It’s easy to compartmentalize certain words. When we hear the word hunger, food is generally the first thing that comes to mind, even though we hunger for things like affection or time with loved ones. When someone mentions faith, religion is often people's first thought, even though we find faith in friends, families, even ourselves. And when we hear someone utter “addiction”; drug users, alcoholics, porn junkies, and the like tend to be what we picture in our minds. But my perspective on addiction has been challenged in fresh and beautiful ways of late.
I’ve had periods of my life filled with addiction; the most significant was pornography. It’s devastating in so many ways. But I’ve never really thought about how invasive addictive behaviors are in my life beyond the demons of my past—the proverbial skeletons in my closet.
After reading an advance copy of Seth Haines up coming book The Book Of Waking Up, I realized the skeletons we hold aren’t as few as I thought, and no one has a closet big enough to hide them all
Seth has challenged me with a fresh perspective on addiction, and I have come around to the thought that we are all addicted to something. If you think you’re not, hmmmm.
Research has shown that too much of anything causes brain activity similar to that seen in drug addiction. Simply defined, addiction is the dependency on anything where our body feels rewarded. Ultimately, the things we are addicted to make us feel a certain way, and that feeling is something we then pursue.
With drugs, alcohol, and porn it might be the pursuit of the high, the ecstasy, or the numbing of our pain. But there are a host of other addictions we fall prey to because of the way certain things make us feel.
I’ve been a workaholic at times because I want the sense of control. Because control feels safe to me. Others work the 60, 70, 80 hour work weeks to feel valued, needed—the more work they do, the better they feel about themselves—for awhile.
I like shoes, and while I’m not addicted to shopping, it wouldn’t take much to tip me over the edge. But I know people who buy things after a hard week because the instant gratification of something new makes them feel better for a few days.
Social media pulls so many people in. What do people think about my post? How many likes did I get today? Do I have any new followers?
Work, shopping, and the lure of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds on our phones are pretty easy jumps to make when looking at addiction.
But I have witnessed some that are much more subtle — volunteering to look good, as opposed to being altruistic—addicted to image.
Pouring over study after study on a given topic without putting anything into practice, without growing as an individual, without letting the things you learn improve your life and the life of others. Can we be addicted to knowledge? Uh, yep.
There’s more; food, exercise, gossip, Netflix, and the list goes on.
I would argue that anything we do to feed a certain feeling, anything that gives us a fix of euphoria, power, or numbs the pain of our lives runs the risk of becoming an addiction.
This means I have a lot of things I need to watch out for; many potential addictions lurk in the every day.
And chances are, you have quite a few as well.
We’re all addicted to something; the first step is acknowledging what that something is.
So what’s your fix?
What do you turn to at the end of a hard day or week?
How much time, energy, and money do spend on the fix?
And is it necessary?
Because if it’s a fix, it’s not.
**Preorder a copy of Seth Haines’ The Book Of Waking Up: Experiencing The Divine Love That Reorders A Life