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The Power of Addiction and The Struggle to Overcome It

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.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Unfortunately some , never reach that readiness and addiction takes their lives, or have them lose everything.
    By that time they have built up an army of enablers which keep them from seeing themselves in the hope that they (the enablers ) can protect them from facing consequences.
    Addiction tends to spread beyond just the individual .

  2. Good conversation piece. As one who has had to deal with loved ones and their addictions (drugs, gambling, gaming) it was an awful and at times painful experience.

    I learned as you say you have to wait until they admit they need help. You cannot be a parachute or safety net for them. If you enable them you’re just as bad as the addiction.

  3. Sigh… I’ve witnessed addiction to gaming and it irritates me how people could waste TIME and MONEY. I do agree, that it is unproductive and can negatively impact relationships. However, those that participate in this type of activity have a different view. To them it’s entertainment… REALLY!! They do not realize the power the addiction has over them but must first see it for what it is before they can attempt to overcome it.

  4. Good read. Addiction is definitely an “inward fight” that must be battled. As outsiders all we can do is continue to let the addicted know of our love and support. We can be a conduit to helpful resources but not an enabler. The tentacles of addiction can be far reaching and impacting.

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