Doesn’t matter if it’s caffeine or cocaine, nicotine or weed, porn or sex, or gambling or shopping. As humans, we become attached to things that give us a satisfaction that we otherwise may not be able to find in life.
Maybe you went to a party, maybe you saw a line, and said why not try one. Now you’re snorting up because it’s nothing like you’ve ever felt. Maybe you said hey I’ll have a few drinks, and you realized that the feeling of being half there and half lost from your own thoughts is something so thrilling that you keep doing it until you use it as an outlet to get through your issues, not facing them because you aren’t sober enough to even face straight up. Maybe you like it like that?
Maybe you lost someone, or maybe you just got out of a relationship, maybe you have been desiring to be in one, desiring to have intimacy, but no matter what you do you can’t find it directly. You search for other ways to feel intimacy. At first you think nothing you do, either with yourself or with others, will not affect you in your day to day life. But you decide to keep pushing, to keep digging deeper, and you realize that your thoughts are rushing through your head all too much, now you start questioning what you truly like, how you truly feel, and the addiction is driving you down a dark hole that others will take advantage of in you.
Maybe you found a product online or at the store, you saw how useful it may be in your life, or should I say how easy it would make you feel in your life. And you become dependent on these products as you put them into a routine. Some things can be healthy, while others are certainly not. And everything in excess is a poor path to follow. From using too much hand sanitizer and destroying your skin to over-brushing your teeth with this new teeth whitening treatment and accidentally slowly brushing the enamel way because of how hard you’re trying to get the perfect smile. The capitalist system is meant to focus on what your needs truly are after all, but your needs aren’t always straightforward now, are they?
Maybe you saw you could make some money in stocks, and you saw that it could happen so quick, or happen so intensely. Maybe you saw that you could turn a couple bucks into a couple hundred. But maybe you decided that you love the thrill of the market more than the actual return of the market, and you put so much money in only for everything to crash. Maybe you thought you were doing something good, but realized that you had no idea what you truly were getting to and now all you feel like you can do is just stay in, entrapped by how the market flows, because you know there’s always a chance of getting your money back, but then again, maybe not.
Maybe you thought smoking pot could help your anxiety, far better than therapy could ever help it at that either. Maybe you thought that you could stop smoking it at any time, and that it was your full choice to stop it. Maybe you thought it would have no bad effect on your health. But then maybe you realized and haven’t been able to admit that getting rid of your anxiety has been solely dependent on every hit you take, but that doesn’t mean the anxiety is gone, it will always return once the high is over, so stay high as long as you can right? Maybe you decide time for a tolerance break, maybe nothing you do can get you that same high anymore, nothing but time, and so what do you in that time? Do you decide that maybe you like the feeling of not constantly smoking and prolong your break? Then again, maybe you realize that it’s all that works for you now.
Regardless of if you ever experienced any or all of these more specifically written circumstances, all of us, you and I, have suffered from some type of addiction in some type of way. There is no small or big when it comes down to it, only the way we decide to go forth with letting it get more and more involved in our lives and how far it can go to not only affect us but others as well. Now we can say, “whatever I do in my own time, as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody or affect anyone, should be a-okay right?” That mindset is horribly optimistic in not considering how self-destructive it is. And in turn, eventually, that self-destruction will be noticed, even touched upon, by others around you.
Maybe you decide that you don’t want to feel dependent or drawn to something anymore. Maybe you feel ashamed and want to do something about it. Maybe you reach out anonymously, and maybe it does help, maybe it doesn’t, maybe you try to accept what your struggle is but just find a different way of going through with it, a way that you feel you can justify better. Maybe you’re scared that you’ll be exposed, or that you’ll lose everything because of what you’re addiction is. Maybe you feel like one moment you’re a slave to the addiction, but the next feel like you can beat it. Maybe you keep fighting and fighting, setting goals for yourself, but at then end of the day nothing works.
Keep setting those goals. Keep looking in the mirror and telling yourself that you can beat it. Keep reinforcing everyday that you can find more in your life than your addiction.
That reinforcement will slowly, and I mean slowly, start to become as routine as your addiction felt, until it overtakes your addiction. Not enough?
I promise you there are people out there that know what you’re going through. And today it is so easy to find those people. Through all forms of social media platforms you can connect with those who share your story. Through groupchats on apps like discord, kik, snap and others, you can find people who can give you insight and advice and support. Through non-profits and other organizations, you can find support from those who have generally been affected by what you have and now want to give back to the community.
Hell talk to your best friend, your sibling, your parents, cousin, counselor, literally anyone.
The biggest step is opening up about it to those you truly love and truly love you. It’s easy to talk to strangers online these days. Hell you type anything into Omegle and you can find anyone with your interests. You can google AA meetings. And you can most likely find people who have your troubling thoughts through plugs and dealers. Sometimes it’s a very clear system of recovery, but sometimes it’s unorthodox. Sometimes it takes weeks, sometimes it takes year.
Your brain has been programmed, and the code exists until it is overridden with another code in some type of way. Either you literally found a way to block it out through hypnosis, or you found a healthy substitute for your addiction, or you just channeled the feeling over time or you went cold turkey. But each code will have its impact to you.
But I say this all, because I’ve been trapped by so much in my own head, and I’ve seen family and friends suffer because of their addictions. I’ve seen how it can cause someone to forget that their actions have consequences, that others are affected to, especially the longer they stay in denial of having a problem.
If you are struggling to give up those addictions, if you see a wave of emotions but no more color. If every time you give in it feels like you’re falling deeper into darkness. Know this, and see this how you decide to see this, but our human eyes perceive color, color that in any aspect besides our perception is not truly there in the universe. We were created to see more than what the universe has thrown at us, or given us depending on if you’re an optimistic or pessimist. We were created to endure what should be black and white, but we see as color. And addictions, well there like seeing the world in black and white, there’s no beauty, only dullness. Now some may say that black and white is beautiful, and yes it can be, believe me I know, I’m a photographer, but you’re completely missing the point if that is what you believe I mean.
All I can say is, if you are struggling to give up, and the world just feels like it keeps getting darker and duller, remember that you were created to see more, you were created to experience more, that the color and the light, will always find its way back to you.
Give up your addictions, don’t give up who you are because of them.
There is color all around, there is light in every casting of shadows in the darkness. Don’t take your ability away to see it.
You can do this. You can beat this. You can be more than the world handed you. You’re not going to get it down right away. You’re not going to succeed and never fail again. But you can try more and more until one day you realize that the person you are, the person who is trying for something better, is already showing more progress than the person you were before. One day you’ll find that you’ll like things when you’re not focusing on how to hide from things. One day you’ll look up and see color truly return to your life, I know it will. I’ve always said embrace your demons, embrace who you are, embrace the dark inside you, but never let it control you.
Addiction is the darkness inside of us that we can’t control. The mistake in that is thinking that we can’t.