The American Society for Addiction Medicine has quite a long definition, associated factors, indicators, and other comments on the definition of addiction. The short definition is:
"Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response."What this means for SM farmers is that the benefits derived from SM are addictive, you can never get enough, because you are being somewhat passified by the significant benefits received, while what you truly need and want is not available. The SM benefits are an attempt to fill a bottomless pit in their SM lives. There is a spiritual vacuum in the lives of SM farmers. Money is a poor substitute for what they really want and need.
For example, you cannot live on just rabbit meat. Rabbit starvation is a known disease that causes people to eat more and more rabbit, gorging themselves as they seek to fill the missing nutrient. No matter how much you eat, it's never enough.
Similarly, it is postulated that SM Farming leads to spiritual starvation for some or most people, but narcissists and psychopaths are probably immune.
Perhaps the SM farmer hates what they have become. Deep down inside they would like to leave, to escape from their velvet prison; but how? The family depends upon them. Everybody in the family as well as many friends and neighbours depend on them for jobs or spin-off business. Even if it's your plug, and only you are authorized to pull the plug, how do you get the nerve to pull that plug?
Others are envious of the SM farmer, and their facade of benefits, advantages, and lifestyle. They don't really know what goes on under cover; the limited choices, the never ending expectations, the compromises, that they are forced to make so as to keep up appearances.
How do you just walk away?
Is there some individual or group out there that is causing or encouraging farmers to become addicted to SM? Who has the most to gain when another farmer becomes addicted to SM, or the addictions of all SM farmers is continued and strengthened?
SM Farmers must hide and protect their fear of others discovering their true deep feelings. The SM farmer never misses an opportunity to smile, and tell everyone what a great life they live, got the world by the tail, we're expanding this, and taking advantage of that. But deep down inside, late at night when everybody else is deep asleep, there are SM farmers laying in bed with their eyes open, staring into their dark bedroom, trying not to think. Joy is fleeting. Joy, when it does occur, soon gets swallowed up by the empty nothingness of daily routines. The more they try not to think about it, the more it wells up, just under the surface. It never comes into the light. It never surfaces so it can be plainly seen. However much it hides, its presence can be felt at still times like this, late at night, or during the day for fleeting moments in the barns when careless pauses allows it to flash into consciousness for brief seconds.
These difficult feelings of SM farmers aren't easily, nor morally dismissed as simple greed. It's more than that. It's the focus on the current grow cycle and getting through this one day, putting one foot in front of the other. Secret promises to self are made that tomorrow or next grow cycle will be different. These promises are quickly made to provide momentary relief, but are just as easily broken, again and again. In reality, there is no relief in sight. The cavalry isn't coming. The SM farmer has hidden their grief so well, from themselves and all others, that nobody knows they need to be rescued. Sometimes, even the SM farmers forgets, but is soon reminded again of the need to escape by some innocent occurrence; each day, and each hour of the day.
To do what you must do to be an SM farmer, you have to focus on yourself. Sometimes you can try to expand your thoughts and weak justification for what must be done, by projecting the excuse that you're doing it for the sake of your immediate family. It is too difficult and deadly to concern yourself about the big picture: the animals, the neighbours, the environment, the downstream supply chain, or the end consumer. If you think too much, it becomes an unbearable burden that hinders the SM farmer from doing what he must. Thinking can drive you crazy.
There are 35 different self-help groups, 12-Steps; from alcohol addiction, to chocolate, or whatever. Unfortunately, there isn't a solution yet for SM farmers. Maybe soon, someone will discover one, or make one. Maybe soon. Maybe, the SM farmer thinks, maybe they can hold on until it's OK to admit, OK to get help, OK to stop pretending.
Breaking an addiction isn't easy. In spite of the difficulty, addictions are being left behind every day. Like Jordan Belfort in his autobiography book and now movie Wolf of Wallstreet, Sam Polk was addicted to money. Sam learned to kick his deadly habit, and is now leading a nutritious food charity, GroceryShips.org
Listen to Sam Polk's story as he is interviewed on CBC Radio's The Current:
If SM farmers are going to break their addiction, it is suggested that a 7-step process will be necessary.
Seven Steps to Change
- I Need You need to understand that your world has significantly changed. You can continue to ignore this change, but you cannot ignore the resulting consequences for continuing to ignore this change.
- I Want What's in it for you to admit and embrace the change that has occurred? What do you really want or need? There is a cost for every decision, procrastination, action, and inaction you take. Which consequence and cost are you willing to pay?
- I Can Is it physically possible to do something different? Has anybody else done it? Is there a known technique? Can you borrow an approach that worked in different or similar types of circumstances? Do you have the necessary resources, or can you get the necessary resources? This is when you develop a concrete, step-by step plan on how you will escape from your SM farming prison.
- I Will You need to decide to do it, in theory or principle first. Nobody is forcing you to implement that decision immediately. You can decide now and delay implementation almost forever.
- My Head Your decision to change is very logical. Everybody can well understand why you have
- My Heart You get emotional about your previous mis-directed actions and philosophies under SM farming. You regret your lost time and efforts, and the delay in reaching your new found future vision. You get very frustrated and emotional as you revisit this time and again.
- My Hand You're finally ready to take specific action to break away from your SM Farming past and embrace your new future with great anticipation.