It’s been a while since I have written anything here. I have a list of things I have been meaning to write about, but I never seem to get down to writing them. You might want to sit down for this blog though, as it is going to be a long one:
You don’t need to be an addict to understand addiction. Why do people look down on those who are addicts? Why is it that we don’t respect them the same way as a non-addict? No one is born an addict. So many of us are addicted to something (maybe many things): we are all guilty of this. It is simply just the choices we make, that we then lose control over; you make the same choice enough times and it turns into habit and habits are hard to undo. Addiction is not easy to live with, no one chooses to live a life where they no longer have control over what they are doing. Everybody wants to be in control. Why is it that someone who has a shopping addiction is more acceptable in society than someone who is addicted to smoking, drinking or any other drug?
The reality is addition is caused over time, often while a person is trying to deal with life’s many issues. Some people like to shop to make themselves feel better and others like to smoke to forget about the pain they are going through, before they know it, these enjoyments become their addiction. At first it’s a choice, a quick fix to escape the reality of whatever the situation is. So many things happen in our lives that really push us to our limits and we often break. Some of us mentally can cope, but others turn to their addiction.
Many of us know individuals that are addicted to something. We judge them, we look down on them. We expect them to give it up (just like that) and become a better person, but little do we know that these individuals are trying, day in, day out, to give this habit up. The struggle they face is immeasurable.
Even though there is help available, at first people do not want to talk about their addiction, not even to those closest to them, never mind seeking professional help. People often suffer in silence, never talk to anyone about their struggles. we could be with them most days and never know anything because they don’t want us to think any less of them. They want to maintain the image we have of them. Society can be harsh and make anyone feel unworthy at times.
When they do choose to talk, all they get told is “give it up,” “it’s not good for you,” or “you’re killing yourself.” All we start doing is lecturing about how awful their habit is and how we know better. Of course, the person who’s living with an addiction knows that it has consequences; they know how bad it can be for their health; they know that it is not the life they want: they know all the pitfalls – they suffer them over and over. We don’t need to remind them of all the awful things that can happen to them: they are already being reminded every day.
What we need to do is be more positive. If we are lucky enough that a loved one respects and values your view and chooses to talk about their addiction, please remember that they are coming to you for help. We should keep our ears and minds open and keep our egos to one side – this is not about us. We should listen to them because that’s all we can do, as a friend or a companion you can’t make them give anything up, but by being there for them you can support them on that journey. It’s up to each person how they chose to better themselves and we all have our own ways of doing this.
If you do know of someone suffering from addiction of any kind my advice is to keep listening to them. Do not force them to quit as this will only make them want to carry on. They may think you don’t accept them the way they are, so you want them to change. In most cases that’s not true, we still love them for who they are and are trying to be helpful but have simply chosen the wrong approach. Don’t forget they are just people, with feelings and emotions and frustrations. Sometimes people don’t even know why they make the choices that they make.
We should be grateful and thankful that we can be part of their journey of recovery, as not everyone wants to give up something that has helped them cope with grief, sadness, loneliness or regret. Although, we know addiction has never helped anyone, recognise that for them it is their way of life, a choice they made to help them deal with the world around them that has then taken over their entire life. A choice that has become an addiction. . .
Addiction of any kind is bad and it can kill people, but let us not forget that non-addicts die too: no one lives forever. So, love everyone and disrespect no one.