Updated: Sep 26, 2021
In todays culture of excess, stimulation, availability, saturation and elevated states, addiction rears its ugly head. How could it not? The temptation that surrounds us in our modern world is a world we were never designed for. We face high-density living, force-fed advertising and over-consumerism. With communities lacking in education, opportunity and meaningfull employment, it invokes general malaise. Anxiety and depression skyrocket into commonplace conditions. We are the most medicated of civilizations at anytime in our human history. What causes the repetition to consume beyond our means and needs that we reach that disordered behaviour? The root of all addiction: our own unhappiness.
Dependence is the uncontrollable physical attachment and tolerance as a result of that behaviour. Addiction is the compulsion. That said, we can become addicted to anything. There can be as many paths to addiction as there are people, but one thing is certain; there's always a reason.
There are various theories on stages and steps to descent and recovery. The common denominator starts early in our learning patterns, early in our childhoods. It's the key to the door we needed when we felt the stress begin to squeeze us. It's the number one place we will turn to again and again because that's where we learned first to find the relief.
You can pick your poison. The release of rage, the excitement of stealing, the thrill of power, the comfort of food, the high of drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, spending, self-harm or harming others. The list is unending and the pattern is a downward spiral, as is any compulsion. We may have several behaviours going on at once or hop from one behaviour to another. The fact is we are addicted and will become only more dependent and more repetitive. As a result it is never something that serves us well. It becomes something that controls us instead. We either learn that or continue to suffer the outcomes and their consequences.
Changing the tightly woven patterns is a choice that only we can make. A step only we can take. Usually it comes down to the point of make or break. An ultimatum that changes the future. The deal-breaker that leads you to decide between going forward and going down. The harmfull patterns that repeat untill they break you or untill you put your foot down. You decide. There are no hard and fast rules of what will work. Just the elusive drive to recognize you can go no further and want to change.
To change we need to stop. Simplify what you can. Seek what will help us make that change. Get the day, the hour and the minute in focus as we start to mark the time of a new direction. Try. Stop doing that and begin doing this instead. See the difference. Work with those who know your experience and can offer honest council, true guidance and support. It's a tough go but we have made it this far. Your happiness will come from your own actions.