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.

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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.

Live for you, not for others

Get your cup of coffee in hand, it’s story time. I’ve lived a very complex life, not hard but also not a bed of roses. All my life I’ve been the “perfect kid”. I’m 23 by the way. I don’t party, don’t drink and smoke. Don’t do much risk taking either. Always been an A student, did things by the book and always carried the tittle of “perfect kid”. I was always told that I’m going to excell and do great in life, get my family out of poverty and become an example to my siblings. All my life I had that, that’s what was expected of me and I guess I did alright given the circumstances. I was always told what to do. I never allowed myself to make mistakes because I didn’t want to hurt anyone.

For a long time I did what was expected of me and not what I wanted. I followed rules, stayed in school and became the ‘perfect daughter’. I guess it’s not all bad but somewhere I forgot how to be myself. In all that, I stopped living my life and lived a life everyone wanted. I did everything to make everyone happy and in doing so, I forsake my own happiness. I forgot about me. Going through all that I lost bits of myself and I became everything everyone wanted and needed but I didn’t become me. I didn’t become what I wanted and what I needed myself to be. I built a prison for myself and its been very hard trying to escape. If I do manage to escape then what do I escape to? Who do I become?

Does that sound familiar? You’ve lived your life the way everyone expects you to, you’ve become a puppet and you can’t control your own strings because you don’t know how. You don’t know where to start or how to even start because you don’t know yourself anymore. You don’t know your needs and it’s hard because the image you’ve had of yourself and the facade you’ve lived all your life is slowly crumbling and you don’t know what to do. That’s where I am. If that’s where you are then you are not alone. It’s hard finding your way and trying to do things for yourself because you don’t want to dissapoint anyone but the sad reality is that you are disappointing yourself.

Why is it so hard to just be yourself? Is it because you don’t know who you are, is it because you are scared of what you might be or is it because you don’t want to dissapoint your loved ones? It’s hard to carry all that as a person. Trust me I understand. It’s hard living a double life, a lie because you end up blaming others and resenting them for your choices. “If my dad didn’t force me to study this then I would’ve studied what I wanted, If my mom didn’t force me to get married then I would’ve focused on my career, if I hadn’t listened to my sister and put the family first then this wouldn’t have happened”, does that sound familiar? Sad truth is that it happened and you have to deal with it.

Here’s a crazy idea, speak out. Speak for yourself. Be true to who you are. Allow yourself to go on a journey where you will be able to look at the direction your life is taking and reflect on it. Try to find yourself. It’s not easy trust me. I’m going through it now and I can’t clearly see the path but living a life filled with regret and resenting those around me isn’t the life I’m willing to live. Finding your voice, finding yourself and doing what you love is very important in life. If you can’t speak out for yourself, you don’t know who you are and your life is filled with misery then you are doomed. It’s not an easy journey to take, the one of self discovery but it’s one we should all take to have a happy life.

Moral of the post
You only live once, so live your life the best way you want to, the best way you know how. Don’t live to please people at the expense of your happiness but make sure that you come first. You matter, your dreams and opinions matter and so they should be heard. If you let people take your voice away from you, they will end up taking all of you and you will end up living a life filled with anger and regret. Don’t live for anyone. Live for yourself.

Remember, Live, Love, Learn and be Happy.

An appreciation post to all the best friends.

Imagine life without your best friend. It would suck lemons that’s for sure. Friends are the unsung heroes in our lives. They listen to us whine about silly things, they help us in making life changing decisions, they help us when we need it and even when we don’t . They are basically our crutches. Having a friend is a basic need, I mean how many times has your friend been there for you, helped you, shouted at you, fought your battles and just been a friend to you. If you have a best friend you are lucky and if you don’t have one then go get one.
To all best friends out there: You are awesome.
A dedication to Mokhadi, a darling friend turned sister of mine.

How do you get over your ex?

I’ve read those articles on how to get over your ex and they all read the same. You have to move onto a new flame to get over your ex, get closure, stop talking to them and all that but they didn’t help me much. I got out of a relationship a long time ago and truth is it’s not easy getting over someone, especially when you’ve been together for a long time. Everything around reminds you of them, every song you hear, watching movies is not the same without them, even you favourite meal doesn’t taste the same without them. I know, so corny but it’s the truth. How do you get over and past all that?

Here’s what happened, I was watching a movie and not even half way through it, I was bored. My flame and…I mean, my ex and I used to watch movies just to analyse them. We would critique the lighting, acting, setting and all those things. So today I found myself doing it in my head and all those memories came flooding back in. I wasn’t ready for that I won’t lie. Watching movies was our thing but now then that there is no ‘us’ anymore, things we used to do together serve as a bitter sweet memory. It took everything in me to not call and say ‘hey, guess what I just did…’ because I couldn’t.

That’s normal after a break up right? Something will remind you of your ex and instead of calling them, you sit there with your pride because you can’t do it. It’s like there’s this imaginary or universal law that says you can’t do certain things. You can’t call or hang out with your ex. But truth is, you can actually call you ex and hang out with them even though your pride will stop you. It stopped me too so, I’m not judging. So, as I went through a hurricane of confusing feelings and emotions, I realised that I might still be into my ex. However, the problem is that I don’t want all these feelings back.

The problem with memory is that once it’s sparked, you remember all the good and loving things that happened and all the quarrels, lies and pain seem to have never happened. You only focus on the rainbows and butterflies. I know I did. Sadly we can’t help it. Once you get on the train to sweet memory-Ville, it’s hard to get off. It just happens. Now what do you do when you want those memories to stop (I know you can’t erase them because they are a part of you), but what do you do to really get over someone. How long does it take? How do you stop yourself from going back?

Moral of the post.
Today’s post is as much a reflection as it is a question. How do you get over a past loved one and how do you stop your memory of them from taking over your reality? Comments are appreciated.

Remember, Live, Love, Learn and be Happy.

You are not doing anyone a favour by being decent.

People expect standing ovations for doing things they should be doing. That’s the kind of society we’ve become. You greet someone, that person should thank you for it. You pick up papers by the side walk, people should give you keys to the city and make you mayor. You create awareness about climate change and you should be given the Pulitzer. I mean what’s wrong with us? Do we need validation so much? When did doing the right thing suddenly become a recognition contest? I think something is really wrong with our generation.

Let me tell you what happened. A friend of mine got into a private fight with her boyfriend. She then decided to envite the whole Facebook community by posting her apology on Facebook. We’ll discuss the contents of the apology later. So she posted her apology, going on about how she should be given some credit for apologising. I mean, she posted that she deserved credit for apologising. Aren’t you supposed to apologise when you do something wrong? How is it that she deserves credit for apologising and why post a private moment for the world to see.

The Sun doesn’t ask for a standing ovation when it shines. The stars don’t ask for credit when they brighten up the sky at night but we deserve credit for doing things we should be doing. I know she is not the only one. People have this sense of entitlement so much that they don’t see that it’s destructive and annoying. Feeling entitled means you are special, you are better, superior and everyone else must just go jump right? What is it that gives people a sense of entitlement? How do we deal with them? I won’t lie, people with a sense of entitlement are usually jerks.

I mean why should you be rewarded for being a decent human being? As human beings we don’t like the ‘I’m better than everyone crowd’, its annoying. Greeting someone, helping them with their groceries, borrowing them money, doing charity and any other things are a not a campaign to show off how great and noble we are. We should do them because it’s the right thing to do. Do people still do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do? Or do they do them because they want to get likes and comments on Facebook.

A little recognition and appreciation is awesome. We all want to be seen and appreciated and that’s normal. However, that doesn’t mean we stop practising a bit of decency because no one is giving us a pat on the back. I don’t know whether it’s because of social media or how we are wired but we’ve changed. I don’t know whether it’s for the good or the worst but we have changed. We lack substance, we have little self esteem. We want to be validated by others. Maybe that’s why we want recognition for doing what we should be doing.

Moral of the post
We shouldn’t be asking or looking to get rewards for doing things we should be doing as human beings. We should do them because they are the right thing to do.

Remember, Live, Love, Learn and be Happy.

Its okay to not be okay

I’m not okay. Today was a crappy day, I felt useless, angry and every other negative emotion you can think of. I even came close to crying. I know right. I mean today’s weather was awesome, the sky was clear and I still felt crappy. Have you ever had one of those days? I know I’m not the only one who has had them and if I hear anyone saying it’s because I’m a girl or it’s related to that time of the month, I swear I’m going to jail for murder. I felt so crappy that I didn’t even feel like blogging but here I am pouring out my worst emotions to you. Have a cup of tea with me as I tell you what happened.

So with my day not going how I wanted, I did what any normal person would do and I went on Facebook. Not to post anything, I just wanted to scroll through my feed and see what people were up to. Worst idea ever. Facebook didn’t help at all. Instead I just saw people having a time of their lives. I was busy sulking and people were living it up. And then it hit me. Have you ever noticed how people on Facebook are always having a time of their lives? People are getting promoted, buying cars, moving to the suburbs, falling in love, getting married and all that is good in the world and yet none of that is happening to me.

I mean, nobody has problems on social media. Everyone is living their best life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not jealous (okay maybe a little bit) but that’s not the point. Ever since social media, we aren’t allowed to feel bad. For instance if you are sad then it means you are depressed, if you get angry then you have anger issues, if you are happy, sad and all over the place then you have some sort of disorder. It’s like you are not allowed to not be okay because… wait, why aren’t you allowed to feel all that again? I mean we are human, things go wrong and they affect us so naturally we will emote negatively.

If a person dies, you should be happy because they lived their best life. If you get stabbed then you should be happy you are still alive. If you get dumped, you should be glad because that person wasn’t right for you. You should be fake just for the sake of society and its expectations. Well you are not a robot, you are human. It’s okay to not be okay. Life happens, it doesn’t give you lemons and you turn them into lemonade. It gives you a rejection letter from university and you become sad. Its life. It won’t always be rosy and perfect. Even those that are always happy on social media have an off day. It happens.

Moral of the post
My cup of tea is almost finished. We won’t always have great days. Sometimes our emotions will get the best of us. That doesn’t mean something is wrong with us medically or mentally. It means we are humans and certain things affect us in a negative way. Life is not easy nor is it one long party. Bad things happen, we stumble and fall. What’s not okay is to go around pretending to be okay and happy when you are miserable and sad. Feel those emotions, go through them and embrace them. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s life and it happens.

Remember, Live, Love, Learn and be Happy.