Portfolio of Hope

‘My names Lisa, and I’m an addict.’

I’m not addicted to drugs, or to alcohol, the two things that most of us, myself included, automatically think of when we hear the word ‘addict’, no. My addictions have been, and are, far more subliminal. They are seen as being socially acceptable, socially encouraged, even. And so, that begs the question; ‘Can you be addicted to something that is good for you?’

With my past addictions having taken the form of ‘healthy’ eating and exercise, I can say for certain that the answer to the above question is yes, you undoubtedly can be (addicted to things that are supposedly ‘good’ for you, that is.)

Despite me having overcome my past addictions, they do still exist today, though in a different form. Today, they are less extreme, granted, but they’re still there, nonetheless. Now they include things that many people will relate to (my phone), some people will relate to (food), and few people will relate to (getting rid of things.) They are all addictions, albeit of the more socially acceptable kind. Because, in the same way that drug addicts turn to their drug of choice, and alcoholics to their drink of choice when they want to feel something ‘other’, these are all things that I turn to when I want to escape my thoughts/when I want to feel something ‘other’, too.

Now, if you are really honest with yourself, I think that you will, more than likely, find that, like me, you are also an addict. If you’re using something as a means to control the way you feel, and you’re doing it compulsively (that being regularly and in a way that is negatively impacting upon your life), then you’re addicted to it.

It wouldn’t be deemed as being ‘farfetched’ to assume that there are far more addicts among us than official statistics show. In fact, believing that the statistics are accurate is a much more farfetched thing to assume than the alternative. The reason for this is due to the society in which we live, I believe, a society whereby we largely feel out of control over our own lives, despite us so desperately wanting to reclaim that control. How is this relevant to addiction? It’s relevant because, addictions often form as a result of our want, (some might say, need), to regain control over our lives. The problem is however, that, in this pursuit for control (control over our feelings and, ultimately, control over our whole lives), what actually ends up happening, is we lose it all (this being the complete opposite result to that which we had hoped for.) It is for this reason why addictions, of any kind, are so dangerous. In their longing for control, addicts keep doing the very thing that is taking that control away from them. Therefore, whatever they do is never enough, for they are seeking something that is destined to never show up, for life itself is uncontrollable.

The ending message of this blog post then, now we know that even life itself is out of our control, is this:

Don’t waste your whole life striving to conquer the impossible, especially not through addiction because, it’s just not worth it. But you, and your life, they are worth it, always. So, don’t throw it all away, please don’t do that to yourself.

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