When you think of the word, 'addiction' what comes to your mind? Personally for me the first thing that I naturally think about when I hear this word is drugs and alcohol but I have learned that addiction runs in many forms... porn, sex, shopping, food, substances, gambling, social media, working, the list goes on...
The majority of my life I struggled with various forms of addiction such as, shopping, gambling, alcohol, and drugs just to list a few. For the longest time I didn't really think much of my drinking and drug binges, my excessive shopping sprees and visits to the casino because "it wasn't like I was doing it every day". Ultimately, this is how I justified my habits and avoided facing the truth. It wasn't until I hit a very serious and life altering rock bottom that I could then recognize that my habits were out of control and swallowing me whole.
From my own personal experiences, recovering from addiction and bad habits is no walk in the park and for anyone who is on the outside looking into one who is in active addiction who says, "just make better decisions-figure it out" or something along those lines... ignore it. Not everyone will understand the seriousness of addiction, however, it is important to surround yourself with those who do. You also need to understand that recovery is not linear and majority of people in recovery have relapsed at least once before. I am not saying that relapsing is okay because the reality of it is, one relapse could completely knock you down mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually but the fear of failing is real although unnecessary- just because addiction knocked us down to our knees doesn't mean that we are not strong. In fact, I have realized that we are stronger than we realize especially when we have a connection with God which can only really occur while sober.
Life in recovery versus life in addiction is like comparing Satan to God... two 'things' on the total opposite side of the spectrum; Satan is out to kill, steal, and destroy while God is out to repair, restore, bring life and peace.
Granted I have my good days and my not so good days but overall, I am forever grateful that I simply just said "yes" to recovery because quite honestly, I do not know if I would be here today had I not... Addiction is serious and I can confidently say that it will destroy you and those around you if you do not get help. You may not see the affects of addiction right away but you will eventually and it will hurt.
For those who are active in addiction currently, I have come up with 4 reasons as to why living as an addict never gets better.
1.) Being active in addiction allows you to be under a delusion that you can carry out a happy and healthy life despite the substantial harm that it is doing to you.
Like I stated earlier, I used to justify my addiction by saying to myself that I was in the clear from being labeled as an addict because it wasn't like I did these things everyday... However, when I was sober, I remember looking forward to my next high and when I was not sober, I would drink to die. When I would go on shopping sprees, I would spend all the money... I was mostly a binge addict who needed more and more to feel the high I longed for in order to completely numb me.
There are three stages of addiction. The first being preoccupation/anticipation, binge/intoxication, and last, withdrawal/ negative affect. In reference to my point here, I wanted to talk about the second stage, binge/intoxication. When an individual is active in the cycle of addiction and uses a substance or partakes in a habit more often, larger amounts are needed to experience the same high. To increase the high, excessive indulgence of the drug or habit (bingeing) pushes the effects of intoxication and euphoria to extremely dangerous levels. Prolonged exposure results in desensitization, which increases the risk of overdose or substantial harm to ones overall well-being. Because the person active in addiction grows to become desensitized to the level of harm they are doing to their-selves (not to mention those around them) they are unable to see just how much damage is being done and hence, in a delusion thinking that "things are fine" or they have it under control when really this may be far from the truth.
2.) Addiction robs you of being able to maintain healthy relationships.
From my experiences living as a decently functioning addict, I do remember not being able to maintain or build healthy relationships as I was clouded mentally and spiritually. I was selfish, a liar, a manipulator, and a broken person who brought others down to my level because well, misery loves company right? But the truth is, I didn't like myself like this... I was longing for healthy relationships but simply didn't know how to as my addiction consumed me. It made me feel like I wasn't worthy of good things and people mostly due to the shame-guilt cycle and my selfish desires to get to my next high even if that meant using people to get there.
When you are stuck in addiction, you attract people who are doing similar things as you which can make it even harder to remove yourself from the 'fire'. The best thing to do is get clean, regain clarity, remove yourself from all toxic environments and people and build a healthier life for yourself that way you can begin to attract people who will support you and uplift you.
3.) Addiction consumes your time, energy, and preoccupies your thoughts.
Truthfully, I don't even want to know how many hours and days I have wasted supporting my addictions not to mention how much money I have burned through and/or missed out on because I couldn't make it to work... All I could think about was how I was going to get my next high which totally took me out of reality and into this dark hole of depression and anxiety in which I coped with through my addictions.
If you are reading this and you are currently stuck in addiction right now, I really want you to know that time is precious. Life is precious and you only get one. It is especially precious when you are sober and can feel and see things for how they really are not for what you wish for them to be through getting high. Think about it, if you were to be on a family vacation and all you could think about is getting drunk and high, would you really be enjoying the present moment with your family? Most likely not because your mind is preoccupied on what you are desiring rather than living in the moment, sober and soaking up all that the trip has to offer with your family.
4.) The more you give into your addiction, the more you will find yourself being out of control/ irresponsible.
Addiction is like a monster that the more you feed, the larger it grows and the more frightening it can be to fight. I hated who I became when I was getting drunk and high and doing other irresponsible things. I am certainly not the true me when I am active in addiction. I become unfocused, irresponsible, anxious, depressed, stressed, unable to deal with my emotions healthily, and the least bit reliable and honest yet somehow it was all 'worth' throwing my life and myself away just to feed this monster in me.
There is a clear difference between the girl I am when I am active in addiction versus sober... When I am sober I am responsible, happier, healthier, honest, connected with God, loyal, and free but as soon as I even start to feed "the beast" my life starts to dwindle down a dark hole and I begin to chain myself down to living in a hell on earth.
If you are struggling with addiction today, I do encourage you to reach out for support. There are several resources and many people who are willing to help you. You are not alone and again, stronger than you even realize... remember that and prove it to yourself. Click the link on my home page "crisis resources" for resources to get you on your way to getting the help you deserve.
Thank you for the read,