From the desk of a psychologist!

We and our Addictions

Whenever we use the word addiction, it is generally associated with a substance. The picture which comes to our mind is of someone in a secluded place, in a grave kind of state, leading a sorry life.    

But, the addiction I am going to talk about today is something closer to home. I am going to talk about the thing or behavior which is beyond our control, which we understand we need to get rid of but somehow aren’t able to bring ourselves to do it. It can be our addiction to junk food, getting involved with the wrong kind of guy, not able to manage time effectively and so on.

Before going on, think of a behavior or thing which you are making constant resolutions to change or give up but it is not happening.

I’ll take the  example of  ‘loosing your cool on a loved one ‘, even when we know we shouldn’t do it as it hurts us too, we are not able to control ourselves. We have done our share of talking to ourselves, made a pact that the next time if a situation like this is going to rise, we won’t repeat what we did the last time…. But the same or worse happens when the real situation comes. It feels it is beyond our control, something which is not in our hands.

The reason for the need for change in behavior or thing usually is a consequence or a negative outcome we are facing due to it. We face the results, make promises to ourselves on not going on the same path again but everything falls flat on our face as soon as we are in front of our problem behavior or thing.

Now, picture a person, you call an addict. Is there a difference between him and us? You’ll say certainly, for being an addict there need to be a substance.

You are right but what about the behavior difference?

  • An addict has no control over the substance, the same is the situation with us, as far as, the behavior we need to work on is concerned.
  • An addict is not able to do anything about his addiction even after consequences and same goes for us.
  • An addict operates on immediate gratification and we are not far behind. We indulge in the behavior because it is something which is giving us immediate relief though it may hurt in the long run.
  • As an addict we are also developing a tolerance for that behavior or thing. The intensity keeps on getting worse.

It is perfectly fine to be a little doubtful about your addiction after this. Don’t worry this is not a post to make you feel bad about yourself but the aim is to challenge ourselves, to work on us and grow as an individual.

Even if we accept that we are powerless over a certain behavior or thing, what is the next step. I’ll say, something very similar to the treatment of chemical dependency. You should not mess with this certain behavior.

I have seen, in the course of my practice, it’s a vicious cycle. Until and unless you are not in it you are fine but the moment you indulge in the behavior/thing, you lose all control. You become an audience and witness yourself repeating the behavior/thing again and again. Enable yourself by not experimenting with this certain problem.

Going back to our example, of losing your cool on a loved one. If you feel a situation which could make you upset is rising, walk away. Don’t think that let me convey this message in a decent way and leave. Because chances are you’ll start on the vicious cycle, and won’t be able to make your point and leave but end up losing your temper again.

I believe God has made us the master of certain things but at the same time we have our challenges. This is the difference between a common man and a saint. We just need to accept the things which are beyond us and leave it to those who could handle it.

Deal with your addiction and stay sober…Renew your Spirit!

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Comments on: "We and our Addictions" (8)

  1. Hassan Shabbir said:

    Pretty insightful this really is something that goes un noticed. The fact that we can be emotionally addicted is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

  2. Really first time I have gone through this word emotional addiction.More or less everybody of us are emotionally addicted.The solution you said that just walk away from the scene,will help to control your outburst ,I agree with this.But this is a temporary solution.Can you suggest or elaborate how to control anger? I mean to say write something on anger management.In today world which is full of stress,sometime we go overboard and are not able to control our emotions.which ultimately backfires and we become short tempered.So i would request you to write something on anger management.

  3. shalini said:

    Getting out of addiction is really difficult…lets see how it’ll help..

  4. […] We and our Addictions (unwrappingminds.wordpress.com) […]

  5. willing2 said:

    “One example of the “principles and practice of Self Help”
    “ The Therapeutic Process “
    ( especially for the family members of those who are lost at sea, etc. )
    + Regarding Reoccurring Negative Dreams & flashbacks.

    EXAMPLE

    A father and son, living on the West coast of Canada ( in the Vancouver area ), loved to go sailing between the mainland and Vancouver Island. The father, over the years, had
    upgraded from a small boat to a larger sail boat and the son was intending to follow his example, but, at the time of this example the son only had a small boat.

    One day the son want for a sail in his boat and a major storm came up which caused his boat to capsize. The son drowned on that day and his body was never recovered.

    As result, the father kept having a reoccurring dream regarding the loss of his son and the lack of closure. ( no funeral for closure because the son’s body was never recovered )

    In the dream the father would go out in his sail boat to where his son had drowned and he would dive over the side and swim down to the bottom. When he would get to the bottom he would find a treasure chest and when he opened it up it would, always, be empty.
    ( it can be said that the father treasured his son )

    At that time, I was a co-facilitator of a therapeutic group in which the father ( as a participant ) told the story of his reoccurring dream and to address the problem the following potential solution was proposed to him.

    Write up his story including his emotions, feelings, appreciations, anger, resentments, positives and negatives of the relationship with his son and with his death, etc.
    Buy a small tree ( hopefully his son’s favourite kind of tree).
    Take the write up, the tree and some pictures of his son ( + small personal objects / reminders of his son ) and take them to his son’s favourite place.

    NOTE: His son’s favourite place was up on a forested knoll over looking Horse Shoe Bay on the North Shore of Vancouver where he could see the marina that he and his father used to dock their sail boats.

    The father was to take the write up, the tree, the pictures and the personal
    objects to the knoll.
    Dig a hole for the tree / then read the write up ALOUD..
    Set fire to the papers ( write up ) pictures and personal items.
    Let the smoke go up into the air, the ashes and personal items fall into the hole.
    Plant the tree over them. ( burying them and the problem in order to gain closure )

    The father never had the reoccurring dream again…

    NOTE: People and their family members can, by using these principles and practices, gain closure in relation to various kinds of personal and family issues = re: the loss of a loved one, abuse, addiction, PTSD = reoccurring dreams / flashbacks, suicide prevention, anger management, beginnings and endings, unfinished business, closure, etc.

    Some guidelines:

    Use your own imagination and creativity when you apply
    these principles and practices to your own personal and family issues.
    This can be done alone and/or with others who can appreciate their attendance
    and find value in the process.

    NOTE: This therapeutic process can stand alone and/or be an addition to
    existing individual or group therapy programs.

    Helpful hints:

    1. You can bury and get over your own personal / family issues and start an anger free life.
    2. Planting ( a living memorial, a bush, shrub or a crop ) represents hope for the future.
    3. “The obstacles in life, often, become precisely what is required”…

    Warm Regards: to the family members of those who are lost at sea
    ( past, present and future ).

    Author James L. Halstrum ( The Stone Shadow )
    P.O.Box1326 Montague, PEI C0A-1R0
    http://www.facebook.com/james.halstrum1
    Note: If this helps or saves the life of one person, I’ll be pleased.

  6. James Halstrum said:

    If appropriate : Please share and use this in your anti addiction programs (especially for youth).
    Provided by = Pain Pill’s the Addiction. Food for thought and advice…
    Hello, my name is DRUGS – I destroy homes, tear families apart, take your children, and that’s just the start. I’m more costly than diamonds, more costly than gold, the sorrow I bring is a sight to behold. And if you need me, I’m easily found, I live all around you, in schools and in town. I live with the rich, I live with the poor, I live down the street, and maybe next door. My power is awesome; Try me, you’ll see. But if you do, you may NEVER break free. Just try me once and I might let you go, but try me twice, and I’ll own your soul. When I possess you, you’ll steal and you’ll lie. You do what you have to just to get high. The crimes you’ll commit, for my narcotic charms will be worth the pleasure you’ll feel in my arms. You’ll lie to your mother; you’ll steal from your dad. When you see their tears, you should feel sad. But you’ll forget your morals and how you were raised, I’ll be your conscience,I’ll teach you my ways. …I take kids from parents, and parents from kids, I turn people from God, and separate friends. I’ll take everything from you, your looks and your pride, I’ll be with you always, right by your side. You’ll give up everything… your family, your home… your friends, your money, then you’ll be alone. I’ll take and take, till you have nothing more to give.When I’m finished with you you’ll be lucky to live. If you try me be warned this is no game. If given the chance, I’ll drive you insane. I’ll ravage your body; I’ll control your mind. I’ll own you completely; your soul will be mine. The nightmares I’ll give you while lying in bed, the voices you’ll hear from inside your head. The sweats, the shakes, the visions you’ll see; I want you to know, these are all gifts from me. But then it’s too late, and you’ll know in your heart, that you are mine, and we shall not part. You’ll regret that you tried me, they always do, but you came to me, not I to you. You knew this would happen. Many times you were told, but you challenged my power, and chose to be bold. You could have said no, and just walked away. If you could live that day over, now what would you say? I’ll be your master; you will be my slave, I’ll even go with you, when you go to your grave. Now that you have met me , what will you do? Will you try me or not? Its all up to you. I can bring you more misery than words can tell. Come take my hand, let me make your life hell. , If you think this just might help ONE person, COPY and paste +Hope this helped someone today.
    My Note: “Wanna-B addicts choose to use”. This is for folks who are determined to design their own self destruction and future health problems through choosing to smoke or use anything addictive in any form. Don’t blame anyone or anything but yourselves.. Choose to quit or never start. It’s usually a need to fit in ( birds of a feather use together to become addicted). Pro OC people and supporters know their will always be a percentage of citizens who want to design their own destruction / failure and OC will provide the tools / products / services for them to accomplish their goals…as they always have…OC = Organized Crime, it’s in bed with governments, GLOBALLY.. + Grow up = not weed..

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