Addiction: It's far more common than we realize

What percentage of the American population do you think would claim that they watch an unhealthy amount of Netflix despite wanting to stop?

Or do you think struggles with watching pornography consistently despite wishing they could stop?

How many men and woman do you think are struggling to stop working over-time on the weekends despite the disappointment and pain it brings to their kids and marriage and themselves?

When most of us think of addiction, we often associate it with the most extreme cases, like with alcohol or meth. Yet, addiction is all around us.

It's far more common than we realize.

I love Dr. Gabor Mate’s definition of addiction because almost anyone can relate to it.  He states that “Addiction is any repeated behavior, substance-related or not, in which a person feels compelled to persist, regardless of its negative impact on his life or the lives of others.”

...Been there?

Stuck in a cycle with something that is momentarily relieving, yet harmful over time, and you just can’t stop?

I mean, I would even say that I listen to podcasts at times because it’s more relieving than silence. It gives the sense that I’m moving up in life.... like I’m doing something significant, even if it’s just learning. And yet, I know what my brain really just needs is to catch up in silence.  But still, I turn it on simply to stimulate my brain.

It's minor but you get the point.

Or... Starbucks? What percent of America won’t face their day without their morning cup of caffeine?

Yet we say it’s far off...

We think addiction is for others.

People not like us. 

But collectively, as a society, it’s everywhere. 

So what do we make of it?

As a society, are we despicable? Failing? Or weak?

No, not at all, actually.

Addiction is never a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of pain.

And likely, this is the best way we know how to deal with it.

The question for you, however, if you admit to having your own repeated struggle with a harmful, yet momentarily relieving behavior, is what pain is perpetuating your cravings?  What is it that you are seeking relief from?