I’ll be honest, I’m not quite sure where to start with this. All I know is this is a thought I’ve had all week and have felt I needed to take time to write about this. Let’s be honest, we all have addictions. Maybe I’m wrong, but if we look deep within we more than likely have something that maybe we’re not even really willing to address.
I would dare say the number 1 addiction I hear people talk about or even joke about is caffeine. I know I can get hooked on things easily so I’ve avoided caffeine my whole life. Until a few years ago I could say I had NEVER had caffeine. The one time I had it was a complete accident - you know a crystal light mix in. My boys wanted me to try this strawberry one. They mixed it in water and I drank it and it tasted good. I drank it early afternoon and about 2 a.m. I was shaking and told my husband I couldn’t sleep to save my life. I was super wired. That’s when Rick said it’s like you’ve had caffeine and he went and checked the mix ins. Um, the energy crystal lite has more caffeine than Red Bull. I was soooo sick, worst headache ever the next day. Honestly I was like no way ever will I drink caffeine again and I check everything. I’m much more cautious. I don’t want to experience that again.
For some reason I’ve always like being able to say I’ve never done this or that and another one for me is I’ve never watched a rated R movie. For one, I don’t like anything scary, bloody, stressful, someone dying, mean comedy - ya, I’m super picky and second, I figure it’s best to stay away from things that I could get stuck into.
One time I was taking a lot of medication for pain and my doctor suggested that maybe my body was becoming addicted to the medication and signaling headaches and pain so I would take more. It hadn’t been a long time on the medication and my doctor suggested slowly going off of the medication, but at the word of addiction I was like I’m done. I wasn’t willing to be in that category so I immediately went off of the medication. Yes, there were side effects for a couple of weeks and it was difficult, but I wasn’t willing to dwell in the addiction category.
Not all addictions are serious. In fact, quite often that word is used for an addiction to a show, or being healthy or working out or certain foods or chocolate, a certain restaurant, a certain hobby. The list can go on and on about addictions - good and bad.
When I’ve visited with friends or people who are addicted to alcohol or smoking or drugs or pornography or things that might be more on the harmful side I’ve always felt I’ve had a connection, a deeper understanding to them. It’s like I could really feel the difficulty and the pain and the bouncing back and forth of breaking the habit and then going back to it. As I’d think about my life I’d think to myself how do I have such a deep connection to this feeling when I’ve not ever done any of these things, but I did.
Over the last couple of years as I’ve gone through counseling and been cleaning out the boxes, cobwebs and messes in my dark storage room that has been under many locks with no keys available there’s been a lot of light shining on things. I’ve been able to work through and beat many things, but dang, there’s somethings that are just a BEAST!!!! Honestly, I’ve plowed through over the couple of years and had very few times where I’ve felt I was going to give up - I’ve been super determined to beat the demons from my past, but the last few weeks my addictions, my obsessions and deep seeded pain has caused me to want to really give up. I’ve been super discouraged and my weaknesses, addictions are kicking my trash!!!!
When I’m in my right mind I’m doing pretty good. I’m like this makes sense. I’m strong. I’m healing. I don’t need these things in my life. BUT, all it takes is small tiny triggers and I’m longing for my addictions. I’m super hyper focused on things that are not good for me. I call myself destructo and boy, when I go into destructo mode it’s a terrible situation. I could easily make decisions that could cause damage, that could hurt me and hurt others. And when I’m in that mode there’s not a lot that anyone can do to bring me down, to bring me back to the logical and the reasonable side of things. It’s like a darkness comes over me. There’s no hope. I mine as well give up. There’s no hope for me. I hear the words of so many of my abusers. I’m not worth anything and there’s no way anyone would want me in their life.
So, all of these years I’ve thought I avoided addictions, but on the other hand, always felt a connection to those that have very hard addictions and been able to relate to the falling back into the addictions, but thought, I don’t really have any strong addictions. . .so, what are my addictions???
My addictions, my weaknesses, the things that beat me down are:
Telling myself I’m not worth anything
These addictions might not seem like anything compared to drugs, pornography, alcohol, smoking or other addictions, but trust me, they are super real. You might wonder how I could call these addictions - just stop saying and believing these things about myself. Just stop! That’s what I thought. That’s what I totally thought, but as I’ve battled to rewire these beliefs it’s a fight. A super real fight with myself and when there’s triggers, things that happen that cause me to doubt myself they flood in like a mudslide. And why would that happen? Well, think about it, it’s something I’ve believed about myself for years, like YEARS, like over 30 years. I’ve not thought differently.
And when I feel happy, safe, start building really good relationships it’s super unfamiliar. What? How can I dwell in this space? How can I believe that people love me and want me around and aren’t going to leave? How do I feel love and feel safe? Over the last 2 years I’ve learned, I’m aware of what happens, the triggers and gratefully lately many times I’ve been able to switch around my thinking quicker, but it’s a fight.
And what happens when I get stuck in the rut and start telling and believing these things over and over. . .I find these types of people. I seek out finding these types of people. AND, if I can’t find these types of people I take it upon myself to create these things to happen with the nice people in my life. I create what I believe is going to happen.
This creates sooooo much pain. The pain is super deep and real and then it causes me to want to lock up my heart and believe that I can’t let people in close. Once I lock up my heart then I’m not able to have any close relationships. I have relationships, but more on the surface. It’s a very hard cycle.
Not only are these terms and beliefs deep rooted and have been what I’m comfortable with over the last few weeks I’ve come to understand a greater, deeper addiction. Something that is super painful and is still hard for me to understand. I’m very grateful for my husband, small close group of friends and my counselor that are helping me to understand this addiction. As I look back over this last year this addiction has caused lots of pain for me. Like consumed me and I’ve not known how to break it. The last few times this has hit me I’ve recognized it more and I’ve been able to work more away from it quicker, but not without pain. I long for this. I long for this type of approval in my life. I’m not ready to share the specifics about this part of me, but it’s been so helpful to understand the triggers and the addiction and what gets me to this point.
I’ve come to better understand addictions, the longing, the attachment, the familiarity, the longing for what I’ve known, whether it’s good or bad. It’s something that I’m willing to fight, to work through and count my blessings for my support group that’s there through the highs and lows and pulling me through the hard times. These are my core, my people, who have walked with me through my counseling and understand what’s sincerely best for me.
A wife and mother of 4 boys and 2 daughter-in-law, I have spent my entire adult life devoted to my family. I have been busy in their schools, supporting them in all of their school work, sporting events, activities, etc. I spent years heavily involved in the PTA, church callings, etc Life for me has always been overwhelmingly busy. While I thought this was my sanity, the truth is it masked issues - real issues - that I needed to work on to gain true sanity. I am sharing my story in this blog. I do this so that I might be able to help other women find their true sanity