Addiction traps and mind games

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.

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Having conversations about addiction.

So this is a follow up post to The battle against addiction. I know addiction is not an easy topic to bring to the table. You can’t actually go “Hey mom and dad, I’m addicted to cocaine, can you please pass the salt.” It’s not that simple. Maybe that’s why it’s such an issue, nobody is willing to talk about it, nobody is willing to put themselves out there. People would rather live a facade of a life hiding behind suffering and lack of control over life because they are afraid of what somebody else might say. Not that I blame them, I mean the society we live in can be pretty judgemental.

It’s easy to judge a junkie sleeping on the sidewalk. “Why would she leave her home? Who told him to do drugs? She is filthy, he is a thief, she is this and he is that”. It can also happen to a celebrity gambler, “How could he be so stupid? Doesn’t she have enough money? How could he lose? Why this, why that”. Everyone is passing judgement. I can already hear the judgements on that sex addict. “That’s disgusting, is that even a real thing? Is he that stupid? What a loser”. Even if people don’t say these things out loud, they still think them. So how does the conversation even start?

People need to understand that addiction is a problem, it’s bondage and most of all its a sickness. Addicts are sick. That inability to function without a drug, that excessive watching of porn, that need to gamble every time you have a buck, that’s a problem. It’s an illness. Addiction takes away your control over things and if you can’t control yourself then what of managing life situations? The minute people learn more about addiction, how to deal with addicts and how to treat them will be a stepping stone into starting conversations about it and a huge step in the right direction.

See, addiction is not only a personal problem. It’s not a problem or a situation that only affects the addict but it affects those around the addict too. Living with an addict is not easy, it means caring for them, making sure that they don’t harm themselves or others, keeping them on the right side of the law and being there for them at all times. If an addict steals then that’s breaking the law, if the addict is into body harm then they can hurt themselves, if the addict is an alcoholic or abuses certain substances then they might hurt others. That’s where it stops being a personal problem.

Addiction is not only dangerous to the addict but to those around as well. That’s why people need to stop tip toeing around the situation and face it head on. They need to talk about it, face it and take control of it. It’s not easy but it is important. Not talking about the situation only makes it worse. Choosing not to see or acknowledge the situation for what it is does not mean it does not exist. Addiction is a pain to all involved and the only way to heal is to take the necessary steps such as rehab and make sure that the patient knows that there are those who care about them.

Moral of the post.
People should make it a point to start talking about their addiction and those demons they are battling. The society also needs to be less judgmental and more lenient when it comes to dealing with sensitive matters such as addiction. Addicts are sick and thus should be taken care off and loved like any other person with any illness.

Remember, Live, Love, Learn and be Happy.

The battle against addiction

Addiction, addiction, addiction. Saying it out loud does not make it go away. I don’t know why I did that. Addiction is the kryptonite to Superman, it’s a weakness.That thing is a menace. It’s trouble, it’s the devil, it’s nonsense and in all honesty it usually seems like the only way out. No matter how strong you are or how wealthy you are, if you are an addict then you have a problem. Nobody wants to admit that they have a problem and that only makes matters worse. It’s not easy coming out to people and actually admitting that there are certain urges you can’t control or you can’t go a day without something because that means opening up to people and it means opening up to being judged.

Let’s be real for a second, if a person comes out to you and says they are a chocolate addict, you are going to brush it off and think ‘oh that’s cute, it’s a cool addiction’ but if a person were to come to you and say they are a sex or a porn addict then your response would be different. People with addictions or addicts rather are looked at and treated differently. If you lose 50 bucks near a coke addict you automatically think that they stole your money but you won’t think the same thing about the chocolate addict. I know these two addictions are different but if you looked at them with honesty then you’d realise that they are the same. Addiction is addiction, whether acceptable or not.

Addiction is not easy and yes I’m writing from somewhat personal experience. It’s not easy telling people or even admitting to yourself that you are an addict and you have a problem. Like I said, being open means opening up to various comments and opinions from people who care and those who think they are immune to addiction. When all this happens, as a person with an addiction you stop wanting to see people. It’s not easy being around people and they make assumptions about you. If money goes missing, ask the coke junkie. When you tell people about your problem (yes, addiction is a huge problem) you expect them to help, understand and be there for you, not judge you.

In the beginning I said addiction sometimes seems like the only way out and that’s true. Ask any addict and you’ll realise that there is more to the story than meets the eye. Some become hooked because of grief, others because of abuse and many other reasons. See, addiction serves as a coping mechanism and the sooner people realise this the better. You don’t see it as distructive because you feel like it helps. Another reason why people become addicts is loneliness. The reason we resort to addiction is because at that moment we feel alone, useless and unwanted and being on a high gets rid of those feelings, nothing matters and nothing hurts when you are on a high.

The sad thing about addiction is that at the back of your mind, you know it’s wrong. You know you shouldn’t do it but you do and when you are done you end up feeling lousy, angry and disgusted with yourself, so to get rid of those feelings, you repeat the same thing over and over again. It’s a never ending cycle. Sometimes you feel like the only way to sustain your addiction is by doing bad things such as stealing. You steal money, equipment and even time but all that is not enough. You still feel lousy. Addiction is like that, it’s like a prison, it holds you back and keeps you enclosed. You lose yourself, your loved ones and your sense of life because nothing matters but the next high. It never stops.

The craziest thing about addiction is that it never makes sense, it’s never rational. It plays mind tricks and never lets you go. I read somewhere that quitting is easy and the hardest thing is staying clean. I thought that was bogus but truth is, you can pour out bottles of alcohol down the drain but the hardest thing will be staying sober. That’s what addiction does, it takes away your will power, character and leaves you feeling like a weakling. You wonder if all you are destined to do in life is become an addict. You feel like a failure, like you can’t control your urges and that means you can’t control your life so you give up. That’s why it’s not easy admitting that you are an addict, but its a start.

Moral of the post
An addiction is a problem and like most problems it needs solutions, not scorn and gossip. It’s not easy for a person to admit that they are an addict and even if they don’t admit it, people shouldn’t judge them. No matter what the addiction is, if your loved one is an addict then they need your love, support and help.

There will be more posts about the topic of addiction. You can tell me what you think in the comment section.

Remember Live, Love, Learn and be Happy.