Questions About Addiction? I’ve Got Your Answers

My Definition of Addiction: When the thing you cannot live without is killing you. When your reason to live renders life meaningless.

Are You Dealing With Addiction in Yourself or People You Love? Look Here for answers

I was reading a post written by a fellow blogger and I had to weigh in. Why do addicts sit in front of counselors, crying, desperate, all that…and refuse to take hold if advice? Here’s what you need to know:

Not only have I been an addict but I’ve had the good fortune of doing a lot of drug treatment programs. Although I was usually spurred into action by a judge from the judge,I can now consider myself fortunate to get this course of study without taking out tens if thousands of dollars in student loans. What did I learn? Addict thinking, or the tendencies addicts seem to share in the way they perceive themselves and their place in the world. I pretty much agree with what’s already been said by the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous but what I have is additions to what the authors knew then and specific life examples that clearly illustrate The Point. And what’s The Point? The addict’s theme is “it is all about me and it it’s not, it should be.”

Why do Addicts reject advice they asked for? Speaking from the depth if my anecdotal non-scientific observations I must add that addicts believe in their own correctness. They (this includes me) default to a way of thinking that values their own wisdom above everyone else’s, in spite of evidence to the contrary. I’ll give you a for instance.

I enjoy watching shows that feature people addicted to something other than drugs and alcohol because I want to see if there are similarities in so-called “addict thinking.” I watched an episode of a show featuring people so overweight they are no longer able to walk or stand up without help. One of the overweight women, confined to a specially designed bed that could withstand the burden of her weight (over 600 pounds) was arguing nutrition with the dietician/marathon runner who had come to help the food addict with advice about healthy eating. The addict became furious at the dietician for suggesting she cut back on fried food. The addict did not believe such an extreme measure was necessary or even a legit approach to eating. Does that addict want a better life? She would not have been a part of the program being shown had she not sought help. Does she want to be able to get to the bathroom unassisted and not have her weight interfere with her toileting needs because folds of flesh are covering areas that need cleaning? Of course!  “Yes, but…” That dietician did not know her. Giving up fried food may have worked for this marathon runner, but everyone was different, yes? Kind of extreme. Aren’t we supposed to learn moderation and not get a new obsession like running for hours in end? Who was a marathon runner to advise her about being reasonable? An observer would not think someone closing in on a weight of half a ton would not object to any diet, no matter how extreme The viewer is incredulous. Look at yourself! the viewer thinks.

like all addicts are inclined to reject the validity of anything that might interfere with consumption. “Yes, but…” That’s a phrase addiction counselors hear all the time.

Doublemindedness is at the heart of addiction

As addicts we want new and better lives but we don’t want to change. We want to stop and we don’t want to ever go without. We know it all and no one needs to tell us what to do, yet we are powerless over our addictions. You get the gist of the cognitive dissonance that’s a hallmark of addiction. There’s a book that wasn’t specifically written for addicts but it is applicable to the addict’s dilemma. One paraphrase of this book says that a double minded person is unstable in all of his ways. And that double mindedness is the definition of addiction–conflicted minds rendering life unstable in every way. Addiction is NOT sitting in front of a recognized guru and simply refusing to apply clear cut wisdom. It’s sitting in front of someone who the addict thinks may or may not know what he is talking about, listening to what he says, and thinking “yes, but…”

2 responses to “Questions About Addiction? I’ve Got Your Answers”

  1. The double minded perspective and yes but philosophy hits it in the head.

    I hope this entry can help someone realize things about their way of thinking if they truly want help.


    • Awesome! I’m glad you liked it. I appreciate you.


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