This article was inspired by my Aggie friend, Jeff Nixon, who gave me this title to write about before he passed away suddenly an unexpectedly on Thursday, December 13th, 2018. Rest in eternal peace, Jeff! Aggie Pride!
When people hear the word “addiction” most people probably think about drug addiction immediately. The noun “addiction” is defined as, the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity.
So what exactly do we become addicted to?
When I think about the answer to the question I specifically think about addictions to drugs, (including alcohol), technological gadgets ranging from cell phones to iPads, gaming devices, food, sex, gambling, and shopping. I don’t believe that addictions to any of these are healthy or good for it severely affects one’s quality of life (which could be better spent doing more productive and meaningful things) as well as affect pretty much everything that would ordinarily help a person live what most would define as a normal life. Worst still is that these addictions can severely affect relationships with people who would otherwise be significant and meaningful in the addicted person’s life.
From my experience with interactions with addicted people or hearing of other people’s experiences with them, the struggle to overcome an addiction is painstakingly tumultuous and heart wrenching at times! An uphill battle of wills, stubbornness, denial, and one requiring much patience and tough love from those who choose to ride alongside the addicted person on this roller coaster of indecisiveness and chaos.
It’s heart-wrenching to watch those we love gamble away all their possessions in their quest for that next big win, or to watch those we love shop for things that are unnecessary. How do we bond and communicate with the loved one who spends so much time on gaming that as day turns to night there has been no meaningful dialogue?
I’ve often heard it said that one can’t seek help until s/he first admits that she needs it. I’m not quite sure how I feel about that statement. But what I do believe is that as hard as it may be for some of us to watch our loved ones sink deeper and deeper into what we see as the pit of despair, sometimes it is very necessary to allow them to hit rock bottom. It’s only when a person has but one direction to look – up – that they themselves sometimes come to realize that they do need help. Addictions of any kind are not easy to watch or to manage but supporting those who need help and locating resources for when they need that help can be done by those who await the day when the addicted loved ones are ready for change.