You have something you are addicted to, yes?
Sure you do. Ever say or hear things like:
I’m SO addicted to chocolate. I can’t go a day without it.
Coffee? I drink a freakin’ pot a day.
Hang on, got to check my email, just 5 more minutes, I’ll be there in a sec. I almost beat the level. What? It can’t be midnight. I am not addicted, I can give it up anytime.
Social media, how much time do you spend cruising twitter or Facebook, or pinning, or chatting on other venues. Is your closet overflowing with shoes or clothes? Is it exercise or body sculpting? Has your quest for the perfect bod become an obsession?
The lists goes on to more touchy, dangerous addictions: food (too much or too little), smoking, drinking, pornography, lying, stealing, gambling, vulgarity. Fill in the blank….
How is addiction defined?
From the dictionary sources:
- The state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.
- The condition of abnormally dependent on some habit, esp compulsive dependency on narcotic drugs.
- Habitual psychological and physiological dependence on a substance or practice beyond one’s voluntary control.
- A habitual or compulsive involvement in an activity, such as gambling.
- A physical or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, such as a drug or alcohol.
- Synonyms: bag, bent, craving, dependence, enslavement, fixation, hang-up, hook, inclination, hook, jones, kick, money, obsession.
Maybe you can’t relate and don’t have and good or bad addictions. Hey, you are a rarity and I am really proud of you. I have a job for you: help your friends, family, a stranger, anyone you can. Help them recognize and deal with theirs.
You know I work in addiction medicine. The folks I see are terribly ill: mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically from their years of heroin and other illegal drug use. Many are infected with Hep C, HIV, and have bodies covered with scars from injecting. They loathe themselves for what they have done to themselves and their families . One of my lovely patients overdosed last week. Another death. I wish. I pray. I hope. I help. But in the end a choice has to be made. You have to make the choice to get well, overcome whatever addiction you have and make radical decisions.
Every one of us has wounds, scars, stories to tell that are awful. There is nothing you can tell me that would make me say there is no hope for you, because as long as you are still breathing, there is hope. I can’t solve your problems, but I can help.
I’m compiling a collection of advice from my patients and I’m going to share with you what a person recovering from opiate addiction says when I ask:
What is one piece of wisdom you would tell a person battling an addiction. What has worked for you? How have you made it this far?
I hope you will come back to my blog as I will be sharing and discussing their answers. Sneak peak: avoid triggers. A patient talked to me about how he does this and gave me a really cool visual/analogy. I’ll tell you it soon, but I need to go now and clean the house. Company coming over tomorrow.
One last thing, take a good look at your life. Do you have an addiction? Re-read my list above.
Have a piece of wisdom to share? I welcome your comments.