No matter what addiction a person uses; it is always for the same purpose. We use drugs, alcohol, sex, spending, video gaming, gambling, exercise, power, control, work, etc. to change the way we feel.
When do we know that our use of an addiction has entered the danger zone? When other people tell us that we have a problem or when we are social isolating ourselves so much that we rarely have human contact.
The chosen addiction is simply the car we choose to ride in instead of feeling all our feelings–uncomfortable as well as the pleasant ones. It gives us the opportunity to live in our heads in a world of our own creation.
The disease model of addiction has helped add to the confusion about addiction. Addicts live in a self-induced delusion. The delusion is that the world revolves around them. In reality, the world doesn’t revolve around any individual.
As John Powell has written, we each need a Copernican moment when we realize the world doesn’t revolve around us. Remember Copernius went against all other thinkers to say that the Sun didn’t revolve around Earth, but that Earth revolved around the Sun.
In other words, some of the main issues in addiction treatment are maturity issues. The age at which a person started drinking, using, eating, buying, being overpowering to others, using sex, etc. is the emotional age he/she still is. If he/she started at age 15, which is pretty normal, then he/she is age 15 emotionally.
So recovery is generally about growing up. Another main issue of why people are addictive is to continue to live life in their head or in their imagination. No one knows reality–we only have a perception of reality.
As the hero in 10 Million Ways to Die says,”I never knew that I lived in a world that I hadn’t created..” That is why the addict experiences such anger at having to give up the addiction. It seems to the addict to only be pertaining to him/her. In reality, the addiction is affecting everyone in the addict’s life.
Links to posts about different addictions:
Mahjong— Fueling Addiction
Exercise—A Not-So-Healthy Addiction
Spending—How to Cope With Spending Addiction
Pornography—Pornography Addiction and Marriage
Video Gaming—Frontline Looks at Video Addiction in South Korea
Makeup—My Addiction Since Jan 07