Addiction and Life
Books on Addiction
Addiction and Life
We all face addiction, from our own to others we know and love. Addictions cross all social, racial, economical, and political classifications and circumstances. From the richest man to the poorest addictions find their way into our lives. They can leave us with those empty feelings like the floor has just fallen away leaving you suspended motionless in the air with nothing below to soften your fall. We sense the world crashing down around us when those addictions bring pain into our lives and we lose control over ourselves or fail to help those that suffer from them. You are left feeling powerless to fight against it.
Here I will talk about two types of addiction that I myself have battled against. For these addictions I sought help and overcame them but I must always be aware that they are still in my life and the battle is never won it can only be assuaged. Remember if others love you, doesn't that mean you should at least see that you are worth loving, even if you don't think you are. Addictions can be overcome.
- Chemical Dependency - alcohol, opiates, marijuana or THC (say what you will), pain medications, anti-anxiety medications, stimulants (speed, methamphetamine, crystal, ice)
Chemical dependencies are a serious problem in almost all societies across the globe. They are the ultimate escape from reality and can lead to serious consequences from mental instability (brain damage) and even death. Most chemical dependencies will over-ride self preservation and responsibility rendering the addict to the state of being a slave to their desire to obtain the drug. The brain and even the body can get so used to having the drug that it will send the addict into a life threatening detoxification if the addict does not have the drug in their system and this causes body shock. The addict now has a disease and the brain's chemical pathways are used to functioning on the drug. Imagine the roads in Europe where the roman chariots from so much use actually grooved out wheel marks in the stone roads. The chemicals act much in this way in the brain. They have created semi-permanent paths in the neural networking of the brain in which they function. The only clear way to stop this cycle is to stay away from the use of these chemical agents and be free of them. Most addicts can use tools such as 12 step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotic Anonymous to give them support and guidance through the initial stages of their recovery. Others will need to go to a facility where they are forced to live their program and stay clean for the duration of their stay. Addicts are often cross addicted to many chemical agents. They go through mood swings that can go from one end of the spectrum to the other in an instant from elation to rage. This often leads to depression deepening the addict's addictive traits.
- Sex Addiction - perverse attitude towards sexual fantasy, sexually fantasizing constantly, unhealthy view towards a partner in a relationship, sexual promiscuity and risk taking, unhealthy and disturbing sexual stimulation by escalating disturbing fantasies.
A sex addict much like a chemical dependent can become physically addicted to the rush of the sexual experience. The brain has it's own drugs called endorphins that can trigger the addictive traits in people much like a person addicted to opiates. Studies have shown that risk takers often have sexually addictive traits in that their addiction is the bodies drug known as adrenaline. Sex addiction can lead to serious consequences and even death. Sex addicts take risks when their addictions prompt them to have unprotected sex with multiple partners. With diseases like HIV a sex addict can catch the disease and spread it to others unknowingly. If the sex addict is in a relationship they will sentence their partner to this outcome as well. Sex addiction can come in many forms from porn addiction to pedophilia. Many sex addicts try to hide their addiction because of shame. They build up emotional walls and unlike chemical addiction can hide their self destructive behavior from those that care about them. When caught cheating or in the act of masturbation they will blame their partner or their accuser for their actions. This is a defense mechanism, the addict must recognize their problem and become constantly vigilant of the triggers that may set it off. This is harder than one thinks and the addict can benefit from going to Sex Addicts Anonymous and reaching out for help. Again in the initial stages of recovery the addict may experience depression. Seek medical advice for your depression by seeing a therapist, going to a counselor, and talking to your doctor about medication that can help.
Addictions are painful, they reveal our true weaknesses, our faults, and our lies. Never believe that you are not worth the effort to overcome an addiction. Recognize it is there be it heroin or that next bite to eat. Once you have seen it never turn your back on it. I liken addictions to what hackers call a backdoor in a program. There is a line of code in us all that seems to have left us open to self attack, addiction is a cancer and we can cut it out, we can fight against it, we can guard ourselves from repeating it, and we can recover from it. To those addicts that either seek to recover from their addiction or those that have recovered I thank you for reading.