Before I disappeared for 2 weeks, I was writing on addiction, how to deal with it in The battle against addiction and how to talk to addicts in Having Conversations about addiction. In this post I’m going to get a bit naked (don’t worry there is no need to close your eyes, I don’t mean that naked. Such a perv, I’m kidding). I’m going to be as honest and as transparent as I can be in this post about mind games and lies addicts tell themselves. If you didn’t know, I struggle with a bit of an addiction so I kind of know what I’m talking or rather writing about.
You know the reason addicts hide their addiction is because they know its a bad thing and it can lead to bad consequences. They or should I say we? Let’s just go with ‘we’. We hide because we know what we are doing is shameful. That’s what addiction does, it brings shame. It doesn’t only destroy our lives but it also takes from us. It takes away our time, money, social skills and sense of being. Addiction holds you hostage in your own mind and body. In a way you are aware of what you are doing but the high overweighs the consequence.
You know you are an addict, you know that taking that pill is wrong, you know it, even your mind tells you it’s wrong but your urges remind you of the thrill and the aftermath and you do it. When you’re done it, that’s it. That’s the climax. After you’ve taken that pill, you get high for a few minutes and then it’s gone. You want to feel the high again so you take that pill again. You start to feel crappy about yourself for taking that pill so to get over that feeling, you take another pill. It’s a cycle, it’s never ending. You can see yourself being trapped but you can’t help it.
That’s one of the tricks addiction plays on you. It gives you a false high so you keep coming back. The next thing you know you are trapped, you can’t function without a high and that’s when you know you are stuffed. You become so dependent on a substance that it rules your thoughts. Sometimes when you are busy feeding your habit, there is this voice in your head that tries to stop you or even remind you of how happy you are when you are clean and then you remember the feeling of being high, you tell yourself that it’s only for that time and… well you know how it goes.
You know the worst thing about being an addict is that your reasoning is that of an addict. It doesn’t make sense. It’s stupid reasoning but to you it seems smart. I remember I once told myself that I won’t feed my habit for a month and I didn’t. I really didn’t. I kept on motivating myself, keeping myself busy, taking care of myself and I was really happy. Then one day I don’t know if I had an urge or what but I remember telling myself that I want to test if I’m still weak and whether I’d give in to my habit by just looking at what I’m addicted to. I told myself I’ll just look and not touch.
Writing this now, I’m wondering how I convinced myself that that was a smart decision. I bet you know what happened after that, I went back to feeding my habit. After that I felt crappy, I felt like I failed to stay away so the logical thing to do was feed my habit right? Tell me how does that make sense? I mean, feeding a bad habit to see if its gone? That’s like poking a snake and hoping it won’t bite. I didn’t care though, it made sense to me. Sadly, I got bitten. That’s what addiction does, it holds you captive to the point whereby you become sneeky and you even lie to yourself.
You know I’ve read somewhere whereby someone said ‘quitting smoking is easy, I’ve done it a hundred times’, at first I laughed and then it hit me. Quitting is easy, the hardest part is staying clean and not giving into temptation. You can throw away that packet of cigarettes but the hardest thing will be not giving in when you are stressed, when you see your friend smoking, when you see a cigarette advert, avoiding any contact with cigarettes at all. It’s not an easy battle to fight on your own and that’s why you need a support structure, or else you’ll keep going back.
Moral of the post
Addiction is a sickness and it can play with your mind. You end up losing bits of yourself and hurting the ones you love to feed your habit. Sometimes you see all the damage and hurt you cause and you can’t do much about it because you can’t help it. Being a self aware addict is not easy. You know you have a problem, you tell yourself you have a problem, you try to deal with your problem on your own with your own methods and when you fail, you go back to square one. Its a trap.
Sadly amidst all that, you keep lying to yourself jut to feed your habit. You tell yourself so much bull that you end up believing it. You stay prisoner to your habit. The only way you can pull through is if you have a good support system. Addiction is not an easy thing to battle on your own. You need family and friends around you to help you, motivate you and be there for you. Another thing you need to remember as an addict is that you are not alone and you are worth it.
As I write the last piece of this trilogy on addiction I just want you to remember to Live, Love, Learn and be Happy.