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.

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The unwanted teacher we all must learn from: Our past

The past is a teacher, it can be good or bad but it’s still a teacher non the less. You know not to stick your hand in the fire because you will burn, how do you know that? You once got burned. You know not to do certain things or allow certain people in your life because history has proven them to be dangerous or unnecessary for you. That’s why the past is so important, through it we learn and become better. Given all that, the past can be a prison too. Too much focus on what happened years, months or days ago can stop a person from living.

We all have a past and some than others have experienced a traumatic past. Whether it was abuse, loss of a loved one or failed choices, all those experiences teach us something. Sometimes we might not want to face our past or we try to run from it, but that doesn’t change the fact that there are lessons we should’ve learned. In failure we learn to work harder and correct our mistakes, in grief we learn to appreciate our loved ones, live life to the fullest and take time into consideration. It’s not easy but in all that happens there are lessons to be learned.

Sometimes the lesson is unwanted or vague but it’s still a lesson non the less. That’s what the past is all about. It’s about facing ourselves and coming to terms with the decisions that we’ve made. Some people become prisoner to the past because they don’t want to face what happened to them and in doing so, they give power to the ghosts of the past. By ghosts of the past I mean a single mistake from the past can come back to haunt you in the future and ruin all that you’ve worked hard for simply because you couldn’t face it and forgive yourself.

Reflecting on the past gives us a chance to do better. Looking back at your life gives you the chance to reflect on all you have done, the good, the bad, the should’ve and and the could’ve. When you go back to the past it should be to see what you could’ve done better and then do it. It’s not to look at what you could’ve done better and start hating yourself and the world because you made some bad choices. In looking at the past, you look for direction. You know that the road you took back then lead to a thorny, sinking blackhole and now you take a different route.

When you take a different route and let the past teach you, you empower and free yourself. The past can’t hold you back. However if you keep making the same mistakes then you ultimately become a prisoner of that mistake, you don’t do better and keep running. When you run away from your past, you end up trapping yourself and risk losing important things and people in your life. It all depends on how you look at the past. It can either teach you or break you. How you look at it determines your way forward in life. I say choose to see it as a teacher.

We choose how we react to situations. We can’t control them but we choose how we react to them. That’s why we need to face the past head on and keep moving. Hiding skeletons can cause a lot more damage than we intend. That’s why we shouldn’t let secrets, bad memories, choices and circumstances we couldn’t control imprison us. We must learn from all that. Another thing to do is to also forgive ourselves for all that happened. forgive ourselves, make peace and then thank ourselves. Thank ourselves for mistakes that turned into lessons which made us better.

Moral of the post
We all have a past. We’ve all made mistakes and done things we are not proud of but that’s life. Life doesn’t come with a manual. There are no instructions on how to live a perfect life and no maps on which route to take to a blameless and mistake free life. We just wing it as we go along. That’s why we have the past to reflect on. The past teaches us and we must take the lesson as we go along. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, I’m saying it’s going to be worth it. We must face our past, learn from it and then forgive ourselves. We shouldn’t be hard on ourselves for things we’ve done when we didn’t know better. Instead we must forgive ourselves and be greatful for all we’ve been through and keep going forward.

Remember, live, love, learn and be happy.

Letting go is not easy but sometimes it’s necessary.

Have you ever built a prison for yourself only because you were scared to do the right thing? Yeah I’ve done that too and trust me nothing good ever comes from it. I had imprisoned myself to the point whereby my life was filled with regret and resentment. What was I expecting? I created a prison myself and expected the garden of Eden with chocolate fountains and marshmallow clouds.

Why do we do that? Why do we imprison ourselves in situations that not only kill our spirit but damage who we are? I found my answer to that question and I figured it’s because we want to please others. We want to be loved, we want to be seen as noble, we want to be seen and appreciated for our efforts. Well at least that’s why I imprisoned myself in a situation. I’m not over the situation hence I can’t even write what the situation was. That’s what this thing does to you, it takes your power and makes you weak.

Imagine staying in a toxic relationship simply because the two of you have been together for too long so you can’t leave. Imagine working for a person who constantly harasses you and belittles you every chance they get. Why would you stay there ? Why would you do that to yourself? As humans we sometimes choose to endure so much pain to only destroy ourselves later.

My situation left me bitter, self hating and hating many people around me. It left me feeling alone and scared. It left me feeling ashamed of who I was or rather who I had become in the situation. We let situations doctor us so much that we even lose ourselves. Why? Why do we let that happen. I knew the situation was bad for me. Oh enough with the situation. I was in a toxic relationship. There I said it. So much better. I knew at some point that the relationship had turned sour, it had changed and I wasn’t happy but still I stayed. Why? Don’t ask me why , I made excuses for the person and told myself that it would get better. But what was better? What was better than my own happiness, my own self respect? Its amazing how we justify the bad things that happen in our lives.

We look for excuses, we make excuses and if not for ourselves then for the people involved. We tend to hope for the best even when the situation on its own is bad. We always say what if even when there is no better alternative . I don’t know why I stayed but I know that at the time staying was the only option I thought I had. I wasn’t threatened to stay, I wasn’t stuck to the person by glue and I wasn’t going to die had I left but it felt like it was the only option I had. I had imprisoned myself so much so that I was the prisoner and the warden at the same time. I had sentenced myself to misery and pain. The sad part of it all is that I knew I had to leave, I knew I wasn’t happy and there was a small voice telling me to let go and it will all work out but I was scared. I wasn’t scared so much about what will happen to me, no I was mostly scared of what people will say, what will happen to the person I’m with and what if I become more unhappy. I made excuses repeatedly. I let myself die repeatedly.

I know that I am not the only one who has suffered from mental imprisonment only because of fear. Sometimes we are scared to take chances, to live, to laugh, to start over. Sometimes we are scared to jump because we believe that gravity will pull us down, but what if we fly. Sometimes what you think is best at that particular time is not best for your future. We become victims of our own doing. We cry and not do anything about a situation. We don’t change it and yet we hope for the best. The best sometimes can be letting go. The feeling of freedom. The will to live again, to smile without fear. To just be happy.

I left my relationship and now I can proudly say that I am happy. I don’t have any regrets and I love myself. I’m happy with who I am. I don’t have to please anyone but myself. I have peace. That’s what comes with making decisions for yourself, you find love and peace. You find happiness. You are not scared to look in the mirror anymore. You are content. I understand the fear of letting go because you don’t know what’s on the other side but the truth is it can’t be worse than a mental prison you have created for yourself. Letting go is never easy but sometimes it’s necessary. It’s necessary when you want to be happy, when you want to start over. Living at the mercy of someone or something is not life. Its prison. You become a shadow of what and who you used to be. So from a former prisoner to someone who want to be happy I say it’s okay to let go. It’s okay to be scared but it’s not okay to let a situation dictate your life and make you unhappy. You can free yourself, all you have to do is say yes to your inner voice. Listen to it and do what’s best for you.

Stuff it, I’m jumping without a parachute and I’m starting over.

I poured myself a cup of coffee and wondered how to start this post. So here goes: I began this blog back in varsity thinking I was a good writer and the world needed to hear what I had to say. I love writing and I’m passionate about it and in my eyes that qualified me as a good writer, boy was I wrong. The truth is I am not a good writer, I am learning to become a writer and if I become a good one then awesome and if I become a great one, even better. Honestly when I began this blog I had dreams of readers flocking to my site and reading the little nuggets of wisdom I had to offer. Isn’t that what we all want though, an audience. Someone to hear or read what we have to say, someone who trusts in what we say and believes in us. I also wanted that but I wasn’t patient enough and I was doing something very wrong.

The truth is I wasn’t being myself, I was trying to be a political analyst, a spokesperson and everything else but myself. I wasn’t using my voice. I was trying to be different, astute and I wanted to become something I was not. I realise now that by trying to be someone else I killed myself and my love for writing so I stopped blogging. After less than 10 posts I stopped blogging. I had to get back to the drawing board, I had to find myself and what I stood for. What I wanted to give to the world out there and that’s when I realised that I needed to resurrect my blog. I needed to start over as me.

I had to change my approach. I had to give birth to a blog that is mine. A blog that resembled me and what I stand for. I had to give it my voice, give it a new life.
It’s like having a baby in a way. You want that child to succeed, to be adored by the masses, to be understood, to be the best. You want that child to resemble you, to have your qualities. Your smile, your brown eyes because you identify yourself in that child and you want the world to see that that’s your baby. In the same way, I want my blog to have my personality, my mind, simplicity and yet be engaging. I just want people to read it and identify the realness. So I had to start over, better this time.

We all get that moment when we realise that we need to just stop and start over. To find ourselves first and our place in the universe before we can venture off into any project. The method in Hollywood movies it to take your napsack, run away from it all, find a secluded place (usually a village or a jungle, I don’t know why the jungle but hey it works for some), find others on the same journey as you, share stories of life and sing Kumbaya till the Sun rises but the truth is that doesn’t work for everyone. You don’t have to run away to find yourself. Sometimes you can just switch your phone off (hha and how will you read my blog?), I’m kidding, switch it off or not, be alone for sometime, stare at yourself in the mirror, ask yourself questions, be true to yourself, try to find who you are and just take that one step to a journey of self discovery and if need be, start over.

Don’t forget your past, there are some very valuable lessons there and some scary skeletons that you have to face but that’s the whole idea, face your past and you will face yourself. However saying that you should not forget your past doesn’t mean you should hang onto it and re-live it. The past is there to teach not to hold you back and hold you hostage in your future.
That’s the reason I didn’t remove my previous posts. They are a part of my journey into this cyber world. They serve as a teacher and a reminder that sometimes a formula that works for others might not work for you. What’s good for the goose might not be good for the gander.

I realise that starting over is not easy. There can be certain things holding you back on life. It can be fear of letting go of what you are used to or just fear of the unknown. We get held back by our circumstances, what will people say, what will I do now? We marry all negativity and harbour the ‘What if’ syndrome and we don’t realise that by doing so we hinder ourselves from living to our fullest potential. What if I’m not good enough, what if someone has already written about this, what if I don’t get an audience, what if, what if, what if? However here is the thing, what if I am good enough, what if I succeed and I become a better writer and grow as a human being. Sometimes the only thing standing in our way is the man in the mirror. We need to believe in ourselves so much that we are not afraid to start, to fail or to let go.

I won’t lie I’m scared of falling again or failing or even losing myself as I go along but that’s just the thing about starting a new journey, it be blogging or starting afresh as a single woman or even being a first time mother. Nothing is guaranteed and life doesn’t come with a manual but as we go along we learn. We stumble, we fall, we hurt, we let go, we fail or we achieve greatness, the idea is to just keep moving on and keep starting. We learn that in failure there are lessons, in success we gather the methods and structures of how to continue and when we fall we get back up and we believe ourselves to be stronger.

There is no manual on how to be the best writer, if there was trust me all bloggers would have the Pulitzer prize in writing. There is no manual on how to become the best there ever was. It’s the same way in life, there is no manual on how to be the perfect human being. There is the bible, the Qur’an, other religious books and self help books on how to be good and noble but there isn’t a proven method on how to be perfect. We would have no sinners at all , we would be perfect but the truth is we are all human and somewhere along the road we lose ourselves and we fall. It’s just the way life is. I fell and now I’m getting back up again.
This is my start and I might stumble or fall somewhere down the line or learn and become good at writing, the idea is to keep moving on.

So with my cold cup of coffee, as I stare at this screen and wonder if this is good enough to post, I hope someone somewhere will also say “stuff it, I’m jumping without a parachute and I’m starting over”. See a new day as a blank page and write your own story but for you to do that you have to start somewhere. So when I post this and venture again into this world with my eyes shut, I hope that you will also start something. Here goes everything…