Signs of Addiction and How to Overcome it

When we see the word addiction, we are so quick to relate it to drugs but in reality, it could mean addiction to other things as well.  Have you ever realized that you are on your nth stick of cigarette, have not lived a day without alcohol or perhaps drowning on credit card debt because of the purchases you’ve made.

If so, then you are probably addicted. Addiction could be a dependence on absolutely anything; it could be on food, drugs, alcohol, or smoking cigarettes. If you find yourself fighting an urge to open the next bag of chips or saying no to another bottle of beer, then you might need an intervention. It is not going to stop on its own; you have to accept that there might be something wrong before you could do something about it.

These situations could spell trouble, you could be having those uncontrolled sprees because you are addicted and before you succumb to it, here are some signs to determine if you are indeed experiencing physical addiction.

–        Anxiety – Are you anxious to know the next sale? Perhaps looking forward to your next coffee break just to get the feel of a cigarette on your mouth? Whatever the case may be, if you are addicted to something, chances are you feel anxious on when you are going to experience it again. The next high that would provide you with some sort of satisfaction that for some reason doesn’t last very long.

–        Justification – Once you are experiencing the anxiousness on getting your next “high”, you also start defending your actions from the people who are noticing them. Could be your parents, friends, or even officemates. You tend to reason out you are getting another bag of chips because you feel stressed, or having a case of munchies, whatever it takes just to get it. But in reality, you are just seeking satisfaction and it won’t be your last. The promise of that certain satisfaction goes higher every day that you start to do it more often.

–        Denial and concealment – And as it progresses, you start denying it from observers; you feel that people are trying to stop you from your happiness. Yes, you start to associate it to your happiness and the source of your addiction slowly becomes your main focus in life. You also attempt to conceal it from those people who feel that you need an intervention, because it’s getting out of hand.

–        Obsession – At this stage, you are definitely hooked. You are unable to stop yourself from doing the habit and it is already affecting you not only physically, but in all facets of your life. It hampers you from functioning as you normally would, damaging your relationships and affecting your work.

How To Overcome Your Addiction

If there’s a problem, there is a solution. You just have to be ready to accept and enforce it, here are some ways you could overcome an addiction:

–        Get a buddy. This is essential on your journey to getting better. You are accountable for this change in your life, but you will need all the support you could get. If smoking is your addiction, then hanging out with fellow smokers is a bad idea. You need time off of it, and a buddy could be very useful in reminding you.

–        Replace the habit with a new one. For all those times you wanted to go to the mall just to do a shopping spree, you could pick up a new hobby to replace it. For this to be effective, make it something you really enjoy. Take time to experiment on this one, be creative, plus it doesn’t really have to be the same over a long period of time. Just pick up a hobby, so that your mind won’t wander.

–        Establish your support group. Every family member, friend and officemate is integral in your journey to overcome addiction. Once you let them in, they will be able to help you navigate your life with fewer encounters with the triggers of your addiction.

–        Be accountable. After accepting that you have an addiction, be focused by being accountable to your own actions. You could start a blog or a diary, to assess how you feel and own it. After all, you are the only person in the world who could make this change happen.

Always remember that the journey to recovery will not be easy, but it is possible. Addiction could take many forms and be overcome in many ways. Only one thing is certain, accepting the fact that you may be addicted is the most crucial part of the journey.