Sex, Drugs, Rock and Soul

'The fact or condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or involved in something.' *

Addiction can be any repetitive, destructive and or harmful pattern of behaviour. Its limits and its boundaries vary from individual to individual and from relationship to relationship.
Common addictions are drugs, work, alcohol, porn, exercise, self- harm, sex, gambling, smoking, money, relationships and food to name but a few. An addiction can be a behaviour or a substance but one that is sustained through dependency and feels out of control. Often we think of an addiction as a secret, a guilty indulgence but in actual fact is compulsive and obsessive'.
Are you enslaved to a habit or practice that makes you or another person unhappy? Does your family or relationships take second place to your addiction? Addiction can often feel like it has a spiritual entity all of its own and I wonder what part an addiction plays in your life. What is its purpose? How does it serve you as an individual or your relationship?
Is it time to take responsibility for ourselves? We have a choice in how we choose to live our lives, however difficult those decisions can be, but often the choices and control rest with us. Life can be cruel and unfair and denial can seem easier. It is possible to take responsibility for ensuring that there are aspects of your life that need to be changed in order to be more satisfied and fulfilled- given the opportunity and motivation.
With the ever increasing breakdown of society, community and relationships it is difficult to find someone we can trust. Social mobility and the rise of social working websites means we have become ever more independent and self- reliant. Technology can be useful and has its place even within the world of therapy but can become destructive when it is the only way we have of communicating. Our relationship is with a computer or maybe a phone and often can become an addiction within itself. Without connecting with another human being we can lose the ability physically, mentally and lack the self -confidence to interact with others. Balance is the key word.
There has never been more of a time and a need for human contact to share our burdens, share our fears and help us look at understanding the problems and issues we face in an ever increasingly stressful world. Often it is about filling that void ' a hole in your soul.'
How do you cope with frustration, the stress, lack of time, too much time, too little attention. All of these feelings can lead to a crisis, a panic in how one can survive in an ever increasingly judgemental world. This can lower your confidence and self- esteem to its base and make you question the very being of your existence. How do you make sense of yourself or your relationships?
Does some of this sound over -whelming because it can be…… who or what have you turned to, to alleviate the pressure. What is your drug of choice? Heroin, Cocaine, Ecstasy or Alcohol? Or maybe it's an addiction to spending money, working too hard, gambling, and sex, over or under-eating,
exercise. When none of these work do you blame your partner, hitting out at them in anger or another human being in sheer frustration.
These are often a short term fix which if left out of control can lead to negative consequences , with long term debilitating effects on you mentally, your body physically and your relationships. The problem is using these 'tools' slowly destroy a relationship with yourself and your relationships with others, which deep down is the key thing you are trying to preserve.
Does it help you get rid of the boredom? How do you numb pain or maybe inflict a sense of feeling? Is it about creating a purpose, a sense of meaning to living? A meaningful ritual. How do you ease the internal discomfort of an uncomfortable life? Or maybe it's the comfortable life causing the internal discomfort.
Do you recognise the signs in others? It's not always easy. Some are more obvious than others. Here are a few possible signs.
Financial debt -the Red letters, threatening phone calls, bailiffs.
Drugs –The dilated pupils, slurred speech, broken veins, agitated manner.
Alcohol –Glazed look, impaired balance, alcohol breath.
Food – Obese or anorexic.
Self-Harm –Marks on skin, long sleeve clothes in hot weather.
Domestic Violence – this can become an addiction, a force of habit. But isn't just physical violence, it can be emotional, financial, or sexual abuse. Often the bruises can be visible or maybe you've seen the confidence of someone you know erode. Someone become a shadow of their former self and dominated by their partner.
What has stopped you from seeking help? Shame, Guilt, Self-disgust? A fear that you have to just 'stop' suddenly or the self- doubt that nothing can help? Maybe you think you are weak or maybe you are in denial. Strength and courage lay in being able to admit that you feel out of control and how this affects others in your life. You do have a choice, you can be more powerful and resilient and just by reading this you have become more aware.
There is another way, acknowledging that life is hard but that maybe there is another way of managing and coping. That it is possible for you to take control of your life and take the initiative to make changes and become less afraid…..maybe even become 'high on life' just by being alive and accepting yourself.
Therapy or counselling is another way, it is confidential and it can help you look at yourself in a non- judgemental environment. It can help you gain new self- respect, self -worth and confidence. It can enable you to change your relationships both with yourself and others. It can increase your awareness, show you your strengths, help you look at your options and take control of your life for a happier existence.
Perhaps now it may be the time to look at the alternatives. Let our relationship work on recognising the relationship you have with your addiction. Given the opportunity and motivation what have you got to lose?