29 votes

Are/were you addicted to anything?

Are you or were you ever addicted to alcohol, drugs, food, etc?

If you are, how do you manage? Do you want to quit?

If you quit, how? What/who helped you? What were your realisations?

14 comments

  1. [4]
    anon_omatopoeia
    Link
    Using a throwaway, because I'd like to get a little personal. Please bear with me. I can relate to almost all things people have mentioned in this thread, almost because I've never really gotten...

    Using a throwaway, because I'd like to get a little personal. Please bear with me.

    I can relate to almost all things people have mentioned in this thread, almost because I've never really gotten addicted to anything we'd consider "serious" like drugs, alcohol, sex etc.

    Yet it still feels like I'm never not 'addicted' to something, junk food, 'normal' food, sugary products, video games, phone games, series, movies, youtube videos, essays, podcasts, news, posting rambling screeds on online discussion platforms, procrastination, comfort.

    Every step away from one becomes a step toward another, every time I feel like I got a grip I regress into something else. Why? Why can't I step away? None of these things ought to be physically addictive yet here I am at 2 am in the morning stressing out about all the junk food I've consumed, about all the things I should be doing but don't.

    Of course I found some sort of explanation for myself watching a movie, this scene from The World's End finally put what I felt in words.

    "I don't wanna be sober. [...] All that promise and fucking optimism. [...] It was a big lie."

    The world is scary, and complicated, and it hurts. It hurts a lot, all the time. I want it to hurt less, I can't go on otherwise. You need the stimuli, physical or mental, to get through it all but sometimes you lose sight of the fact that you are numbing yourself, dulling your senses and wasting time because you can no longer face the world on it's own terms, and it lands you in this downwards spiral where everything just gets worse.
    Everything got worse, so you numb yourself more, and it gets worse again, on and on it goes. Because the one obvious solution, to face your problems, to acknowledge and accept your pain without letting it rule you, seems so far away and so pointless.

    If you're like me, if somehow this reaches you, then reach out. Let somebody know you're in pain, ideally somebody equipped to listen and acknowledge it. There is still a capacity for change in you, the optimism isn't a lie, or at least not any more then the lie of comfort your addiction sells you on. The one thing keeping me going right now, the one thing that makes me want to face my issues is the fact that I got professional help, for all I know that might have been the difference between learning from a lot of small mistakes and committing the biggest, most permanent mistake ever.

    17 votes
    1. [3]
      Nitta
      Link Parent
      I hope what I'm going to say will help, not hurt. The world isn't scary or anything. This is a personal perception. The world as a whole is rather neutral and for any person it will shine in...

      The world is scary, and complicated, and it hurts. It hurts a lot, all the time. I want it to hurt less, I can't go on otherwise. You need the stimuli, physical or mental, to get through it all

      I hope what I'm going to say will help, not hurt. The world isn't scary or anything. This is a personal perception. The world as a whole is rather neutral and for any person it will shine in colors which they perceive it in. Also in some parts of the world there are bullets flying, in some there are kittens and butterflies. So probably you are either in a relatively dangerous part of the world, and/or you are experiencing personal problems which engulf you in a bubble of suffering, making the world seem worse than it is. If you try acknowledging that the world out there is neutral and your perception defines how good it is for you, that can help starting to seek the way to get out of your personal bubble of issues or a dangerous place, and enjoy the good things our world has.

      Also, complicated is often related to unknown. Knowledge makes complex things simple for you. Try figuring out things you are afraid of because you don't know about them. Professional help you are receiving can assist you there.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        ainar-g
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I definitely agree with what you are saying, but please allow me to criticise how you are saying it. Your first paragraph, in particular the "bullets flying" sentence, comes out as a little bit...

        I definitely agree with what you are saying, but please allow me to criticise how you are saying it. Your first paragraph, in particular the "bullets flying" sentence, comes out as a little bit cold and patronising, and similar to the "There are kids starving in Africa!" arguments.

        If a person tells you that they are in pain, and you have no reason to disbelieve them, they are probably actually in pain. A lot of the time people with mental illnesses, including depression, are aware of the fact that what they believe is not entirely true, but it doesn't necessarily make them feel better. In fact, in my case, it made things worse. "You have this and you have that, why aren't you happy, you piece of shit?"

        Which is why I decided to write this comment. Can being more aware of the self and the life situation help people? Yes. But telling people "You have no objective reasons to suffer so just stop it already." is not the best way to teach that. There is a reason why compassion is one of central concepts of Buddhism, a philosophy of awareness.

        6 votes
        1. Nitta
          Link Parent
          Thank you. Now I wonder what I could say instead for the better...

          Thank you.

          Now I wonder what I could say instead for the better...

          2 votes
  2. blau
    Link
    MMO's in college. Started with Asheron's Call way back when, by the time college hit I was taking blocks off (one class, three-and-a-half weeks) to play Asheron's Call 2 and other MMO's (Dark Age...

    MMO's in college. Started with Asheron's Call way back when, by the time college hit I was taking blocks off (one class, three-and-a-half weeks) to play Asheron's Call 2 and other MMO's (Dark Age of Camelot, Shadowbane, etc). Usually 14-15 hour sessions for weeks, at times eating nothing but oatmeal cream pies and drinking brisk ice tea out of my dorm room mini-fridge. Always chasing a rush of being first at something, discovering a new area, or just competing in true player-vs-player Worlds with consequences and guild families. I started dating a girl who eventually took me out of this cycle of new games and graduated college with no issues.

    16 votes
  3. [2]
    obsoletenerd
    Link
    Food. I struggle to not eat just for the sake of eating. It's a comfort thing. I've managed to give up alcohol, party drugs, all the other vices your 20s and 30s generally introduces, but I still...

    Food. I struggle to not eat just for the sake of eating. It's a comfort thing. I've managed to give up alcohol, party drugs, all the other vices your 20s and 30s generally introduces, but I still eat too damn much. I eat pretty well as far as eating clean (not perfect, but better than ever)... but portion control is so hard.

    15 votes
    1. ainar-g
      Link Parent
      It's gets worse when the only places you can safely socialise are bars, parties, and cafés.

      It's gets worse when the only places you can safely socialise are bars, parties, and cafés.

      1 vote
  4. [2]
    patience_limited
    (edited )
    Link
    Nicotine. I had my first cigarette at age 10, was smoking two or more packs a day by grad school. I'd smoke in bed, in the bath, during sex. I once walked to the store to buy cigarettes, in...

    Nicotine. I had my first cigarette at age 10, was smoking two or more packs a day by grad school. I'd smoke in bed, in the bath, during sex. I once walked to the store to buy cigarettes, in January weather, with pneumonia and a temperature of 40 C.

    I quit several times, but there was always a life event that seemed impossible to tolerate without the ability to walk away and have a smoke.

    Quitting was horrendous - suicidal depression, insomnia, weight gain, near-uncontrollable rage, and a few weeks of feeling like the 'flu would be an improvement. I had at least one relationship break up because I became an objectively horrible person for two or three months. Once, I wound up in the emergency room because I developed an allergic reaction to nicotine patches, and kept using them.

    The most miserable thing about it was that unlike alcohol, opiates, psychedelics, and stimulants, using nicotine never felt good - there was only the anticipation of feeling less bad.

    I'm no longer smoking, but I haven't been nicotine-free at any time in the past ten years. I went from gum (wore out my temporomandibular joints), to lozenges, to vaping, to home-brewed nicotine mints. By itself, nicotine isn't particularly damaging to health and probably won't diminish my life expectancy - there's no compelling reason to stop, aside from the whole enslavement thing.

    8 votes
  5. json
    Link
    Probably sugar.

    Probably sugar.

    5 votes
  6. BlackLedger
    Link
    Online games (MUDs, MMOs) in high school and early university.

    Online games (MUDs, MMOs) in high school and early university.

    5 votes
  7. Nitta
    Link
    The flow of interesting or joyful information. This is the one thing that clearly has signs of addiction for me. I need to read something on the internet regularly and spontaneously to feel...

    The flow of interesting or joyful information. This is the one thing that clearly has signs of addiction for me. I need to read something on the internet regularly and spontaneously to feel fulfilled, updated and connected, or I'd get bored and restless. It can be Tildes, reddit, or it can be a Wikipedia article, or even silly comments on a local forum or YouTube.

    A way to reduce that seems to be working on a personal project. That also creates some kind of fulfillment which substitutes reading.

    4 votes
  8. pamymaf
    Link
    I seem to be addicted to excitement and adrenaline. Whether it's roller coasters, a new relationship, psychedelics, MDMA, etc, I just crave that rush of energy and happiness. I even get urges to...

    I seem to be addicted to excitement and adrenaline. Whether it's roller coasters, a new relationship, psychedelics, MDMA, etc, I just crave that rush of energy and happiness. I even get urges to get piercings, tattoos, or engage in a masochistic BDSM scenes. Something that I know will cause me pain. I do these things because I hate when life gets dull. When life is dull, I'm able to think about everything wrong with me. So, gotta go fast!

    Note: It's not as bad as it used to be. I'm starting medication for ADHD (Strattera) that will hopefully be the turning point to get myself to a happier base in life. Strattera is an NRI (Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor), and there might be a small chance that it will make my 'adrenaline cravings' lesson as well. Norepinephrine is the neurotransmitter (serotonin and dopamine are neurotransmitters too) that is released at the same time as adrenaline, and the NRI should hopefully raise my baseline norepinephrine levels.

    2 votes
  9. lag
    Link
    weed. Yes, weed can be addictive. Not in the sense that drugs such as heroin, or liquor can be, no. It is a separate thing. Unlike video games, weed gets you in a altered warped...

    weed.

    Yes, weed can be addictive. Not in the sense that drugs such as heroin, or liquor can be, no. It is a separate thing. Unlike video games, weed gets you in a altered warped perception/mindset. Video games are one thing, but they DO not alter your mind ie make you high/drunk.

    Been clean since May 20th, 2017, alongside nicotine. And my life has been fucking amazing ever since. I also avoid alcohol like the plague as I am terrified of the person that I become when im drunk. Which is unfortunate, as I am 21.

    2 votes