Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Life's Biggest Project: Addiction Awareness

My Life's Biggest Project: Addiction Awareness: "Yesterday after my post I was waiting on my friend Eric to get around so that he and I could go tackle the day. While I was waiting for him ..."

Addiction Awareness

Yesterday after my post I was waiting on my friend Eric to get around so that he and I could go tackle the day. While I was waiting for him I decided to watch some television. Being a fan of pop culture I stumbled across an episode of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. I truly love hearing his perspective on things. I remember in middle school sometimes I would listen to Dr. Drew's radio show Loveline on The Edge. His speaking voice is very soothing, which is great for his patients I'm sure.

Well while I'm watching this reunion show I caught myself coming to tears with everything that these people had gone through. Addiction is one of those things that people can not truly understand unless they themselves have been through it personally. Have any of you? I have seen it first hand. Someone who I was very close to at one point in my life struggled through drug addiction and still does, because like they said on the show I watched, being a recovering addict can take up to 20 years or more for someone to really truly concur this problem. Relapses are normal.

I have lost relationships that meant a lot to me due to addiction. It's sad, but it is one of those things that nobody can fix for the other person. The addict has to do it all by themselves. Now you can be supportive, but they have to be the one to decide that they are through. I bring this up because one thing a lot of people do not realize is that obesity caused by overeating is in fact an addiction problem. Drug addicts and alcholics did not become addicts over night. It was a process the same as food. The only difference is that taking cigarettes, drugs or alcohol out of the mix is good and will save the person's life. Taking food out of the person's life is not an option.

People do not understand that food can be one of the most addicting things of all. They think oh you're fat because you have no self control, yet we sympathize with someone who shoots something into their arm that was concocted in a bathtub with ingredients found under your kitchen sink. Where is the logic? This is the reason why people struggle to lose weight. They never deal with the root of the problem. If you were in drug rehab, Dr. Drew or whoever would have counceling sessions with their patient to try to find out when and why you turned to escapism or the need to be high. They would break you down to finding the very instant in your life that this thought process took over your brain. Once this is found then the addict can begin to overcome the problem. We do not do this for people who have a food addiction.

Food addicts have withdrawl symptoms just like alcholics and drug addicts. They suffer from relapses, temptation (and lots of it because no matter where we go food is everywhere. Recovering drug addicts don't have lines of blow thrown in their face everyday unless they hang out at places where it is accessible.) and the very same feelings of depression and anxiety. Using food as comfort is the same thing as an addict using to numb themselves. For a food addict they get the same kind of high off of it. Another thing is what we call the "come down period" for alcoholics and drug addicts this is where they start to sober up and come off of their high. They felt great while they were high, but now they are hitting a low because yet again they have messed up. Someone with a food addiction feels great while they are eating, but once they have that moment of clarity of what they are doing they too feel the same guilt.

Honestly and truly anytime someone talks about drug or alcohol addiction they could interchange those words with food and it would be the same thing. Sadly in our society it is more socially acceptable or at least something that reacieves more sympathy than someone who claims to be addicted to food.

Just the other day one of my friends was talking on Facebook about how all the new years resolutioners were going to be taking up lots of space in the gym and that by the end of February they wouldn't even still be going. There was a long feed of responses to this of people agreeing with him and understanding where he was coming from. I even get what he was saying, but it is that mentality that keeps people from keeping on. Discouragement is the greatest excuse to stop. And all an addict needs is a teensy tiny excuse. Another one of my friends commented on this post saying that because people say things like that is what keeps these people from keeping their resolutions and she is 100 percent correct. Now my friend who had this as his status did not mean it to be mean. He's a super nice guy and I've personally never witnessed him do or say anything mean. He probably was genuinely annoyed by the fact that he couldn't get to his machines because of the new crowd and I get that. However with that said, we need to not be the excuse.

My person in my life who was suffering from drug addiction would try to find excuses to relapse and really if you look for one you can find it. It is amazing what the mind can create if we want it to. The reason for this like I said is because of all the temptation that is everywhere. I was in church today and that is what the sermon was all about was trying to not give into temptation. The problem is that it will never go away so we must find a way to overcome it.

I ask you all to consider everything I've said today. Try to be sensitive and encouraging to those around you. You never know what they are going through or how inspirational even a smile can be to that person. We are all more important to others than we can imagine. I believe that God puts us in certain places at certain times for a reason and if my reason was just to tell someone good job then my job is done. Those two words really could change someone's entire perspective of themselves. It really really is the little things in life that can make the biggest difference.

I also ask you all to not give into the temptations and you have no idea how very proud of yourself you will be. The overwhelming feelings will subside and in the end you will be so proud of yourself. That my friends is an amazing award. Really over all what I hope you take from this post is to be thoughtful of yourself and others. In the end you will be happier for it. So be kind to one another and have a great remainder to your weekend. Monday's coming along with some wacky winter weather in this part of the country so enjoy it now. I'll post new things to think about tomorrow!