Addiction challenges are something that face many people in our culture. Professionals are not immune from this problem.
As “captains” of industry, doctors, lawyers, engineers, computer programmers and so on are often faced with all of the addictions of our broader society. Our challenges may go un-noticed by others (at least for a while) and we go on kidding ourselves that we don't really have a problem because we are still going to work, getting paid, living in our homes and enjoying our family and friends.
How do we recognize the signs of addiction to such things as:
Now, I am not going to pass judgement on any of the above activities or substances myself. Although I have never called myself an alcoholic, I certainly have, in the past, been seriously addicted to alcohol.
I can honestly say that quitting drinking is the second hardest thing I have ever done. I can also say that I know my life depends on me never picking up another drink. Thankfully, I can honestly say I am not remotely interested in drinking again. Phew.
I personally don’t believe that any such substance or activity is in and of itself wrong. For example, I do not judge someone who does drink.
When I started to De-Jones my life, I had to look at all of my problem behaviors and be honest about them. This has not been easy.
It may be difficult for you to know if you have a dependency. I was deeply embroiled in my alcohol addiction before I even realized it.
If you find yourself drawn to a particular substance or activity to the point where you no longer have a choice about whether you will take it or perform it, this is a strong hint that you have a problem. Needing more and more of the substance or activity to get the same effect may also be a sign.
You may be dependent if despite realizing it no longer serves you, trying to quit leads to intense cravings, to anxiety, to depression or to irritability.
If your career, school performance, or personal relationships have suffered because of your drinking, drug use, or other activities, then you may have crossed that line.
You may have trouble trying to figure out if you have a problem on your own. If other people in your life indicate that you have a problem, it's worth considering that you are in the throes of an addiction. It's only human nature to deny to yourself that you have a problem.
De-Jonesing this one means that you try and do every route possible to deal with. Do not wait to hit “rock bottom” before you deal with the problem. Having to wait to hit “rock bottom” before you will be motivated or able to quit is a myth and a damaging one at that.
When I quit drinking I used all kinds of avenues including books, counselors and attending AA meetings. Although I never did the full AA program, I did use it as one of many tools to assist me. It was at least 4 or 5 years between the time that I realized that alcohol was not serving me to the time I actually quit for good, yet I kept trying and trying. That is one of the keys.
As I have de-Jones'd my life I have learned more about:
And I plan to learn way more as I continue on my non-conforming way.
Written by Val Hemminger, the nonconforming professional
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