Asking the Most Difficult Question: Are You an Addict?

The disease of addiction is a beast, and the beast wants to be fed.
Addiction is a disease that encompasses anything that an individual is obsessively and compulsively participating in on a daily basis.

An individual may be addicted to the internet, pornography, food, gambling, video games, sex, self-injury, or most commonly associated with the word addiction, drugs and alcohol. In the fast-paced world, individuals are using vices every day to cope with stress, and escape their reality. Here are some signs of addiction:

• Focusing constantly on obtaining more, at all costs no matter which means you have to use to have to acquire it.

• Putting your addiction before your family and other loved ones.

• Losing jobs because of your addiction.

• When your life has become merely nothing more than living to fulfill the demands of your addiction, resulting in your life being controlled by your addiction.

• Isolating yourself from the outside world in order to use your vice.

• Intense changes in moods as a result of your addiction: agitation, hostility, and self-centered thinking are common changes.

• When participating in your addiction no longer makes you feel good, but now makes you feel numb.

• The inability to deal with reality, therefore, constantly retreating to your addiction.

• Justifying your using: “I need the drugs so I do not get sick.”

• Rationalizing your behavior: “I do not have a problem, I can have just one, and in fact I can stop at any time.”

The disease of addiction is a beast, and the beast wants to be fed. The ever powerful and driving force of addiction threatens the addict’s livelihood. Addiction will bring you down and it does not care whose life it takes with it. When addicted, you are no longer thriving, but are barely surviving, gripping to compulsive behaviors to balance out stressors and avoid the rest of the world. Addiction is like a great escaping act: in the way that addict’s isolate themselves, escaping from participating with others, and escaping from life as a whole, thus diving into a deep dark hole with no conceivable way out.

Many addicts go unaware that they have a problem, and some know they have a problem but have become so beaten down by their addiction that they do not possess the strength to pull themselves out of the hole. In being buried in addiction, addicts often feel trapped. The sickness of addiction persists when an addict trades one addiction for another. This substituting comes from constantly seeking something to fill a void. Instead of forever filling that internal hole with substances or outside sources, an addict could replace those self-seeking behaviors with a recovery plan. Therapy, treatment centers, and 12-step groups could facilitate an inner peace.

If you identify with any of these emotions or behaviors, you are an addict; but the good news is that there is help. In embracing the title of “addict” you are admitting that you have a disease, and therefore, can peruse help. In knowing what you are, you know what you must do, and there is great freedom in that.

Distributed by Client Initiatives

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