by Donald Raddell
When we speak of addiction, the things that come to mind are the more common evils, such as drugs, alcohol, sex and gambling. When you come down to it, just about anything can be a potential for addiction.
Addiction in general can be considered as a compulsion to take something continuously or be constantly habitually involved in something. If a person “hungers” for something to the point that nothing else matters except that, then it may be construed as addiction.
People, at times, fail to recognize that they are addicted to something until it is too late. For example, people view “social” drinking as an acceptable norm. But when the person drinks constantly during the day at any time and place, it may be an indication of addiction.
The person may be oblivious to the habit, and when asked about their drinking, they might shrug it off and ignore the comments. The addiction becomes obvious only after they are immersed in the habit and find difficulty in breaking it.
Another example may be games. Playing games appears harmless on the surface. But when you become so engrossed in playing games, that you begin ignoring all other aspects of living, then it could be implied that you have become addicted to playing games.
You sacrifice everything else just for the sake of playing games. Another example may be work. Work is inherently good but a person could become addicted to work and so the term workaholic.
One step is to look objectively at your life style and understand if you have become overly focused on specific subjects. This takes a lot of internalizing and an objective regular self-assessment of your habits and life style.
It is hard to recognize addictions which appear harmless or beneficial to the person. For example, working hard is good in the sense that you gain increases in compensation and reap opportunities for advancement.
Your family is benefited by your hard work. Hard work is good. However, when work takes the place of everything else, then it may not be such a good practice. You eventually become a workaholic and sacrifice your quality time with the family and friends.
Admitting you are an addict is a hard pill to swallow. People constantly deny their addiction and pass it off as a habit rather than an addiction. Listen to your family and friends. Don’t try to rationalize what other people see as wrong. Try to understand your lifestyle through the eyes of other people. Be positive when you listen to their comments and remarks.
Be observant and attentive to people. Comments said in jest or in passing may hold a deeper meaning. Listen carefully. Ask for clarifications. Avoid misinterpretations.
Be grateful that they are telling you things to help you live a better life, no matter how caustic it may sound. There will be times when you might not be able to fight the addiction on your own. Seek their help.
We should try to fight addiction of all forms. It is not right that your life becomes subservient to a habit.