What is Addiction?
As we grow up, we develop tendencies of having addictions. The thought popped up in my head a while ago and it made me wonder, why do we get addicted to something?
When we were children, we did not really get addicted to anything. Sure, we loved ice cream or had a favorite dish, but it wasn’t like we would have withdrawal symptoms or anxiety attacks if we didn’t get what we wanted.
Here is what I think happens as we grow up and leave our childhood behind.
As children, we have no worries in the world; our emotions are a 100% pure but fleeting and any negative emotion would not last a long time. We are protected, loved and cared for by our parents and siblings and we don’t have to really worry about anything. Even studies are not a burden at that time in our life and everything is easily available to us.
When we reach adolescence, we reach a point in our lives where we need to start thinking about our careers and our future: things that take us out of our protected and loving environments into the world that we fear. A world of unknown things, people, hate, dishonesty and pure struggle for survival. I think this is where stress and anxiety enters our lives. Even education at this point, becomes a scary burden that determines whether we have a secure future or a desolate one.
By the time we leave school and enter college, we have gone from being teenagers to young adults, and enter an institution that prepares us for our place and role in society. Even by this time, we might be free of addictions. Life is still fun and we are still young.
Once college ends, the scary life of an adult begins. The struggle for a job, to earn a livelihood, to find a partner that you can start a family with etc. You know where I am going with this. Once this part of our life begins, getting addicted to something seems like a necessity. Now is the time in our lives when are unable to cope with the stress, the depression, the anger of being alone and having to deal with life without the safety of that loving environment that was provided to us as children.
Addiction happens when something is used to repress an emotion or emotions in general. Addiction can happen with anything. Sugar, fried foods, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs etc. Sure, many people try many of the above mentioned things in college, but that is for recreational purposes and hence isn’t used for repressing or replacing emotions but just for fun experimenting.
As adults, we become so terrified of our emotions and feelings that we feel it is best to distract our minds and numb ourselves by becoming addicted to something. And that addiction becomes life threatening but we are too numb to notice what it is doing to our bodies and minds.
Dealing with emotions as an adult is perhaps something that many of us have forgot to learn while we were busy growing up. The era of the rise of meditation around the globe, is perhaps to detoxify and save us from harmful addictions and instead tackle the main problem, our emotions. Learning how to deal with our emotions in a healthy way is the best way to ensure a happy, long life and positive attitude.
So the next time, you are yearning for something you are addicted to, ask yourself: WHAT EMOTION OR FEELING AM I TRYING TO REPRESS? HOW CAN I DEAL WITH IT IN A HEALTHY WAY?
And your addiction may just miraculously disappear.