Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Addictive behaviors represent confusing and complex patterns of our human activity.The first most behaviors include drug and alcohol abuse, some eating disorders, compulsive or pathological gambling, excessive sexual behaviors, and other behavior patterns.

Addictions comes in a variety of diffirent levels. Medicine, psychology, psychiatry, chemistry, physiology, law, political science, sociology, biology and religion and even witchcraft have all influenced our understanding of addictive behavior. Most recently, biological explanations of addiction have become popular. It is interesting to recognize that as we understand more about the "biology" of an addiction, social and cultural influences become more—not less—important. Therefore, social and psychological forces will remain very important in determining who does and who does not develop addictive behaviors.

Now it is common to think of drugs as "addictive." Warning labels inform us that tobacco is an addictive substance. We think of heroin and cocaine as addictive. Yet, addiction is not simply a property of drugs. Addiction results from the relationship between a person and the object of their addiction. Drugs certainly have the capacity to produce physical dependency. (this is what we call a necessity). Remember, defintion of freedom states this interp.............1 : the quality or state of being free: as a : the absence of necessity.

We need to examine the different objects of addictions. In truth, anything can be addictive if we use in excessive amount, or have desire that we can not function normally without. It is surprising to see how subtle addictions truly can be. As we journey along our "paths", bringing an awareness of this into the Light, is important. Not just physically, but also emotionally. It is extremely important to understand addictions are very destructive. I will explain this further on.

Here is a list of common addictions we automatically assoicate with this word.

Alcoholism,

Narcotic-prescriped drugs(e.g painkillers-downers) or abused drugs(herion,cocaine, designer drugs etc etc)

Gambling

Smoking

Over-Eating

Foodstuffs (sweets, etc etc)

Sexual

Compulsive lying

Shopping (excessive need to always purchase-usually beyond means or needs)

*************************************************

Than we have the Emotional addictions. This list can be many things.

Negative Love Syndrome*

Anger

Jealousy

Grief/Anguish

Attention Need*

Excessive Crying

Fear

Compulsive Behavoirs

*************************************************************

Here is a good excerpt about Soft Addictions. the book is called ..........What is Soft Addictions?.......... by Judith Wright.

What are Soft Addictions?

Soft addictions can be habits, compulsive behaviors, or recurring moods or thought patterns. Their essential defining quality is that they satisfy a surface want but ignore or block the satisfaction of a deeper need. They numb us to feelings and spiritual awareness by substituting a superficial high, or a sense of activity, for genuine feeling or accomplishment.

Many soft addictions involve necessary behaviors like eating, reading, and sleeping. They become soft addictions when we overdo them and when they are used for more than their intended purpose. Soft addictions, unlike hard ones such as drugs and alcohol, are seductive in their softness. E-mailing, shopping, and talking on the phone and excessive computer time seem like perfectly harmless, pleasurable activities while we're engaged in them. When we realize how much time and energy we devote to them, however, we can see how they compromise the quality of our lives.

Though I'm going to provide you with a list of common soft addictions, you should understand that an almost infinite variety exists. A soft addiction can be as idiosyncratic as any individual personality. While a universal soft addiction might be television watching, a more personal form might be doodling geometric figures or counting things for no reason.

Some people have difficulty differentiating an occasional behavior or fleeting mood from a soft addiction. If you watch television one hour per day, is it only a harmless habit, while if you watch three hours per day (the national average), is it a soft addiction?

As a general rule, keep the following in mind: The motivation and the function of your behavior determine whether or not it's a soft addiction. For instance, television can be a window into new worlds, stimulating viewers with new ideas and leading them into meaningful pursuits -- or it can be a means of escape. I know a woman who is very selective in what she watches, using television as a tool to learn about life in foreign cultures and to understand animal behavior. She employs television watching as a tool to gain knowledge. Another woman I know vegges out in front of the television daily, channel surfing and letting the programs wash over her. She leads a tough, hectic work life, and she mistakenly believes her viewing habits relieve her of stress. Rarely does she have a particular program she wants to watch or a real reason for watching it.(Baiscially numbing oneself)

As you compare the two television watchers, the differences in motivation and function are clear. The first woman's motivation revolves around very specific learning goals; the second woman's motivation is to numb herself. The first woman uses television to enhance her life; the second woman uses it to escape from her life.

Sometimes, however, the line between soft addictions and productive activities is less clear. Here are a few clues to help you define this line and recognize that your behavior is a soft addiction:

Zoning out. One way of identifying a soft addiction is to ask if you zone out while you're doing it. When we are zoned out, we are not fully engaged. We may be checked out or have a "nobody's home" look on our face. Zoning out suggests that the goal of our activity is numbness. Although we're physically engaged in an activity, our mind is elsewhere. After the activity, we often don't remember what we've done, seen, or read. While this often happens when watching television, it can also occur while shopping, working, having superficial conversations, or doing other activities.

Avoiding feelings. Does a given activity or mood grant you a reprieve from your emotions, especially intense emotions? We avoid feelings by being numb, enhancing the feelings we like to the exclusion of others, or even wallowing in one unpleasant feeling to avoid another. Many of us are uncomfortable with our deepest feelings, whether positive or negative. We don't know how to deal productively with our sadness or anger (or, in some instances, with our joy), so we find an activity or a mood that facilitates an emotion-muting state, leaving us with subdued sadness, low, level anger, or other unsettled feelings.

Compulsiveness. Does an irresistible urge drive you to indulge a particular behavior or mood? Do you feel compelled to do, have, or buy something, even though you know you don't need it? This may be accompanied by a helpless, powerless feeling. You may be unable to stop or reduce the amount of time spent on a given activity. Though you may find some transient pleasure, you often don't feel good about yourself after engaging in it.(possibly feel guilty) You persist in following the routine, saying to yourself, I'll never do this again. Though you try to stop, you can't.

Denial/Rationalization. If you're defensive or make excuses for your behavior, chances are it's a soft addiction. Denial is a refusal to acknowledge and rationalization is an excuse or explanation we use to justify a compulsive behavior. Both blunt our self-awareness and lower our expectations of ourselves. To make our actions acceptable, we ignore, conceal, or gloss over the real motive or cost. Either we maintain that a habit isn't a problem or we rationalize why it's an acceptable or necessary way to spend our time. "What's so bad about a few cups of coffee?" is a typical rationalization. We may deny that the hours spent surfing the Net are a waste of time and energy. The impulse to deny or rationalize a routine suggests a soft addiction.

Hiding the behavior. Beware of habits that become guilty pleasures you seek to hide. Covering up the amount of time you spend on an activity or lying to others about how you frequently spend your time or your money are signs of soft addictions. In other words, you feel ashamed of what you're doing and that's why you want to hide it from others.

Avoiding feelings or zoning out are perhaps the most telling of these signs. Part of the allure of soft addictions is that they provide an escape from the pace and pressure of life. If we've had a tough day, we want to relieve the pressure. The same impulse that pushes people to have a drink rather than talk out tensions at the end of a hard day leads them to soft addictions.

Doing this is perfectly natural. We all need to zone out at times. Zoning out allows our unconscious mind to sort things out, giving us the downtime we need to regroup. It would be unusual to find anyone who didn't need to escape from his feelings at certain moments. The problem, of course, is when this becomes a way of life and soft addictions become deeply ingrained. We become like football players who have an injury but anesthetize themselves so they can get back in the game. As a short-term strategy, this may work. We convince ourselves that if we didn't have our soft addictions, we couldn't keep going to work, taking care of the kids, and generally keeping our life together.

The danger to the football player, however, is that the underlying injury never gets treated and can even worsen. Similarly, we become accustomed to numbing ourselves and never consciously feeling any pain (or any intense emotion, for that matter). In this way, we become out of touch with our deeper self. We fail to meet deeper needs and move farther from our full potential. At certain moments, however, we glimpse how out of touch we are and ask, "Is this all there is?"

************************************************

Me again.........Being the subtle sneaky creatures we are, we can see how easy it is to have a soft addiction, yet convince ourselves we are ok. Understand there is nothing wrong to watch Tv, or engage in shopping etc etc. But if we see we are doing things, feeling uncomfortable afterwards than we need to examine why do I feel uncomfortable?

It has been said and taught, that all of life is an illusion. To understand that comment, is to see what we do every day. We get up, we go to work, we get paid, we spend our money and we continue to do this, until we attain the material objects we desire. Understand, this is not bad or wrong. Because we need to work , we need to get paid, so we can have a home, and pay our bills. Look around and you will everyone else is doing same. We become so caught up it, we miss the most important thing.............our lives. Even for myself, I see how easy it is to get caught up by working so much I forget about my own needs.

Even working massive overtyme is an "addiction" in itself. As you can see it is true the list of addictions is unlimited. Am sure it would be great to hit the lotto and have the freedom of not having to work. But even as we hold down a job we still can have our freedom.

So as you can see, physical addictions can be infinite. It is our own responsibilty to be honest with ourselves to seek the "awareness" of ourselves. To see how these things can affect us physically. These "addictions" will be prevent us from being "balanced" and grounded.

Now I would like to bring attention to another type of addictions. What we have discussed above is mostly physical addiction, but there are other addictions more and similar in destruction. These are Emotional Addictions.

Emotinal Addictions are behavioral patterns that allows and draws us into negative energy cycles pertaining to ourselves. Remember, Energy is neutral, it is what we infuse(choose) it with that creates postive or negative outcomes. Emotinal addictions are destructive to ourselves in many levels. It affects our confidence, our perception, our trust, our thoughts, and mostly our choices.

One of the addictions that falls in this catergory is Negative Love Syndrome. This is a cycle that allows us to be in a very destructive setting. A prime example would be, being involved in abuse relationship, regardless physical or emotional. When a person abuses another, this is not postive energy. It is negative energy, and it is very damaging. Even thou we know rationally and mentally what is going on is not "right", we accept this. We accept this "Emotionally". Understand our emotions allows us to choose our choices about 90% of the tyme. So we accept this NLS, maybe believing we are not lovable, or wanted. But we do get the "need" we seek. The attention, and the pervse affection from the abuser.

Please , do not misunderstand, I am not saying anyone is doing this deliberately, but they do not understand what they are feeling or what to do, so they content to themselves until it reaches a point enough is enough. By this tyme alot of damage has been done to themselves. And most have already acceptted the fact what they suffered they had some how caused this. THIS IS A LIE THAT THEY ARE FORCED TO ACCEPT AND BELIEVE EMOTIONALLY.

Nother example is this, a child always getting into trouble. We have to ask why? Is it maybe we are neglecting the child's "needs"? Even thou the child knows they will be punished, but they are achieving their own goal, they are getting attention and "love" from thier parent/s. Understand, this is not pure conscious choice, nor a conscious thought. Children do not have the understanding about emotions so they act out their feelings.

Nother example is this...........we can say we love ourselves and yet in same sentence we can be extremely critical and demeaning of ourselves. If I choose to knock myself, I am only hurting myself. It can be said I am loving myself, but not in a postive way. When I continue to do this, not only is it an addiction, but we will truly believe this false truth of ourselves.

So basically Negative Love Syndrome is about recieving attention and "love" in a negative choice and way. When we can see this as an addiction, than we can see this will be a never ending cycle that will only "fail". This will allow us to believe we are "failures".

*Aother Emotional Addiction is "I am the Victim". This is also a very damaging addiction. This is where we always "blame others" for our shortfalls.This addiction also feeds alot of anger. We blame others for our bad relationships, we blame others for not getting that promotion, we blame others for any reason or cause. This addiction creates avery blind eye on ourselves. because it allows us not to see our responsiblity in the choices we made. Truth of it all, when we make choices it based on our thoughts, and perceptions. Sometymes they are not right, but being human and our first need is to blame another comes naturally. When it reality, we fail to see that choice was not wise. But it is ok, to mess up. Look at it, accept it, so when faced again with same choice, out come would be different.

Attention Seeking, this addiction is subtle in some and some not so subtle. This is a "need" to have everyone always giving one attention. Usually, these people do not see or accept other's people needs or wants. This addiction can also manifest itself into imaginary illness, crisies, and other events requiring others to give attention to that person. A good visual for this addiction is the boy who cried wolf all the tyme. This also ties in with I am the Victim, and NSL.

Co-Dependancy is another highly addictive emotional addiction. It is where we can always go and do and take care of other people's issues and needs andwans, yet at same tyme ignore our own needs. Many tymes, we overstep our boundaries, to do this. Only to fynd, ourselves wondering why we give so much and get nothing back in return.

Over-Eating is both a physical and emotional addiction.Lately, I have been learning that it follows better as an emotional addiction. Many tymes, we will subsitute food and eating to fullfill a "missing emotional need". Eventually, this leads us to be over weight, and than the physical battle to rid the extra pounds begins. Where we do not succed, and eventually give up, and emotionally we feel like we have no will power or "control" on this addiction. It only makes us feel alike ......... you know the word. If we learn to see it as an emotional dysfucntion, for something inside of us, we can learn to change it, and give us hope to acomplish the true desire we want.

These are some examples of emotional addictions we can have. As like physical addictions, they are just as damaging and destructive to one's self. The list is also can be infinite. As we travel our road on our path of Light, we have to sooner or later look inside our true self. To learn we have a lessor side of ourselves that we want to Heal. We want our Full Self to Heal and become whole again. We have to reconize our own Power of Choice.

As we work thru our "addictions", which is our weakness, we need to ask ourselves these questions of Spirit.........

1) If I follow my impulses, does it increase my "Enlightenment"?

2) Does it empower me with genuine power of my Life?

3) Will it make me more Loving?

4) Will it make me more Whole?

The most important relationship in our lives is not with our spouses, children, parents, friends, but it is with ourselves and ourselves with our Higher Source. You stand in between your lessor self and your Whole self. Choose with wisdom, and Love, and Compassion, because the power of your Life is in your hands. It is a choice to be Free and seek Freedom in your Life. It is part of the Journey toward Wholesome.

*note: In the section regarding I am the Victim, not talking about physical or sexual assualts or criminal acts done against person. That is about on personal level in our own lives.

Whew, you finally read all that it eh? Sorry it was so long, it was when you start something, something else pops up. It is alot to digest. I hope it helps someone to shed some Light on issues we all face everyday. Yes, I am also an recovering drug addict. When I was younger I was hooked on heroine. I am older now, and I thank the Great Spirit now, even before I started my path to never allowed myself to return to that cycle. Once we have a physical addiction, we have to learn we have an addictive personality. So, now we can see the false truth of the word failure, understand the meaning of free and freedom. Hopefully, we shed some light on how addictions prevents us from being free.

Walk Free and In BeautyAlway

Sojourner

HELP LINKS:

Alcoholics Anonymous

http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org/

*************************************************

Gamblers Anonymous

http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/

*************************************************

Narcotics Anonymous

http://www.pcana.org/

*************************************************

OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS

http://beehive.thisissouthdevon.co.uk/default.asp?WCI=SiteHome&ID=8674

************************************************

15 Questions about Eating Behaviors

http://www.oaregina.com/questions.htm

************************************************

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)

http://www.rainn.org/

************************************************

National 1-800 Crisis Hotlines

http://www.allaboutcounseling.com/crisis_hotlines.htm

************************************************

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

http://www.ncadv.org/

************************************************

tobacco use and dependence.

http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/tobacco/default.htm

************************************************