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Addiction & Heart
Posted by: Michael
Reading time: 4.5 minutes
It does not matter what you are addicted to using. Your drug of choice could be alcohol, drugs, money, junk food, sex, or video games. Whatever you are using, the end result is distraction or oblivion from real life. When you’re seeking the high, scoring it, using it, hiding it, thinking about it, or trying not to think about it, your attention is turned completely away from your true self and your real life. What if all that time and attention was freed up from all that chasing? What would you do instead?
Who would you be without addiction?
Remember the first 6 ways that addiction is destroying you. Here are 6 more. All of this distraction and oblivion is slowly marching you toward death. Look at this path you are currently walking, and know where it goes. Then let today plant a seed in your mind that this is not the only path. There is another path, to walk in sobriety, where it is actually possible to love life and love yourself.
1. Your awareness of Reality is deteriorating. A very common belief among addicts is that if you don’t tell anyone, then no one will know. This belief becomes more rigid over time, and more dangerous, because even though people can see the evidence of your addiction, or smell it, or even sense the deceit and secrecy, you continue to tell yourself that you are safe because no one knows anything. The fact is that people know far more than you think they do.
2. Your skills in Coping are disintegrating. When you are unable to get through the week without mood-altering in some way, or deliberately spiking your dopamine somehow, then you are losing your ability to cope. Whatever happens to be your drug of choice, be it drugs, alcohol, porn, gaming, junk food, if you can’t make it through the day without using, then your ability to cope with life does not exist.
3. Your Vitality is draining. That energy to get-up-and-go, that jump in your step to get things done, to build or create or become, it’s like watching it spiral down a flushing toilet. Any energy that you can muster while in your addiction is to feed your addiction, and all that effort and time and vitality is being dumped into a bottomless pit. You get nothing back in return, and the bottomless pit can never be filled. All of your energy is spent in service to your drug of choice, and there is nothing left over for anything or anyone else.
4. Your Potential is wasting. Addiction is holding you back from what you have the ability to become. There is no space inside you that is not preoccupied with chasing pleasure or killing pain. Your life could be spent building a personal interest, or mastering a skill, but instead your time and energy is sunk into addiction. Within you is the possibility of contributing something useful, or becoming someone great, but when you feed addiction your life is squandered.
5. Your Self-Worth is crumbling. At your core, you deem yourself worthless and insignificant, and there is no ability to muster up validation for who you are from within. You have become reliant on other people to get your sense of value, perhaps from their approval, or their attention, or from pushing them down so that you appear higher. Your sense of worth does not even come from the “self”, it comes from others. And like any addict that needs their fix, you will use other people, as if they were some kind of drug, to get your next hit.
6. Your Primary Relationships are flat-lining. In the throes of addiction, an addict has one need, and that need is to get high. The drug of choice does not really matter, whether the vehicle is cocaine, alcohol, porn, money, or sugar, the methods have the same ends, to jerk loose neurotransmitters in your brain. In recovery from addiction, you will find that you have other needs that were neglected. You will also learn that you have ignored the needs of other people in your life, of partners, siblings, parents, children, or friends, in some cases, for many years. When you sacrifice all other needs to your addiction, you deprive yourself of healthy, lasting fulfillment, and you leave your loved ones to wilt alone.
Who would you be without addiction? Who can you be without addiction? The path of addiction is not really a path, it’s more of a loop. Round and round, the same thing, over and over again. If you have walked that loop enough times, you know exactly what to expect. Some people like that comfort. Some people enjoy that certainty.
The reality is that growth is not comfortable, and that no future is really certain. Do you want to be the person that does pretty much the same thing, every day, every year, learning nothing, advancing nowhere, and then eventually die? You could choose that.
You could also choose a different path. It’s not too late, no matter how old you are, no matter how far away you’ve gotten. You can choose a new direction, a new path, not knowing exactly where you’re going, or who you will become along the way, or how far you can truly go. You can choose that too.
Michael is the Lead Sobriety Coach and Head Blogger of Addiction Reality.
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