[*Automated Podcast Transcript. Typos likely.]
Hi everyone. It’s your host, Amber Desmond, Emotional Awareness Coach at Emotional Medicine Coaching. Today’s episode trigger warning. It is about addiction, so when I say addiction, I just want you to take a moment and see what comes to mind. When I say addict, that person’s addicted. This is an addict. What do you think of? What is the first thing that comes to mind? Drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, porn, all things that are things that people are addicted to, but today I want to talk about the myriad of different things that we’re addicted to. You give me a person, I’ll show you someone who is addicted to something. This is in no way, shape or form about judgment or shaming. On the contrary, this is about demystifying or trying to release some of the shame and sort of knee jerk reactions that we have towards the concept of addiction because we’ve criminalized so much of addiction at this point and stigmatized it that now being an addict is something that is said in 12 step groups where people can be supported by other people who are addicts or you’re in prison, in prison. Maybe you say it in your therapy or in a support group, but it’s not something you generally walk around expressing like, Hey, I’m an addict. It’s like maybe you say you’re in recovery. And so I’d also like to think about, have you think about like what does it mean to be in recovery? What are you recovering when you’re in recovery and you’ve recovered?
Most people say they’ve recovered themselves. So there is this true essence, this part of us that can never be hurt or destroyed by things that we do, but that remains intact. But we might lose sight of it. Disconnect, so to speak, even though you can’t ever really disconnect from the essence of who you truly are. But you can, you can damp in it, you can focus other places, you can lose sight of it. You can lose yourself in other things in your life. So I’ve written a list of all the things that I have personally come to understand and see as things that we can be addicted to. So I’m just going to read off the list to start. And while I’m reading, I might, uh, talk a little bit more about some of these things because you might be like, so first drugs, slash medication, that’s the obvious.
Lots and lots and lots of drug addiction and people addicted to pain medications, things that they’re being prescribed, the abusive Adderall and Ritalin and just all the ways that we are, you know, then the illegal drugs of heroin, crystal Meth, crack cocaine, all those things. And of course, the marijuana though, I mean, people can be addicted to pot in the sense that they’re using it to numb out and to escape themselves. So there is that element of addiction to pot-smoking. I don’t think there’s necessarily a physical addiction connected to pot. Like you don’t have withdrawals necessarily. Uh, I’m sure that there are some people who will say that they have, and certain adjustments that maybe their brain chemistry had to go through if they smoked the enormous amounts of pot regularly. That’s a whole nother topic. So then we’ve got alcohol. We all know about alcoholism.
Probably nine out of 10 people listening to this know an alcoholic or have one in their lives or our one themselves. So alcoholism is rampant, at least in the United States and that’s where I am. Then there’s cigarettes. Cigarettes are a massive addiction substance that sa legal and going on in our, our country, caffeine, the other legal stimulants that we are very openly able to have as well as even openly express our addiction towards caffeine. I mean most everybody I know who drinks caffeine openly and willingly talks about their dependency. Like I can’t do anything until I have my coffee. There are funny memes about coffee and their funny memes about moms and wine and moms and coffee and all of these ways that we’re, you know, openly kind of talking about addiction but not necessarily calling it addiction. And then of course there’s food and food is a very broad topic.
There’s a lot of ways that we’re addicted to food. But right now I’m just gonna use the general category food. Then there’s sex and love addiction. And my partner asked what love addiction was cause he was like, what? So love addiction is not like you’re actually addicted to what is it that the bigger picture of love, the concept of, of love and the concept of God being love or anything like that. This is love. Addiction is more like you can’t be alone. You can’t be not in a relationship that you’re constantly seeking love and connection or whatever your version of love and connection with other people. And it’s something that might be driving your life in a very compulsive manner. So sex, we know about sex addiction and people who have to have sex or feel very drawn to having sex in ways that is harmful or maybe dangerous and makes them feel out of control but they can’t seem to stop. Then there’s money, money, lots of people money. And there’s another one I have on here is power, money and power. You know, then there’s shopping, which I all have kind of globbed together.
Money addiction is more like the acquiring of money, the collecting, the gathering, the making of money and feeling like you’re compulsively driven to make money and to have money. And I’m not talking about survival needs cause we all at this point have to have money to survive, to be able to pay for our, our homes and food and so on. But I’m talking about when money is the driving force of your existence in a way that is harming your relationships with people shopping. We all know about shopping addiction. So what does that look like? Shopping addiction can be, you know, just the same as any addiction in the sense that it’s something you’re trying to do to make yourself feel better. It’s trying to fill a void. It is something you think by getting this thing, whatever that might be, you might temporarily feel soothed from whatever stress or anxiety or sense of lack of worth and maybe this thing will then make you feel more whole or valuable and it will fill a temporary need until it doesn’t.
And then you have to get something else. And so there’s the cycle perpetuates. And usually with shopping addiction you end up spending money and getting yourself in debt and spending money you don’t have. And then that is where the real problem really starts. Then we have working addiction, which is not quite the same as money addiction. Working addiction can be an addiction to feeling. I also have in here being busy. It’s also an addiction to feeling important. Feeling like you’ll have purpose. Work. Addiction can also be a way of avoiding other parts of your life. It can be a way that you don’t have to go home or you don’t have to face yourself or you don’t have to look inward and be still and have enough time to really evaluate maybe what’s making you feel like you have to keep working and the compulsion that can come with that.
Being busy is just, it’s an epic epidemic at this point. Uh, in our cultural history I find that kids are busier than ever. Achievement. Our drive for success and what you have to achieve by a certain time in your life and what is expected of you is enormous. So people are just busier than ever and it’s also yet another numbing. It’s another mechanism of avoidance. It’s another way to not necessarily have to stop and be still and be with yourself. It’s a way that your using to cope and to numb out. In a sense, if you’re so busy that you’re just so busy being busy, you don’t really have time to think about your life or yourself or who you are, what’s really going on or what that underlying gnawing ache is inside of you. One thing with addiction, like to have a little caveat here is every addiction has its purpose.
It has a genesis, it has a place of origin. People don’t. It’s a very missed misnomer that we as as people choose through poor choices to be drug addicts or alcoholics or you know, gamblers. Excessive gamblers are to become sac sex addicts. That somehow it’s a flaw in the human design or that it’s a disease of the brain. None of this is necessarily true. I mean, you can argue there’s all different kinds of information. I’m not here to argue the reason why addiction exists. I’m here to tell you what I have come to understand through my own research and through my own personal experience. So [inaudible] so being busy next religion people can be very addicted to religion and their personal beliefs about religion. I’m very attached, very afraid of, you know, being without it, that God in and of itself becomes the drug. God becomes the thing that you cling to.
When I say you, I mean just collectively, not you individually, whoever you are listening to this us, we all, I’ve definitely known a lot of people whose religion consumes their entire existence. And again, this isn’t a good, bad, wrong just what it is. So then we’ve got drama. We all know someone who’s addicted to drama. We all know that person or we’ve at least seen that person on TV or in a movie is somebody who was life feels really empty if things aren’t super dramatic. If there’s not just some sort of drama going on, they don’t know really what to do with themselves. And so then there’s tends to be sort of a perpetuation and a creation of more drama to continue to feed that cycle. So then we’ve got hating other people slash stemming from hating yourself. We have a lot of crazy stuff going on in our world right now, especially politically.
The social political environment right now is on fire. And there are a lot of people who are very, very, very attached to hating people, hating the other, whatever the other is, whatever, whatever side of that wall you’re on, you know, we, you know, either side can be full of hate and hate is understandable. Anger is understandable. This is what I’m talking about when it becomes pathological, not just a natural emotional response that is fleeting. I’m talking about people whom feed on hate, that that drives them, that it is a driving force in their life that maybe their hate or anger are causing problems at work. It’s causing problems at home. They don’t know how to have a, you know, connection with their children or their spouse or friends or coworkers and that this hatred and or anger flareups and kind of be one or the other or both.
Usually if you’re filled with hate, you’re pretty angry person. So, um, so you can have this addiction to anger as well. And this is not just some sort of metaphorical sense. This is a biological response that when you’re feeling angry consistently, when that is your set point, when that’s your sort of instantaneous reaction to so many things, then your body actually becomes addicted to the chemicals produced in your body when you have that response of anger. So literally becoming addicted to your own state of being when it comes to hating other people or blaming other people or thinking that these other people are what’s wrong with the world. And this is also connected to sense of con addiction to your own beliefs. So then we’ve got exercise. Exercise can be incredibly healthy. It’s I think something that everyone should do in some version or another.
We all need to move our bodies. Exercise is good for you, but mot exercise can also become obsessive. It can become pathological. There’s um, I’ve actually read several very interesting books about exercise. A Lexia I think is what it’s called to where it’s usually accompanied by a disordered eating by a, um, anorexia nervosa or bulimia, sometimes self harm. But where you’re using exercise as a form of control over your body to an extremely detrimental state where you’re really harming your body. So it’s, it’s a another, it’s another thing that on this list that might require more of an intervention and something that if not stopped or, um, acknowledged or worked on that it could eventually kill you. So then we have here beauty youth and our body’s appearances in general. Specifically I’m talking about women, but I also know that this can apply to men when it comes to like weight lifting and being cut and, um, you know, bulking up or whatever.
All the different things that guys like to do to look hot and, uh, which is all, it’s all totally okay to want to take pride in your appearance and to exercise and to be fit and healthy. But I’m talking about again, extremes I’m talking about when it becomes all consuming. When we are anxious, depressed, stressed out, and really consumed by our feelings about our appearance, about our body, about our weight, that we are spending all of our time in the gym or we’re getting excessive plastic surgery or we’re really hating ourselves because of our physical appearance. And recognizing that this in and of itself can become an addiction. It’s an addiction to can be over-exercising and or to buying beauty products, continuously trying to do things to improve your physical appearance in ways that might be harmful or excessive and that are all consuming to your life and maybe isolating and something you are hiding or not letting other people know you’re doing to a certain extent and what links you’re going to.
And this is when it’s an addiction. So then also one of the bigger ones. Now that’s, it’s such a, a new times addiction, but it’s the internet, our phones, social media and TV, entertainment information being constantly bombarded with stimulus. Um, it’s also an incredible way to numb out. I, I know that all of us most likely listening to this, I mean the fine, it’s a fine line between what’s healthy relationship with your internet, with online, with social media, with your phones, with TV, with being entertained and what’s addiction and I feel that I just want to add video games in there as well. I don’t, I don’t play video games but I know that that’s a, a pretty major thing that’s going on right now is gaming and video games and people spending hours upon hours and hours video gaming and it’s causing problems in their lives and their relationships and with family and with work and with their own health and we are literally spending so much time on screens that we’re neglecting ourselves and our relationships with other human beings in real life, real lifetime, face to face, human connection.
I feel with our phones in particular, there’s others a problem going on. I know that there’s a sort of thing you can look at or program onto your phone that tells you how much time you’ve spent on your phone or like how much I think you could like give you the graph of like how much time you’re checking or looking at or spending on social media and uh, it can be jarring and I suggest doing it just to get some insight into like, what is my usage? Like what is, what do I wanted to be? Also like with any addiction, looking at why am I reaching out for this substance, the substance being your phone, it’s a hit. You’re getting a hit, some hit. It’s just like picking up a pipe. You’re just taking a head off of your phone and what are you getting?
What are you getting? What is it helping you with? What is it feeding? Cause all of this, all addictions are coping mechanisms. They are things that we’re doing in looking for comfort and to feel better. It’s not some malicious dark entity of thing that we’re, I’m looking to judge or criticize. Not at all. I have plenty of my own addictions, which I will talk about also in this podcast. This might be a little long, so just be prepared. Um, but yeah, I will sometimes want to reach for my phone and I will sit and go. Okay. And wanting to reach for my phone right now to get on Instagram cause that’s my, my place that I enjoy. That’s my social media outlet. And so I think, what am I looking to get out of this exchange? And a lot of times it’s because maybe I’m feeling lonely or I’m feeling like I want to avoid something else in my life.
Like maybe there’s something I’m really needing to do but I don’t want to think about having to do it or the fact that I’m not doing it. And so what’s a good moment for me to take and numb out and just be absorbed in something else and not think about my life. It’s my foun and then we can just dive in and getting sucked into the ins like endless portals of stuff and people and information and other people’s lives and comparison. And we could just spiral off into like 8 million different thought vortexes. And then there we are like 30 minutes has passed. What have we done? We’ve just properly avoided whatever it is or we are looking for approval for connection. Maybe you want to know how many people have liked what I post. Is that enough? Is it enough? Is it ever enough? How many people like your posts I have on here also approval as something that we can be addicted to and attention.
Having people pay attention to you, having people approve of you. Um, through social media that is a major outlet for which we can feel acknowledged, which we can see it feel seen. We can feel important. Like people care what we have to say. And that is super addictive because we as human beings need love and approval. We need to feel seen and heard and connected. And so it’s natural that here’s this outlet that we think somehow we’ll feed that need. And sometimes it might a little bit, but then it’s like, oh, a hundred people like this today, but maybe tomorrow a hundred isn’t enough. Now I need 105 then I need whatever. And then it just keeps going up and up and up to where you’re never ever going to just be okay with the amount of likes or comments or engagement that that’s the carrot dangling in front of you kind of thing.
And it’s like you’ll never actually really get the full hit that you’re looking for. And then so you have to keep going back. For me, I know one of my personal addictions is approval and it’s also TV. So TV for me is yet again, same sort of same concept as the Internet. I like to, I have an avoidance. It’s part of my, my trauma recovery and recovering myself and my true authentic self is working through my avoidance of certain things in my life of certain parts of myself of certain aspects of my life and what is required of me and TV is how I escape. A lot of times, you know now with the age of Netflix streaming, dear God, it’s, I mean the fact that bingeing is a thing. I mean it’s literally called Bingeing, which is something we generally associate with addiction. We binge eat weed, binge drink, you know, we’d go on benders.
And so now we literally have that terminology use jokingly or in a way that’s just totally casual and normal. Like, oh, I totally binged or cracked out on that. And I mean this is an addictive behavior and I mean that’s okay. Sometimes we need to numb out. It’s part of how we’re gonna Cope. It’s, this is what I’m saying, I’m not saying so then we need to eradicate all of these behaviors from our lives. All of these patterns. I’m talking about becoming conscious. Why am I bingeing on this show? What needs am I looking to get fulfilled? What am I avoiding? What is going on with me and do I sometimes maybe I think those thoughts and I know exactly that and I go, I choose to go ahead and binge on this show and I’m going to be at peace with that for today.
And then I’m not going to beat myself up about it. And then later, if I have that same impulse, I’m going to check in again and say, you know what, you binged yesterday. So maybe today you face some of those things that you didn’t want to face yesterday when you watch that show. And so it’s about recognizing choice. I do not believe, and I am sorry for all 12 steppers it works for some people it works if you work it right. So, but my personal feelings in addiction recovery is deciding that you are powerless over something and then having to offer it up to God or whatever it is a higher power. I mean, I love the idea and I get the concept, but for me becoming powerless isn’t the route of recovery for me. I feel for me it’s recognizing I am super powerful. You know, maybe you feel powerless over this substance.
Shit, I don’t know if this is still going.
Okay. Still going. Sorry, somebody texted me and I didn’t know if it has sad anyway. So recognizing that you might be powerless over feel powerless over the substance or behavior, but really in truth, you’re not powerless.
You have the power, this is your way of looking to sooth. And I’d also like to add that most all, or I would say all really addictive behaviors are based on, you know, can be little t trauma to big t trauma. You know, cognitive behavioral development from, you know, infant hood on that. I think it’s a mis misinformation that happy, satisfied well-founded people are just going to accidentally fall into being addicts or that it’s just some uhhh, you know, luck of the draw or not luck of the draw. I guess it’s just like some Shitty, oh well you pulled the short straw kind of famous like so at any minute. Like you’re just doomed to have the addiction disease from all the studies that I have studied about addiction and what I’ve seen is this is absolutely inaccurate that any person, almost all people I know are addicted to something to certain extremes versus the other, but everybody is addicted to something.
As we’re seeing, there’s just so many different levels and versions of addiction that just aren’t addressed. We don’t think about being addicted to anger or hating people. You know, we might think about like obviously the obvious things like, you know, alcohol and drugs and cigarettes and food and caffeine and even our Internet and the phone. We don’t think about people being addicted to righteousness, being addicted to their intellect and to being right. That there are countless ways that we can be addicted to certain ways of being, behavior mindsets that are painful, that can cause problems in our everyday lives that are stemming from trauma and emotional wounding. We also have addiction to struggle. This is another one of mine. Um, growing up experienced, I experienced a lot of struggle with my family. There was a lot of financial struggle and a lot of emotional struggle that went on and the family dynamics between half brother and sister and our family and my mom and dad and their stuff.
And being um, poor and having two parents that worked and being in a really crappy public school system and just all the crime and things that were happening in the city I grew up in. And so I grew up in a state of stress and struggle and that became my normal. So it has been a process of unlearning, unlearning this, the thoughts and the thought patterns and the behavioral patterns connected to my concept of what my life can be and that it doesn’t have to be a constant struggle, but I’m very attached. Like I don’t know what my life is without struggle. Who am I when I’m not struggling? This is an addiction.
Then there’s of course the addiction to power. I think we all can recognize the addiction to power in our political climate right now. And those who when handed a position of power can abuse it immensely and who don’t know how to surrender, who don’t know how, be vulnerable, how to soften. And so the addiction is to control and to being powerful and to be seen as powerful and the identification and the striving and the bulldozing of perhaps the people around you or in the world and your life in order for you to get that power. That is an addiction. And I talked about already attention and approval. So then we have also, well, I’ll just have one. I’ll touch on that a little bit more with attention. There are people who I know who you just, you know, they just need constant attention and recognition and uh, acknowledgement and look at me.
You look at me, look at me. And if they are not performing or having people applaud or recognize them or, or pay attention to them, they feel an incredible sense of, of emptiness. It may not even be conscious like, oh, I feel empty, but that strive for more attention is what’s driving them. That’s the addiction because without that comes this emptiness or this feeling of void and this thing that needs to be filled, a space in them that’s not comfortable, that doesn’t feel safe. It says, I have to have people seeing me. I have to have people applauding me, liking me, paying attention to me, listening to me, whatever it is I need that. I don’t know how to not need that. That is an addiction approval. We all need approval. As I’ve said, I definitely have some people pleasing stuff going on in my life that I’m working on.
Definitely working on authenticity and finding truth and being okay with not getting people’s approval is really painful and hard for me. And that’s an addiction. Um, let’s see. We have knowledge people who I have a bit of an addiction to knowledge as well to knowing things, to continuously consuming knowledge. I um, in this particular era that we’re living in, there is so much information right now that we are being bombarded with that it’s definitely the consumption of information is, is overwhelming. But it’s like if I’m not consuming information, I feel like I’m, I should be that I should always be learning something new and doing something and, and figuring something out and reading and investigating and I’m just driven by knowledge. And also knowledge can be power. Knowledge can feel safe. There’s a safety in knowing to not know is to be vulnerable, to feel like you have to step into unfamiliar.
If I know everything I can feel safe in that. Think about that. That to openly not know, like I don’t know and feel really safe in that not knowing is pretty rare. So it’s just another thing to think about. We’ve got competition, people can be competitive and then there can be an obsession and a competition that is destructive, that is harmful, that isn’t, doesn’t make the person happy, they’re just, they can’t not be competing with people all the time. So think about that is trying to fill some void like they need to win. And then I have again written here your addiction to winning being number one to being Victoria’s to always winning. Like I have to win, I have to be also there’s like sort of segway into the addiction to being right or um, yeah, I’m just coming out on top being a winner being number one and that drive and that obsession and that compulsion again, filling an empty nest inside people, addicted to relationships.
Just kind of similar to the love addiction. And this is when your continuously getting in relationships despite actual compatibility. Actual, you know, really being like this person isn’t somebody I actually really want to be with, but I’m so in need of being in a relationship so I can get my love approval, my physical needs met so I can have companionship. So I can feel not alone. These are not deep lasting reasons to be in a relationships with someone can fill, avoided place inside of you and when you’re unable to not be in relationship. When you meet someone and they like you and you only like them because they’re there or they’re cute, but and you can’t resist that urge to be together even when you’re not really that interested because maybe you don’t really know even what you want because you don’t let yourself really know what you want because then you’d have to pick and choose and choose to be alone or to be single for a little while and that can feel really, really scary.
So again, searching for connection, for feeling safe, for soothing some part of you that feels unsafe, scared and insecure, not being in a connected partnership with somebody. Then we have a recognition which can be a little bit like power, but it’s also can be status being seen as somebody a of wealth or somebody of prestige or maybe you’re really attached to your title and your job and that feels like that gives you value and to be recognized as someone of value and importance and how much that might drive your life. Cause that can drive some people’s lives. Like the thought of having no recognition or status makes them feel like nothing. Like if they see people who don’t get recognition and status, they think they’re not there, they’re nothing. So the fear of inadequacy, a feeling like nothing, a feeling like you don’t matter would be the drive to feel intensely this need for recognition again, which segues into feeling important, which kind of the same coin, maybe a little bit of a different side.
Same kind of idea, feeling important, feeling like you matter. We all want to matter. Everybody wants to feel important in some way. If it’s just important to somebody, to their kids, to their animals, to a neighbor, to their grandmother, whomever. We all want to feel. We have value and importance. But this is again a pathological need for feeling important for maybe seeking approval and recognition in ways that can be harmful to yourself. It can be detrimental to your relationships with people maybe leading you to be inauthentic to doing things that you don’t like about yourself. Just to get the recognition and the importance that you crave in order to fill that void of of lack. Then there is dieting. We as a culture are obsessed with what we’re eating these days and dieting can be an addiction there. People can, some people I’ve met are always on a diet and that can segue also into like being obsessed with how you look being obsessed with your weight and how much is that controlling your life.
What does that, what does that look like? How much is that a controlling your social engagements when you go out? Do you stress about what you can or can’t eat? I want to diet so I can’t go eat there or I can’t do this. And you know the fear of temptation of eating something not on your diet, which segues into addiction to eating clean or eating healthy. The most uh, pathological end of this is the sort of new new eating disorder. Disordered eating pattern is orthorexia and it can start off initially as seeming really healthy because it’s eating clean and eating healthy and that in and of itself is fine but it’s again, how much is this beginning to control your life? How consumed are you with food, with how clean it is with how pure it is, with how healthy it is, what ingredients are in it and is this your entire existence?
I have seen people lose themselves into their diets and what they eat, it becomes who they are. They don’t know how to talk about anything else but what they eat. And I tell Ya, I’m saying that is an addiction period. Obsessive Diet Foods, obsessive fad diets of contorting and controlling your body of taking harmful diet pills and weird not FDA approved medications and all kinds of stuff that is, you know, it’s for the desire to control and change your body and that if this is something you perpetually do and you don’t just try a couple and then stop and say, forget, I didn’t know I was going to try a different route and you find some balance. But if this is your continued journey, I’m going to call it an addiction. So we already talked about video games. I’m just going down a list here. So porn, p, O, r, n pornography.
I have personally known people who had porn addictions and it’s definitely been a real challenge in the relationships of the people that I’ve known whose spouse has had a porn addiction and porn, if you think about it, why you would compulsively or continuously seek out porn is not because you’re a deviant, not because you’re a bad person, not because you don’t love your partner, none of that. It’s got nothing to do with any of that. It’s got to do with, again, some sort of place inside, some sort of trauma. Something that happens, some wounding and porn is your outlet. It’s your, it’s what you have to take a hit of. You have, you can lose yourself in it. You can be consumed by it. You will find pleasure. It, it releases certain hormones and chemicals in your body. You have orgasm, you ejaculate or you, or for women.
I don’t really know many women with porn addiction, but I guess that exists. Um, [inaudible] so it’s not just because these people are sexual deviants or horrible disturbed people, which, you know, some of that is the case. But really it’s an addiction. Like any other addiction. It’s that addiction. Just like being an alcoholic. It is something that they are seeking out that makes them feel good. It fills some sort of need. It fills some sort of void that helps them escape. It helps them lose themself. It helps numb them. It tunes them into a different place that temporarily gives them a fix. But because it’s only temporary and it’s not addressing the underlying information, it’s why it becomes a addiction. Why it becomes compulsive behavior, why we have to keep doing it over and over and over again. Because you know, in larger and larger and larger doses as well is because it’s not actually healing the thing that we’re trying to, to sue through this mechanism.
Then we’ve got adrenaline junkies, we’ve all heard that term, right? So people who need to feel like they’re living on the absolute edge, like they’re jumping out of planes, you’re racing cars, maybe you’re like doing really dangerous, crazy, wild things in your life because if you’re not pumped, if you’re not literally pumped full of Adrenaline, you don’t feel alive. So you have then become addicted to the adrenaline that your body is producing in certain scenarios. And maybe that has to get more and more and more extreme for you to get the same hit, which can get more and more dangerous and more and more life consuming and all consuming and could inevitably eventually cause some sort of real physical damage. Gossip. I know people who have a really hard time not talking about other people and Gossiping and I don’t think it’s because they’re inherently bad people.
I think it’s, again, it’s a way of not looking at yourself. It’s a way of not confronting your own stuff, but you get to focus on other people and you get to connect with other people and feel important and have people listen to you and you have, and usually gossip is something juicy or you know, something people are like, Ooh, what? Oh, tell me. Yeah. And so we can become addicted to feeling like people want to listen to us and talking about other people as a way for us to feel valued and to avoid ourselves. And maybe we don’t feel that our life is that interesting or we have anything to say of value or that we’re valuable. So we just choose to talk about other people’s lives. Let’s see here. I’ve got so many here. Alright, so sports, the sports side of sports fanatic.
I feel like that’s enough said, right? Sports can be all consuming as a saving people and have a little sip of water saving people. Not like the uh, you know, surgeons or the ambulance drivers, not in the actual saving people’s lives. I’m talking about rescuing, rescuing, trying to the savior sense, I’m going to save you. Not just even the religious connotations of saving, but um, codependency of, uh, feeling the constant need to help other people. Uh, adds another one that I have worked with throughout my life. Definitely was really strong in my teenage years. Well, my childhood, my teenage years in my twenties. And I feel like I’ve been actively working on this particular addiction for the longest. And, and I mean, think about the manifestation of this in my life is also I want to be, I’m a, I’m a coach. I’m a massage therapist. Like my life is like, my careers are literally built on helping people.
So yeah, like, uh, the, the drive and the need to feel like I’m helping people has been huge in my life. And with these kinds of addictions, it’s a slippery slope in the sense that I’m not going to stop wanting to help people and I’m not going to change my career vocations and interests, but I can find balance in separating my career from my friendships and acknowledging boundaries and not trying to help people who don’t want to be helped by me and for me it’s about acknowledging what I’m looking to get out of my exchange when I am just trying save somebody else for the sake of feeling valued and important and like I somehow have the answers for them. It’s a big one talking. I know lots of people who have an addiction to talking. It’s again, it’s something where there’s an avoidance of self.
There’s an avoidance of feeling. There’s an avoidance of silence or stillness that the incessant need to talk is a way of creating noise in yourself that you don’t have to stop and listen. You don’t have to listen to other people. You don’t have to learn, you don’t have to grow. You don’t have to self reflect if you’re constantly talking. So this is an addiction that’s built a lot around fear. It can be a vulnerability, it can be a fear of silence, it could be a fear of self. It be a fear of if you’re quiet, what you might discover, what you might feel complaining. Definitely. I’ve met many people who are very addicted to their story, uh, complaining of there constantly being something wrong and the very strong attachment to complaining and the complete unwillingness to surrender that. And it can be very hard. I think that it can be very stressful on people’s relationships when one person’s set point is continuously pointing out what’s going wrong or what they don’t like.
And it can create feeling of stress and resentment and feeling unappreciated. And it can be really hard to be around somebody who complains all the time. And so this is something that can be really detrimental to interpersonal connection. Then there’s perfectionism, the addiction to this perceived idea of perfection that there is some sort of perfect that you can achieve. So this is the striving, and this particular one to me had lots of little subgroups of things that I’ve already talked about. And with striving and work and beauty and all of these different aspects, our intellect, all these different parts of us that we can strive for perfection, which is elusive. It’s again, another one of the dangling carrot scenarios where you’re not going to achieve perfection. It can be as good as it’s gonna get good, be perfectly imperfectly perfect, but perfection truly doesn’t even exist. I mean, it exists in the fact that we’re perfect because we are, we are as we are, and that is perfect. But that some concept of a flawless being or human or even flawless things that exist in this world, there’s always some imperfection. And sometimes that’s what makes something the most beautiful. But we can, as a culture be very hypnotized and believe even we can consciously think. Of course, I know perfection doesn’t exist, and yet the addiction to achieving it is still driving our lives.
We’ve got hoarding, stealing, criminal behavior, Pallette, political views, and activism. Aye. We can be very, very, very attached to an addicted to this kind of stems into like being right. Um, the addiction to hating activism can and is extremely important and powerful and something we need in our culture. But it’s, again, this is about balance. This is about how much is something controlling your life? Is it making you happy? What is the drive? What are you striving for? Is it causing your life to be more challenging in way that is causing harm in your relationships or in your work and with your children or just with yourself. This is about extremes. What, what is the extreme version of this that can be harmful? So I’ve said so many things here and I’ve literally almost finished the entire list, but I feel like I’ve run out of steam a little bit with everything cause it’s so much, so much.
But again, there’s so many routes that I can’t even begin to explain every single reason why anyone at any given time would have any of these addictions and why they would manifest and what causes it. There are so many reasons and I’m not here to argue or to try to be right. I’m here to express what I have personally dealt with and seen and have helped people, you know, and coached people with these particular addictions and saying that there is recovery, recovery is possible and that we are not inherently flawed or broken or unlovable because we have any of these addictions, no matter how extreme, horrible or dark or painful they might seem, you’re still worthy of love and acceptance and kindness and community and healing and forgiveness. We are all addicted and I want to educate people and breaking the stigma of addiction and why I listed so many different kinds of addictions.
Because I think the more we understand how we ourselves are addicts, it can help us face other addicts maybe with little bit more of a life challenging immediate, you know, maybe they’re holding people by gunpoint or they’re shooting up in alleys or they’re using infected needles and so on to where if we are able to have compassion and to not see people with these addictions as some inherently wrong or bad people or that it’s their fault or that they’re not like us. And so then they become other which creates only separation. Anytime there is otherness and separation, it is the birthplace of trauma and wounding. When we don’t see ourselves in each other, when we separate and say I’m not that in any way that we can see ourselves in the other is a step towards healing not only ourselves but other people as well and finding ways that we can start to begin to heal our own addictions and becoming aware of our own addictions and seeing what damage they might be having on our lives and asking for help, reaching out, seeing a therapist, getting coached, writing in your journal. You know, getting help to start shifting different mindsets and behaviors and patterns, talking to your spouse, going to a support group, whatever it is I plead. I just really encourage you to really think about what I’ve talked about here, to think about how you might be addicted and what you’re addicted to and what that looks like in your life. Who you know, and how you can begin to help not only yourself, but others. Always with love and kindness, compassion and connection. Thank you everyone.