Have you ever been addicted to anything, or worried that you were? Have you ever spent too much time and effort on something that was a distraction from your real goals? Tell
I have not ever actually been physically addicted to anything.
Granted, I haven’t tried very many things that could become addictive!
I have had prescription painkillers after surgery, but I hate the way I feel on them…the brain fog is no fun. So I have never been tempted to stay on them any longer than necessary.
And I have had alcohol in small amounts, but I don’t really love the taste of it, AND I don’t love the way I feel if I drink it. I am a serious, serious lightweight, so it takes very little to make me feel buzzed. When I feel like that, I just want to go to bed, so I personally cannot imagine drinking and then wanting to have fun at a part.
If we go outside the realm of actual physical addictions, I would say my worst addiction is Instagram. The algorithm works extremely well on me, and if I have it installed on my phone, I will almost always end up scrolling through the Explore page.
However, I do at least realize this about myself, and I have done enough experimentation to know that mere willpower is not enough to keep Instagram time-wasting at bay. So, as most of you probably know, I only install Instagram on my phone when I want to post something, and then I uninstall it right away.
This, plus staying logged out on my desktop, keeps my Instagram time-wasting to a minimum.
And for what it’s worth, even though Twitter is not as addicting, I keep that off my phone, and I logged out on my desktop with that one as well. So, if I want to use social media, I have to go find my laptop and log in there.
Otherwise, it is just TOO easy to “take a quick break” from studying or writing, and before I know it, 30-60 minutes have disappeared.
So. The key to this for me is not relying on willpower; instead, I have to basically remove the temptation.
kristin @ going country says
Sugar. Never tried drugs and have no issues with only occasional drinking, but sugar hits my body in a way that sounds very similar to alcohol addiction. I go through periods of calm where I have no problem avoiding it, but times like now are very difficult because of holidays and so on. And I really, really can’t eat it in the quantities I would if left to my own devices, because my family has a history of type 2 diabetes and I know that sugar damages my body. I can feel its bad effects, but I eat it anyway in excess sometimes. Which I guess is what an addiction is like.
I agree. Sugar is my heroin. I strive hard to reduce it, and learn to live without. For a while, I am able to satisfy any cravings for ‘sweet’ with fruit, or maybe a handful of raisins. But then, I cave when I am offered a dessert, or come across a bowl of candy staring me in the eye, or when a sweet grandson offers to share his Hallowe’en stash … then Boom! I am back in the clutches of sugar, crave it constantly, and devour it at any opportunity. I have several health issues that are seriously aggravated when I consume sugar, and I am at increasing risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and yet my heroin – sugar – lures me in.
I am addicted to coffee. I get headaches if I don’t start my day with it.
I’m not sure. I drink Zevia soft drinks (not frugal, I know) and thought I was addicted to that, but when I was gone on a mission trip for 8 days, I went without them and was fine. I gave up all caffeine and soft drinks while pregnant and was fine. I can get caught up in scrolling way too much, but I have quit Facebook and only look at Instagram if a family member posts something. Still, I could easily go back to it and be right back in it, just as I am back drinking Zevias on a daily basis. So, maybe that is an addiction, similar to an alcoholic who can be sober for months, then suddenly start again. My answer is – I don’t know!
p.s. – I’m with Kristen. Painkillers make me feel anxious/uneasy and unable to think clearly when I take them. That’s one thing I don’t see me ever getting addicted to. I can never wait until I can quit using them, and often quit them early and muddle through with acetaminophen.
Lynda W. says
I know I am highly addictive, like much of my family. I’ve been sober & clean frm Rx drugs and alcohol for over 33 years, but there’s plenty of other things to b excessive with. One of my big ones was years of running around like a crazy person, overworking, overcommited, never resting…anything to not sit quiet and face myself. Most of that is in the past but I still struggle with food, I understand Kristins sugar thing…I get a high frm it and it slows my “head chatter” down. Oh, and since I retired I’m addicted to YouTube!
Joanne in the U.K. says
I suppose I was addicted to nicotine when I smoked for about 5 years. All my friends at the time smoked and I was a mature drama student at university and everyone (except my LDS friend) smoked.
I gave it up, cold turkey, on 9th September 1997 just before boarding a flight to Egypt with my then fiancé who has never smoked and hated me smoking. It seemed everyone smoked in Egypt but oh my days the cigarettes smelt awful and I’ve never smoked since!! We had an amazing holiday and I thank the stinky Egyptian cigarettes for helping me quit!!
Oh, do Egyptian-style cigarettes smell different?
Joanne in the U.K. says
They were super stinky, I don’t know why but I’m grateful they were! Also it seemed like everyone smoked and I felt so much better for not smoking!
Food. I am hungry all the time, even as I am eating one meal I am thinking about the next one. Years ago I was 100 pounds overweight and losing that amount was really, really hard. I felt like my insides were devouring themselves because I was not eating all the time. Since then, it has taken constant vigilance not to regain weight and sometimes I lose focus and suddenly I am 15 overweight and have to cut back again. The only time I ever experienced what must be normal for other people is when I was on this medication that took away all feelings of hunger. In fact, I remember whining to my husband that I did not want to eat lunch because I would just have to eat again that night. For four months I never wanted food and ate only because the doctor said if I did not eat I would be put back on feeding through a tube. As soon as the need for that med ended, the burning desire to eat constantly was back. It is a curse.
I have also been addicted to food for many years. At one point I worked extremely hard to lose 140 pounds, but then gained it all back in less than 4 years because I simply did not know how to control my eating, or feel able to do that. It was devastating. Since Feb 2019, I have lost about 105 pounds, and am successfully keeping it off (which requires daily effort, but it is do-able). The #1 thing that has helped me to understand and control my addictive/compulsive eating is Heather Robertson’s materials, which use the name Half Size Me: https://www.halfsizeme.com/category/podcast/. She has amazing free resources like a podcast and an excellent youtube channel. She also has some paid resources, which are also great, but definitely optional. Heather is 100% legitimate – lost 170 pounds herself, and has kept it off for about 10 years while homeschooling 3 kids. She does not sell or market any shakes, pills, supplements, exercise equipment, or anything at all. She’s just an amazing educator. I know this sounds like an ad, but it’s not. I just cannot express strongly enough how much her materials have helped me. For almost 40 years I felt like I couldn’t control my eating or my weight, and now I can (not easy, but possible). She’s certainly saved my mobility, and maybe my life, as I was close to 300 pounds for many years and had basically given up. It’s not a miracle cure – it is a lifetime of psychological and emotional work. But if it’s possible for me, it’s possible for anyone.
There are a lot of drugs, especially steroid based ones, that cause constant feelings of hunger. They are a nightmare and sometimes you just lose the will to fight against it. Add to that spending a lot of time in a wheelchair, and it can seem like a pointless torturing of yourself to not just give in.
Anita Isaac says
Food has been my issue my whole life. I have never conquered it. I had a year to look good for my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah this Sunday. I look in the mirror and I see a thinner face but my coats fit the way they always did. I just hope I look good in the photos.
Erika Wilson says
I took Tylenol 4 for at least 3 years for back pain. It contains codeine. I stopped taking it around 5 weeks ago after a hospital l stay for heart failure. I thought this was no problem but did have some effects–restless legs, wakefulness, loss of appetite, but these were outweighed by no more constipation, no more sleepiness and a loss of weight without any effort. I was in hospital to reduce liquid in my lungs and came out weighing 157 pounds, which for being 5′ 7″ is pretty good.
I now find that 1,000 mgs of Tylenol each day and Lidocaine patches and Biclofanite sodium 3% are just as good as the codeine and I feel like a different person.
I could be addicted to Reese’s peanut butter cups (seriously) but it is easy to just not buy them!
Oh, I’m so glad to hear that you were able to come off of the Tylenol 4. Yay!
Definitely nicotine. I was a smoker for a long time (from about 18 – 29, off and on) and then relapsed back in 2017 during a particularly dark time…fortunately then I was only smoking at work with a co-worker, so my smoking was limited at least. If someone offered me one on a stressful day right now I’d take it. Despite all the mountain biking, all the golf, all the fitness things and healthy food I feed myself. It is SUCH an addictive drug. SO I’m grateful that I am rarely in a situation where someone around me is smoking (I have zero friends who do) and I have zero desire to actually spend the money on a pack!