Isolated by addiction

Are you addicted?

Addiction happens to many people for a number of different reasons. There are many addictions and some things that people may think are not addictions are, when analysed, addictions. Being addicted to something means that you do it a series of times and that the action usually is harmful to you in some way. People can be addicted to shopping, work, alcohol, food, sex, cigarettes, drugs, technology … really anything that they repeat a number of times which is not good for them.

Addiction is really a compulsion to do something a number of times, like shopping and spending until you have maxed out your credit card. Shoppers who are addicted often spend impulsively and excessively until their bills are out of control. The thing is, they then feel bad and even maybe guilty about it, but the very next day off they go and do the same thing again knowing it is hurting them. They remain addicted because while they are shopping they feel good. They feel good collecting parcels and bringing them home, even though most of the time they don’t wear the clothes or use the things they bought.

Is there something you do that upsets those around you because it’s not good for you and you sweep it under the carpet rather than look at what your loved ones are saying?

Is it possible that you are addicted in some way or that you enable or support someone with an addiction? What is it that you do that makes you feel out of control yet you do it because you may feel angry, scared or disappointed? What is that you do and then, after you do it, feel even worse, bad and guilty? Is there something you do that upsets those around you because it’s not good for you and you sweep it under the carpet rather than look at what your loved ones are saying? And, if you don’t perform that action, whether it be having another drink, an extra dessert, another cigarette, do you feel irritated and stressed?

Do you gamble your money away hoping you will win Powerball or the lottery while not paying your bills? Do you play poker machines for the rush of feeling good in the minute, but then feel anxious for spending your money? Are you embarrassed or confused when you act in haste, doing this same action again and again? Or, worse yet, do you lie to your friends about what you do?

How many of these questions could you answer with a ‘yes’? If it’s more than three, could it be you are addicted to something and not owning your addiction? What about your friends and loved ones? Are they lending you money or cigarettes, buying you drinks or carrying you home when you are always drunk, or trying to get you to go out when you are working at 10pm at the office for the fourth night in a row – and it isn’t even deadline time?

Ask yourself, what are you really running from with your addiction? What is it that makes you want to do the action again and again? Why does it relieve your anger, loneliness? How does it help your painful feelings?

You feel so good that you convince yourself that this can’t be wrong and you keep repeating it.

Often, indulging in your addiction will temporarily make you feel more powerful and fulfilled. There are feelings of pleasure which reinforce the fact that you will do it again in the future and this is how habit turns into addiction. You feel so good that you convince yourself that this can’t be wrong and you keep repeating it. You are on a high for a while and then logic kicks in and you realise what you have done and feel bad. Then the physical kicks in and the brain chemistry rewires so that you feel the best when you indulge in that action; better than at any other time. That is when a cycle is built and you are hooked.

Oddly enough, addiction is not always healed by stopping the action. You need to find the underlying button or trigger for the addiction and then you can remedy the situation, perhaps permanently. It’s not enough to just stop because then you risk feeling empty or replace it with another addiction. Our emotions don’t like the emptiness of stopping, nor do our minds, and lots of things we get addicted to actually have chemical (physical) cravings attached to them. So it’s critical to find a way to remedy that.

It becomes important to see someone who can help you identify what your triggers and cycle are. There will be a pattern to your behaviours, and trained professionals can help you find the pattern and then diffuse it. Once the cycle is interrupted, you stop reacting and take back your control of the addiction. Hypnotherapy, counselling, NLP, energy healing and psychotherapy are just some ways that you can break your habit and find new ways to feel empowered and fulfilled without living in the maze of addiction.

Jenetta Haim

Jenetta Haim

Jenetta Haim runs Stressfree Management at 36 Gipps Road, Greystanes, and specialises in assisting your health and lifestyle in all areas by developing programs on either a corporate or personal level to suit your needs. Jenetta has just published a book called Stress-Free Health Management, A Natural Solution for Your Health available from your favourite bookstore or online. For more information and to get in touch, visit her website at Stressfree Management.

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