Are You An Addict Too?

If you live in a developing world, the odds are that you are so used to excess that you don’t even recognize or pay attention to it most of the time. Most of our celebrations are food-based and we tell people to celebrate every day yet we act like we don’t know how people develop poor relationships with food.
There are entire communities that applaud a young person for drinking to excess, egging them on to drink, drink, drink. Yet we shudder at the news that a young college student has died as a result of alcohol poisoning.

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I finished reading Jennifer Weiner’s book, All Fall Down, a novel about abuse and addiction. The character has genuine physical pains, the result of a slipped-disc in her back and some dental issues. And the physical relief lulls her into abusing said drugs to ease the emotional and social anxiety she feels from other aspects of her life.
There’s a line in the book that made me stop and think. The main character, Allison, is in a group talking about drug abuse and addiction and someone explains that it’s not that the addict doesn’t know that the drugs can kill him. Allison explains. It’s that (s)he {the addict} doesn’t want to live in a world where (s)he has to give up the feeling that the drugs bring.

Now, I’ve never had to deal with drug addiction in my life. I don’t know anyone who’s ever been addicted to cocaine or heroine or marijuana or anything like that. But there are lots of alcoholics and cigarette chain smokers in my family and I’ve always prayed that I wouldn’t be like them.
But am I? Is there anything that is bad for me that I know is bad for me and I still refuse to give it up because I don’t want to live a life that doesn’t have that thing in it?
Chocolate? Sugar? Excess food? Toxic relationships?
That word addict is feeling stronger and stronger every moment. Maybe it’s not a word I want to throw around without acknowledgment.
Addicts are selfish people. They would rather chase that feeling to their death, than live normal lives with the people who love them. In the classic case of self versus love, addicts choose self every time. It’s hard to love an addict because you’ll always know it’s one-sided.
But addiction is not limited to hard drugs and alcohol and cigarettes. Addiction is abuse of any artificial pleasure stimulation to the point where you prioritize that high over your well-being.
So, are you addicted to anything?

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. My brother is an alcoholic and a drug addict. He has spent the majority of his adult life in jail because of these problems. He’s been through all kinds of rehab… but, the alcohol/drugs just always win out. So much so that he is willing to give up everything in his life to have his fix, or whatever you want to call it. So I would say I am not truly addicted to anything because there is nothing that I would give up my job, family, and friends for. Now, if you just tossed the term “addicted” around in the colloquial sense, I’d say I was addicted to provolone cheese, running, and coffee!!! 😉

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    1. runwright says:

      That’s the ambiguity in the word “addict”. I could say I am addicted to cheese too but I won’t do the things addicts have been known to do.
      Sorry about your brother. I hope he makes a change soon. I know it’s hard watching someone you love go through something like that and not being able to help.

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  2. rljaffe says:

    While we’re on the subject….This might be offensive but I don’t understand how people say that being addicted to drugs or alcohol is a disease. Some people are born addicts because their mothers were on drugs. That to me would constitute a disease of addiction because they didn’t choose to be. My stepdaughter was addicted to drugs for a time and her reasoning was because once you do the drug it makes you addicted and you may not have chosen to be.
    I agree that addicts are selfish but I mean we all are. I think addicts are adverse to moderation, because you can get addicted to anything- food, exercise, drugs, alcohol, shopping, video games. Sans the drugs the rest of this is all ok in moderation. Addiction, if anything, is a mentality. You have to learn to fight the urge to go over board.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Run Wright says:

      Not offensive at all. I don’t know the whole science around it whether it’s nature or nurture or a hybrid but it definitely requires lots of willpower to overcome once a person has yielded to the temptation. I read a lot about habits and harnessing the power to make changes. We can all teach our brain to choose differently but success is based on a persons attitude toward the vice, although that’s probably a bad relationship in the first place.

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  3. I haven’t read this one but I tend to agree with your thoughts on addiction, it doesn’t just encompass drugs and alcohol.

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