Friday, October 16, 2009

Addiction or Dedication... Which Am I?

What is the difference between addiction and dedication? Why is one destructive and the other constructive?

Work is a healthy necessary vital part of one's life. However, there are workaholics who lose their ability to get pleasure from other parts of their lives and find comfort only in work. We migrate from acceptable to destructive in that example and from dedicated to addicted.

Pain killers are a necessity after surgery. We would be unable to tolerate the enormous pain we would suffer without them. As we heal we take less and less of the pain killers until we no longer need them. When we do not take less and less, we become addicted to them. We have again moved from acceptable to destructive.

The point of addiction arrives when the substance or activity is interfering with our ability to live our lives, enjoy healthy pleasures and interact with others in positive meaningful ways. Through abuse we can become addicted to virtually anything... diet soda, sugar, McDonalds, gambling, illicit drugs, porn, sky diving, even violence and hostility can become addicting. When a substance or activity becomes addictive it destroys our ability to remain peaceful and centered, to practice self care and enjoy our daily lives.

Constructive substances and activities enhance the quality of our lives. They may give meaning and pleasure to our routines and enhance our enjoyment. It is easy to move from constructive to destructive when we become unbalanced. When we seek to escape from the pressures of daily life in unhealthy ways we may take constructive activities or substances and allow them to become destructive.

This is the reason we participate in recovery. Through our ability to practice self care and look within at our own truths we keep ourselves in balance. We remind ourselves not to struggle against the ebb and flow of the universe and allow our higher power to guide us on our chosen path. Through recovery work we learn to practice self care and return to balance in all areas of our lives.


  1. Good post. I think my stbx is definately an addiction for me. I need to break free because being around him and talking to him brings me down. I can't remember a day when I was truly happy. At the same time because of our time together I can't seem to let go like I need to.

  2. Take it one step at at time. Often times we feel a task is so overwhelming that we cannot surmount it. When we break it down into its component parts it can seem much more do-able.
    Looking at your relationship and seeing all the time that you have not been happy seems endless and too much to bear. Seeing one day at a time as you look toward the future may help to break the cycle of pain and free you from your need to remain in a situation you no longer want to be in.