Hello fellow readers! Hope everyone is in good spirits and channeling their positivity! I wanted to share with you all today about a demon that affects so many people in so many ways, that demon is Addiction. Addiction can come in many forms and many ways so I think it is important to understand it and not isolate it to one thing.

According to the American Psychology Association addiction can be defined as: Addiction is a complex condition, a brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequence. So I think by definition when we read that many would interpret that substance as something you consume, but that really isn’t the case. That substance can be something that is ingested, something that is consumed, and even something that is acted upon. The key to the above definition is “complex” and “disease”. No matter what the addiction is these two key words say it all. Addition is not simple and it is not the same thing as a habit, it is something that is controlling your life and your brain will not let you take control and stop it.

So addiction comes at me in two different ways in my life. Number one I have seen addiction in its true form and helped some one conquer that addiction. Number two I myself have had an addiction and have conquered it. Now, I choose to say conquered but I could lose control at any point and my addiction could easily conquer me! Anytime you struggle with any type of addiction you are never cured, it is a constant internal battle to make your brain choose the healthier option and deny the addiction. Anyone at anytime who has had an addiction can relapse and allow the addiction to take back a hold of them. So unless you have ever had an addiction it is really unfair to say to an addict why can’t you just quit, they would love to quit but their brain will not let them.

One of the biggest issues with addiction is that people tend to only associate addictions with things like drugs and alcohol. While these are obviously very big addiction problems they are not the only ones. People can be addicted to just about anything. Some common ones outside of drugs and alcohol are: gambling, food, video gaming, sex, work, internet, and social media. All or any of these can take over someones life and completely ruin it. The important thing to remember is that every addiction is real and needs to be handled in it’s own way depending on what addiction it is, how severe the addiction is, and who the person dealing with the addiction is.

For me my addiction was with food and more specifically sweets. It was a compulsive behavior for me to sneak to a convenience store daily to buy 3-4 (some days more) little debbie cakes and eat them as quickly as possible so no one would no. There were days I felt like I couldn’t function without a cake or a cookie in my life. When I got stressed or upset I wanted something to comfort me and the junk food did that. It made me feel good! Even now after being sugar free for almost a year I still struggle with that. When I have a bad day I want a cookie. When I see other people enjoying sweets I want them. It is a constant battle in my head with myself. I have to tell myself what eating one piece of cake would do to my progress and my body, and even then it could be a twenty minute internal argument with my demons tempting me. The key is not allowing that demon to win the battle, because the second my demon does could be the second that all my progress de-rails and I my journey comes to a screeching halt.

The first step in helping any condition is admitting that you have an addiction. You can not begin to work on getting healthier and stopping your addiction is you don’t think you have one. Some people can see they have an issue, many others this will come to them through the form of a concerned friend or family member. Once you admit you have an addiction you can then begin to rehabilitate yourself. For many this will require a strong support system, removal from the addiction itself (
for example with me I wouldn’t go into a bakery and tempt myself with indulgence) and either rehab in a facility or with an addiction counselor. You also can not push an addict into getting help, they have to want the help and they have to want to take back control of their life. If they don’t all you can do is help guide them toward it and do your best to not support their addiction. If you are enabling them you are hurting them.

If you think you have an addiction of some sort of a loved one that may have one take the time to educate yourself. There are numerous hotlines that can be called for support and help in finding care. Secondly, do not be ashamed that you have an addiction, many people have one and never do anything about it, so remind yourself your admitting you have one and help is available and you should go for it! Until next time….Keep Ketoing On!