Addictions are a growing issue that many people from all walks of life, deal with in one way or another. Addictions can be in any shape of form, from drugs and alcohol, pornography, internet, food, lack of food, exercise, people, and the list goes on.
It is also quite often that people will develop more than one form of addiction which can feel overwhelming and out of control, while some, more so myself, will admit to having an addictive personality (not to be confused with people being addicted to my personality!), in which we exert some self-control by not engaging with certain things that we know we will get hooked on.
Dealing with multiple addictions can feel like living in an incredibly messy house – where to start? The task at hand just feels insurmountable and that there is no point to even try to tidy up, because one person can only do so much on our own.
Let’s look at what addictions actually are. They are a defence mechanism that we develop over time to take away the pain we are feeling, to drown out the messages we don’t want to accept. It starts off small, a house doesn’t get messy overnight, we believe we have things under control – then realisation sets in years later, if at all!
Personally, I would feel like setting fire to the house, though for some reason I would hate to let it go – a really confusing feeling! Why would I want to hang on to such a messy place?
Because it is my place.
That will never change.
Same with addictions, the addiction is the mess, the house is us – our identity is not shaped by our addictions, our addictions hide our true value.
Let me re-frame this concept: we develop addictions because we are valuable.
As highlighted above, addictions are defence mechanisms, defence mechanisms are engaged to protect something that is worth defending – you would not be defending yourself if you did not believe you have value.
Now, I am certainly not advocating for the use of addictions, there are healthier defence mechanisms we can develop to protect ourselves, and at the same time enjoy the serenity of a clean house.
Remember, the mess wouldn’t be here in the first place if you didn’t see some self-worth in you.