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Addiction & Body
Posted by: Michael
Reading time: 4 minutes
Dying from addiction is not exactly like dying from a biological disease. It’s more like dying from a parasite that has invaded your system and is going to leech the life force out of your body, your mind, your heart, and your spirit, drinking away as much as it can, leaving you with just enough to stay upright and alive, as it feeds and feeds and feeds off you, for day upon day, year upon year, until you are completely empty and dessicate and finally die.
Unless you overdose, or get a disease, or get murdered for your participation in a world of desperate people, your addiction is killing you in slow, gut-wrenching ways. And it’s more than biological death. It’s a psychological, sociological, spiritual death.
1. Your Connection to Reality is dying. Perhaps you think you’re a social drinker or recreational drug user. Or that all men view pornography so it’s not such a big deal. There is an endless list of rationalizations for your behavior as you drift farther away from the actual state of your life. It’s scary to think about it, but the world-view that you hold does not line up with how the world really is. There are some things that are obvious to others which you just cannot see. Such as, the biggest part of your problem is that you don’t think you have a problem.
2. Your Brain is rotting. Yes, the drugs are very literally frying your brain and snuffing out neurons that will never regenerate. Also, your dysfunctional belief systems strengthen the neural networks that are impaired, while suffocating healthier neuropathways. If you had a skin disease like leprosy that was eating holes in your body, you might seek medical attention because that would be difficult to ignore while looking in a mirror. Picture your drug usage and distorted belief systems as blooming lesions in your brain, and know that even though you cannot see the decay, it is happening.
3. Your Heart is dying. It’s common for addicts to lose touch with their feelings. You avoid or ignore or block anything that resembles pain. You recoil and hide from any stress or fear that should be faced in order to grow or develop. You don’t face pain, you medicate and kill pain. After many years spent in addiction, you don’t really know what your feelings are. You feel no love for yourselves. There is no love for anything except the drug of choice. Your hearts have gone cold.
4. Your Soul is starving. We are human beings, and part of our calling in life is to seek meaning and purpose in our life’s work. Addicts do not look for depth or growth. The innate drive to seek something has been hijacked by the act of scoring, or hunting, or pursuing the drug of choice, the next hit. Your spirit is not vitalized by love or creation or abundance, your experience of life is only skin deep, and your soul is weak and emaciated.
5. Your Time is decaying. Many addicts believe themselves to be invincible, and act from the seat of a delusion that nothing bad will ever happen to them. You may not think that you will ever get arrested, or overdose, or get a disease, but the fact is that given enough time spent in your addiction, you will eventually get all of them. Perhaps at one point, certain possibilities seemed horrendous, like losing your family, your job, or your dignity, and when they happened, you rationalized that it wasn’t so bad. It may take years of addiction, maybe days, or maybe it happens over the course of a few minutes, but the time spent believing that you’re ok, that things aren’t so bad, that time eventually dries up.
6. Your Story is decomposing. Maybe you blame your family, your circumstances, your luck, or even blame God for the state of your life. Whatever story you keep telling yourself, it is a tale of ruin, of unfairness, of everything you don’t have or could not become. Your focus is on what lacks. What unravels. What never works out for you. The addict side of you ensures that you will always see life this way, because then you will never run out of reasons to keep using.
Addiction will keep you stuck, trapped, and enslaved until your relationships wither away, your material possessions disappear, and your body finally dies. This may take years to occur, possibly decades, and you will drag others with you down the drain the whole time. Addiction hurts so bad because you are dying, and because others get hurt along the way.
The good news is that addiction can be broken. Help is available. But you must want it. You must be the one to reach out.
Michael is the Lead Sobriety Coach and Head Blogger of Addiction Reality.
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