Some people have an addictive personality, I’m one of them. I don’t mean that our personality is so wonderful that people become addicted to us. I mean that we easily become addicted to things that are addictive. Probably more so than those with strong will power.
For example I used to smoke. I think I did the usual teenage thing, you know – your friend knows someone who is really cool who smokes so she buys a packet of ten and you go out on a ‘special’ trip somewhere (like the park) and you go out and buy the matches and share a cigarette somewhere where no one will see you. It tastes disgusting and makes you choke and feel weird, but hey, you look grown up and cool. So that was me when I was about thirteen. Back then most of my friends smoked, we even used to smoke at school – in the field would you believe? Sorry teachers. I actually remember when I was at secondary school, probably about fifteen and got caught smoking at school and had my cigarette confiscated. There were rumours that the deputy head used to write your name on the cigarette if you were caught, goodness knows what he did with them though because I don’t recall him giving them back out again. He probably had a little collection of them in his office. So I smoked on and off through my teenage years. I gave up at twenty-one when I found out I was expecting my first child and when my boys were little I didn’t smoke at all, stupidly though for one reason or another I started again a few years later…
I made the decision to give up about 12 years ago and haven’t smoked or been tempted since.
Actually that paints quite a rosy picture and makes it sound like it was a doddle to give up. It wasn’t easy at all. It took visits to a stop smoking nurse, patches, chewing gum and lots of will-power, avoiding certain situations and finding something else to do at trigger times. But I got there in the end!
Stupidly cider and wine became my new vice. Obviously not a glass every time I would have had a cigarette but it became a new ‘treat’ especially at weekends when you just want something to unwind. The trouble is with wine especially, it can become a bit of a habit – a bit too easily. That couple of glasses on a Friday night, becomes a couple of glasses on a Friday and Saturday night. This then spreads to Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, then Sundays too. Before you know it, you feel you deserve a treat every night as a reward for working hard and damn, you’re drinking wine every single night during the week and weekends and two glasses became a bottle and really that’s not at all good when you add it all up.
See I stopped talking in the first person then, like I wasn’t talking about me. Actually I am talking about me.
However, I managed to complete ‘dry January’ this year, to my astonishment, and then dry February, March and April. Now we are half way through May and I haven’t had a drop of alcohol for 137 days (as of today.) I only know this because I have a couple of apps on my phone where I ‘report in’ each day and can track my progress – and see how much money I’ve saved!
So that’s where we are up to now, except I seem to have substituted wine for chocolate, or should that say substituted chocolate for wine? This, annoyingly, is the main reason I haven’t lost weight since giving up wine. I had hoped I would have lost over a stone, but uh-uh no, nothing whatsoever. Sorry I’m waffling on a bit. I have been trying the last few weeks to knock my chocolate craving on the head. It’s really hard though. I have managed to cut down a bit. Well actually I have some days where my will power is better than others.
I found this about addiction on the NHS website, the page is here if you want to read more, I think it’s interesting reading. There are also links on the NHS page to support services who can help with different types of addiction,
If you have an addiction, you’re not alone. According to the charity Action on Addiction, 1 in 3 people are addicted to something.
Addiction is defined as not having control over doing, taking or using something to the point where it could be harmful to you.
work – some people are obsessed with their work to the extent that they become physically exhausted; if your relationship, family and social life are affected and you never take holidays, you may be addicted to work
internet – as computer and mobile phone use has increased, so too have computer and internet addictions; people may spend hours each day and night surfing the internet or gaming while neglecting other aspects of their lives
solvents – volatile substance abuse is when you inhale substances such as glue, aerosols, petrol or lighter fuel to give you a feeling of intoxication
shopping – shopping becomes an addiction when you buy things you don’t need or want to achieve a buzz; this is quickly followed by feelings of guilt, shame or despair
So that explains, also, why I got a bit addicted to running a couple of years ago, I just loved the freedom and feel of it, I loved it to the point though that even though I had an injury I still wanted to do it. So I would run through the pain which was a bit silly really. I got to the point where each time I ran I had to beat my fastest speed, I used an app that told me how fast I had run so I would make myself run really fast just for the last minute (or half a minute sometimes.) to be honest maybe that was more of an obsession than an addiction, thinking about it. Yes I can easily get obsessed with things too. I feel quite frustrated now that I have been told I can’t run – ever really – because of my insertional Achilles tendinopathy or tendinitis (I’ll talk abut that another time.)
Now why can’t I become addicted to something simple like apples?