On some level, I believe everyone has some form of an addiction. While many like myself have taken steps to face this reality, the sad truth is that not everyone does. But, an even more dangerous place to be in, is when a person isn’t even aware at all they are addicted to something.
For clarification purposes only, an addiction is an over-dependence on a particular substance, thing, or activity and there are infinite numbers of them on this planet that a person can become hooked on. They range from alcohol and drugs, to hoarding items, to consuming chocolate or ice cream or chips, to working out, to cleaning, to gambling, to having sex, to falling in love, to buying clothes, and well you get the point.
I should know because I’ve discovered and become a slave to many of them. There was a time though where I wasn’t even aware of it. During those days, I spent my life becoming consumed by each of them, except I still managed to earn a living, to maintain my friendships, to keep my appointments, and to live a normal semblance of life. At some inevitable point though, the addiction always took over where it became my first and foremost concern in life. That was when I began to truly see that I was addicted to whatever it was at the time. Unfortunately, the damage is already done by then, and that’s why addictions can be so deadly.
Recently, I met an acquaintance of my partner who was completely unaware of his own sexual addiction. During a 45-minute conversation, 80% of it was focused solely on his sexual escapades. In fact, it started from the onset when my partner and I randomly stopped by his house to say hello given that we were in his neighborhood. One of the first things he said to us upon opening his front door was that he initially thought the knock on it was from one of his weekly sexual rendezvous’. By the time we left, I learned more about this man’s history of having orgies, going to rest stops and xxx stores, and placing sexual ads out on craigslist, then I wanted to. The strange part about it all was how comfortable he was in talking about it. When I had asked him about whether he ever desired to have a monogamous partner, he basically told me that probably would never happen because of how much he enjoys his random sexual encounters.
From all appearances, this man’s life has been functioning just fine for years doing what he’s doing. What he doesn’t realize though, is that there will come a day when it won’t. And when that day arrives, he may not even attribute what’s happening to him as a direct result of living in this addiction for so long.
People, who become addicted to something such as sex, don’t realize the poisonous seeds that are being planted within them each time they engage in their addiction. It’s easy to correlate something such as getting some type of cancer when a person has been smoking for years with no problems. But there are some addictions that a person can function in for great lengths of time with no problems, and even when some appear, it’s hard to correlate a connection. Many rarely think of anxiety, depression, and chronic physical pain issues as the result of an addiction. The truth is, they can be the end result of them just as much as cancer can be for a chronic smoker or becoming completely in debt from gambling.
I’m very thankful that all the addictions I’ve been a prisoner to are all now in remission and I believe they will remain that way as long as I keep my devotion to serving God. Today, some might say though that I still have one addiction active, and that’s to God. I can’t disagree with them on that notion, but what I can say is that if this is an addiction, it seems to be reversing all the damage the other ones did to me throughout the years. I take that as a good sign that it’s ok to live with this one for the rest of my life.
So if you should ever find yourself being questioned by others because of some over-dependence they think you have on a particular substance, thing, or activity; unless it’s to God, you may want to take it as a warning sign. You may have become a functioning addict on some level. If you choose to ignore this, please understand that it will only end up leading you to damaging more of your mind, body, and soul. But face it now, and there’s a good chance that you will find complete recovery from it and be able to live out a much happier and spiritual based life down the road.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson