Understanding Addiction, Addictive Personality and Behavior and Asking for Help
Visions of Addiction
Understanding Addicitive Behavior
I think we have all had that insistent sometimes uncontrollable urging, whether it is charging that new pair of shoes, playing one more quarter in the slot machine, indulging in yet another piece of candy, cocktail, or even plastic surgery procedure. It is like the voice of complete unreason is calling you, pulling you, seducing you further in: "feel good now, forget the consequences". Is this the onset of an addiction, symtoms of an addictive personality or do I deserve an occasional treat? When any somewhat compulsive behavior becomes a pattern that affects your life in a negative way and you are no longer functioning in a productive manner, you will no doubt reach a point when you realize that you need to understand and seek help for your addiction.
Why are some of us so much more vulnerable to this calling, to a point where our lives can become completely unmanageable? Ironically, the point where one reaches their "bottom" varies as much as the fix itself, but the truth is, not all addicts look like an eighty pound homeless waif with needle marks covering what is left of their body. That is why addiction can be so deceitful and span decades before the addict, family or friends even realize there is a problem.
Addiction can become a blame game, it's all too easy to place the blame for this affliction somewhere else, then you can avoid confronting it here and now for what it is, your addiction. The reasons why one becomes an addict are quite controversial and everyone has their own theory. Personally I feel that it is a combination of factors that persuade an individual to behave in an addictive manner. Some of the major factors are a genetic predisposition, environmental influences, peer pressure, and so on, but once you determine what may have caused a bout with addiction, I believe that dwelling on the past is counter productive. Once you get past the "why me" stage and accept the facts for what they are, you are on your way to a better life. Put that energy into healing yourself, not blaming the past.
I do know some people who have beat their addiction using pure will power and live a normal productive life however the majority of addictions are far too powerful, most people need support to manage and maintain their lives without allowing the addiction to reimerge controlling them once again. Many resources do exist but it can still be down right confusing when you do reach the point of ownership and you are asking for help.
It is beneficial, perhaps essential for some to acquire an advocate, someone that has your best interest at heart and is willing to help you overcome all of the obstacles that crop up during any recovery effort. Family members are sometimes too close and typically feel guilt, projecting anger and fear. A far better support system may be someone who has, perhaps beat an addiction themselves and is now living a productive life. Mentoring someone that is newly recovering from an addiction is also beneficial to them, by constantly reinforcing their new healthy balanced lifestyle, they are advocating their addiction free success story while at the same time, witnessing in you, where they once were. A powerful reminder of how far they have come in their journey.
And unfortunately there is still so much stigma with addictions, associating the addictive "need" to a human "weakness" of "flaw" instead of a health problem and treating it as such. I think the answer is probably different for everyone but there must be an opportunity for people to feel comfortable seeking help. Living in the closet with an addiction will either land one in lock up or dead and that is criminal in this day and age.
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