Wow when I think of the word addict the first thing that comes to my mind is alcohol and drugs and gambling. Obvious I know but its true and then I would think of smoking.
Have I been an addict I ask myself? Yes I have, would be my answer.
What have I been addicted to then, let me see well I would have to go back through my life at the different stages in my life.
Addiction to me does not only mean being hooked on it physically it can be in thought too. Addicted to the thought of being a size 8 instead of a size 10. Craving the next compliment for attention and being noticed in the high profile crowd to feel important. I have gone off track here and into the mind of imagination, so let me get back to the point.
Addiction to me is like a habit or comfort zone of feeling in control. No one likes to not feel out of control. So we find the best ways to adapt or hide how we feel, anything to cover up the feeling of being uncomfortable.
Things may start as a bit of fun to fit in or join in which then removes our memory of how we use to enjoy ourselves without needing the crutch of a smoke or an extra few drinks.
We get use to extras easy; we see it around us all the time. Once we went about our day with no phones or gadgets in our hands, now maybe you could say we are all addicted to our friendly phones and gadgets. Addiction to me comes down to feelings. How a situation or circumstance makes us feel, we may use these things as a back up to hide ourselves in.
So what is it I have been addicted to, well chasing love after an abusive childhood of neglect, which caused a phase of self- harming and throwing up always made the feelings I felt inside go away for a bit. Smoking and drinking of course, yes I have given up lots of things over the years. But I have replaced them with other thoughts and habits. Nicorette gum I have chewed for years I know I don’t have to chew it but I do because I know I can.
I spent years making sure I stayed thin not because of how it looks, because as a child I blamed the fact my mum was a large lady was the reason why she had died. So if I stay thin I wont catch a death and die, this lasted for years until I reached 39 years old. It was mentally draining and consuming to live like this, so I let go of the habit as an adult now and knowing the truth that my mum did not die from fat after all. She had died from thrombosis and a blood clot, the truth made it easier for me to let go of this habit.
In fact I let go of many things at once, chasing love because love had found me, and smoking and starving myself. I allowed my self to be just me for the first time. To enjoy life and not deny myself in fear of catching something, I relaxed and so everything relaxed and expanded. Giving up many things I gained so much more than body weight I gained a life that was not so self -confined. I had freedom to just be myself, as I did not need to fit in as I fitted in my own little world inside of me. Yes I still chew the gum and I do smoke from time to time when life gets emotionally tough and challenging. But I know I am in control deep down whether I do it or not. This depends on the strength of the connection we have with ourselves. Bottom line for me is how we get through each day as comfortable as we can without feeling overwhelmed and out of our depth. This for me came down to feelings, now I am not saying this is the core route for everyone but for me feelings where the reason why I picked up a habit or not. How I felt towards myself and the world around me, the less I felt out of touch the more I would need something to hold on to.
I understand talking about addictions is a personal thing, and can make you feel naked, but really if it where not for clothes we all would stand naked in life. We all get hooked on many things just some are more understood and accepted more than others. I bet there is not one person who can say they are not addicted to something, anything that becomes part of your life which was once an extra and becomes you. The gym, the food choices, the canned soft drinks, sugar, cakes, and any ocd habit, anything repeated is more than a life style choice it becomes a way of life.
Addiction we either learn to live with and share life with without it disrupting our life too much. Or we let it take over where we lose ourselves in it. What ever we choose we choose deep down inside what we experience regarding our relationship with our habits and addictions. Feelings I feel play a part in them, which reflect our needs and how comfortable we are in our place in the world.
Addiction is a label one which I am sure we all have worn just we choose to not notice it or not label it unless the label gets a hold on us. We can judge addiction and yet understanding it gives us a bigger understanding about it, and how it affects all of us.
If you have ever said I need a… or I cant live without…. or I don’t function until I have had… or I am anxious until I get my next.
We are all the same naked with our own personal habits whether they can be labelled as an addiction is a different word to describe a crutch. Yet we all know how it feels to feel out of control while being in control we think.
The more we can face ourselves and feel comfortable with ourselves regardless of what other people think. Then we can feel more in control without the need to lean on something. Yet life is unpredictable so just in case the unexpected catches me unawares I will carry my gum with me.
I can live with my quirks as they make me who I am, yet I know this can change and that nothing is stuck. We all give up many things which shows how powerful we are and that we only get hooked when we allow it to happen.
Enjoy who you are and be kind to you and your choices and before you judge you understand you.
Much love to you Dee xxx