Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Getting to the Start Line

Dealing with my addiction has made me notice other people and their addictions. To be honest, I have worked in the gambling industry for five years. So maybe witnessing people gamble their lives away has played a major role.

What is interesting to notice is the people who are completely unaware of their behaviour and so cannot begin to deal with their addiction.

Someone who is miles away from the start line is a person who is addicted and is completely unaware. Nothing is wrong with them. In fact, they will defend their habit and may even become upset it has been brought up that they may have a problem. For gamblers: “I can stop whenever I want to.” “I’m only making small bets.” “This is how I spend ‘me’ time before I go home to the family.” For users: “Everybody masturbates, it is natural.” “You get the opportunity to see these ‘hot chicks getting laid’.” “Great way to get rid of stress and sexual frustration.” Insert other defensive comments here. As Morpheus from the film ‘The Matrix’ states:

“You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.”

Someone who is closer to the start line, is a person who is addicted, aware of it but has done nothing or simply quit. I tried to quit but it is too hard. I haven’t got the time. Insert excuse and defensive comment here. They’re fully aware it is bad for them and yet they continue. It’s not that important to them. They could become upset because deep down they know, they need to stop.

A person who is at the start line, is a person who is addicted and aware of it. They received real evidence that it is costing them too much and it is time to really address this. It’s that “holy crap, this is actually destroying me” moment and they start seeking information about it. It’s the moment that it has now made this become really important to them.

For a gambler, this could be when they have used their rent money to bet on a horse and lost. I’ve seen that moment on their face. Some just walked away. Some have walked towards me, told me they now can’t pay their rent and either seeked assistance or walked away.

For me this, “holy crap, this is actually destroying me” moment, happened at age 24. It was a couple of days after not ejaculating during sex, again, and seeking information about it online. Consuming explicit sexual content was costing me the chance to perform sex naturally.

It’s a shame that it took real evidence to persuade me and others that they have a serious addiction. Hopefully other people will learn the easy way.

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Thursday, 25 January 2018

Inner Freedom

 

“How you gonna win, when you ain’t right within?” – Lauryn Hill

Overcoming my habit is the primary objective for this year, just like last year and the year before that. Although I am still struggling with urges and relapses, I have been making small progress. An evening or morning here and there overcoming urges.  A small win is still a win. The main thing I have learnt during my absence from this blog, is that I have to deal with my inner troubles before I can manage the external things we call life. Dealing with inner issues and sticking to principles would be setting foundations to handle anything that life throws. During my absence, I broke a promise to not get into a relationship until I handled my inner issue. That relationship ended after a couple months because of my inner issue. I wasn’t surprised it ended. This is an example of my inner issue becoming external and affecting others. I wasn’t right within.

To me, Inner freedom means possessing the power and resources to fulfil one’s own potential. It is controlling what you can control (yourself) to go out and be the best you can be. External freedom means freedom to do whatever and say whatever you want, however we do this, we must face the consequences. My addiction is holding me back greatly and unabling me to fulfil my potential. So much time and energy have been spent chasing a dopamine hit, in fact I record the time. I mainly use my phone during relapse and I have an app called ‘QualityTime’, that tells me how much time I spend on my phone and which apps I spend more time on. When I overcome my addiction, I will cut two to three hours of the time I would spend daily using my phone. That’s an extra two to three hours doing/focusing on something else than watching explicit online material. To do this means controlling the controllables which are the things that are within.

There are many things I want to do in life, but I believe I will not get there until I deal with my inner issue first. I have to deal with my addiction. I have to strive and maintain being right within.

 

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