well sound silly, but it was a very successful marketing campaign because moms want the very best for their kids and we fear not  being able to provide it.

Fear sells peanut butter. Fear sells newspapers. Fear sells politics. And fear sells science, too.

I happen to believe that the Bible is also a fabulous tool for healing, recovery, self awareness, wisdom, growth, and falling in love with our Savior. So yeah, you betcha, I myself can not even imagine trying to get through those first two steps without Jesus Christ. If I’m going to be powerless I need someone to catch me. I need a power greater than myself to trust in and I need to know what “sanity” even is. I flat out believe where Jesus Christ is there is going to be some semblance of order and sanity and where He isn’t there is going to just be chaos and insanity.

Insanitybytes. Like, literally it leads to our destruction.