You might have found my Facing Addiction story through an online search on addiction or controlling weed use.
During the five years of my weed addiction, I can’t tell you how many times I searched for terms like “marijuana addiction” or “controlling addiction.”
I generally tend to hit the search engines whenever I specifically see how something I hold dear is being damaged or hindered by my actions or thoughts.
Searches and detailed plans for how to change are my gut reaction whenever I hear myself crying out on the inside for an unseen way of escape.
Many sites list addiction’s warning signs, and every set of signs I found would lead me to conclude I was certainly addicted.
The most common signs are: spending all your time and money (secretly) on pursuing your addiction; building a tolerance; fooling yourself into thinking you’re still in control while ignoring how more and more of your life is being eaten up and depleted…
My experience of uncontrolled addiction has been like losing territory in war to a hostile occupier.
You can find all sorts of helpful quizzes on WebMD and other sites to see if you’re addicted, anxious, depressed, etc.
After the quiz, next steps are often offered, such as counseling, the possibility of medication, support groups…
The point of this story is not to tell you to avoid professional or medical help.
I’m really just recommending another step in the process of recovery—something to consider after you recognize your addiction, but before (or as well as) whatever other steps you take to fight it.
Why the extra step?
Well, first, because the world is changing.
Not long ago, society was comprised of systems built around firmly fixed infrastructures.
There was education, health, media, business…
In that world, we were all shown and sold the same cookie-cutter versions of how to thrive.
Society gave its people specific, acceptable ideals to work toward and celebrate.
Today there’s no standard version of success.
Systems with infrastructures still use and fight each other to try to stay relevant; but really there’s no more mainstream.
Addiction was something society taught us to demonize because addiction kept us from becoming what former mainstream culture taught us to idealize.
It was once universally accepted that successful people who became addicts had to completely flee whatever they were addicted to so they could get back to being upstanding citizens with careers and mortgages.
I don’t believe that’s necessarily the way the world is anymore.
What do you believe about the world?
I’ve been talking about a world in which each person develops their own individual art form while pursuing unique passions and values—a world where we all naturally connect with others like us on the path toward becoming our best selves.
Mine would be a world where we can all be held accountable to what we say we want as we live publically and come to see ourselves and our values more and more objectively.
I wrote this early last year (while high):
“Well, I don’t think it’s failed.
“So I guess what I’m saying to you now is just to make sure, before you jump to something like the 12-steps, that what you’re currently addicted to isn’t something you think you could or should ever work with—maybe something valuable that wants to work with you.
“If working with what you’re currently addicted to could bring about something good for you and others, why neglect that potential good unless you have to?
“Why not use that good as another source of motivation to face and control even your addiction to it, along with whatever else holds you back?”
Do you believe something you’re addicted to could ever bring about something positive?
Well, how’s this story been so far?
Tomorrow: never having to retrace your steps.
P.S. I wrote this (while high) about the purpose of my Facing Addiction story (and essentially all my writing):
“One thing that might be different about me is I’m not really claiming to have any knowledge to share.
“This story is a quest for knowledge.
“It’s a quest for change I think I see as possible.
“It’s a quest for an unknown balance.
“It’s a quest to scrape as close to Reality as I can without acting like I understand how or why things might be as they seem.”