Why Are We All Addicts
A homeless person in the park sniffing glue, a skinny person with a heroin needle in their arm, or a vodka drinker at breakfast comes to mind when we think of an addict. However, such gothic characterizations conceal far more general and less obviously dramatic, but still harmful phenomena. What a person is addicted to has nothing to do with their addiction. It cannot be neatly limited to people who depend on alcohol or strong drugs.
Addiction is essentially defined as relying on something. Because it keeps some thoughts from entering our minds, it may be anything. The addict focuses on their chosen hobby to prevent unwanted feelings from crashing into their mental theater. Their particular addiction may be to pot or whiskey, but it may just as easily be to their phone or ever-larger buckets of fried chicken. You can become dependent on cleaning the kitchen cabinets, keeping the books straight, tracking migratory birds, or talking to your mother. What the addict most dreads is being left alone, being left with nothing to do but withdraw within themselves, and having to confront excruciating grief or regret, fear or longing.
Too many of us get off the hook because of the widespread misconception of what addiction is. It enables people to justify their actions by saying that they are simply returning to work, reading the news, working out at the gym, or keeping up with football scores. But addicts are neither sinister nor helpless. They are primarily terrified. Therefore, love and comfort should be used as the answer rather than censorship and lectures.
We need to take action to give individuals the confidence to open more doors in their brains and the sense of security to know they can manage whatever lurks inside. We never actually like fried chicken or social media posts either. We are just at a loss as to how to begin to reflect on the trajectory of our lives without being terrified.
Reference: School of Life