Addiction and dependence have many definitions. There are many different opinions and many heated arguments around the subject. For me there is no one clear definition for each person regarding their dependence or addiction. Humans are too complicated and their circumstances too individual to stick a generic prescription on what looks like a similar dis-ease.
This is what fits my personal experience; Addiction or dependence is the act of relying on or being controlled by someone or something else to keep me functional.
You can define your own experience how you want to.
When we think of addiction or dependence, most of us will immediately turn to things like drugs or alcohol to identify the concept. Some of us are or have been addicted to these substances and now see ourselves as alcoholics or addicts. Of course, we know that addiction or dependence covers a vast arena of substances and behaviours, some of which are obvious and some of which are not so obvious.
As previously mentioned, alcohol and drugs come to mind most often. Then there’s the extreme manipulation of our most basic instincts and needs such as sex and food. There’s obsessive exercise, gaming, gambling, porn, and let us not forget the controlling of other people and people pleasing. The list is never ending.
Furthermore, what may seem like destructive habits or behaviours to some may seem like healthy lifestyle choices to others.
Dependence is not always considered destructive by our society. Many of us have a dependence on a higher power or god or religion. We live our lives according to a certain set of principles or ideals. For some this keeps us on track and helps us form a moral compass. Within our learned or chosen spiritual communities, following the agreed spiritual principals in our lives indicates we are good people.
For others this same practice can be stifling and shame inducing. It may even seem completely ridiculous to those of us who see the basic character traits of kindness, compassion and empathy as a natural human instinctual knowing and choice, that does not need policing by a higher being.
I have found, through my years of healing, that I possess inside me everything I need to live well and in harmony within my own body and on this planet. However, it takes work and investigation to do that.
Just like a plant, we must investigate our roots to understand our attitudes, perceptions and belief systems. When something is off kilter with our physical, mental and emotional states, we must look at where our roots are or have been planted and come to accept that our behaviours, whether we perceive them as health or unhealthy, are serving us in some manner. We have to decide how important or necessary is this service that these behaviours provide to us?
At the root of all dependence, whether perceived as good or bad, is a list of labels that force us into a certain state of being and it is the introduction to the labels and ultimately to our state of being internally, that helps us identify the things we need to let go of in order to become our truest selves. We sort through them like we sort through an old box of items in the attic. Things from our past that may be kept or trashed at your discretion.
You are allowed to make your own rules about how you live and behave….just in case you didn’t know!
Here are a set of questions in relation to the importance of some of the root causes of your dependence and decide for yourself if your dependencies are serving you. Complete honesty and soul searching when answering these questions will reveal many things you consciously are not aware of.
How important and necessary is numbing pain?
How important and necessary is validation from others?
How important and necessary is killing boredom?
How important and necessary is approval from others?
How important and necessary is your place of power?
How important and necessary is your place of inferiority?
How important and necessary is it that you are right?
How important and necessary is it that you are morally superior?
How important and necessary is it that you please that person?
How important and necessary is it that you change your behaviour?
Good look with your unearthing.