What comes into your mind when you hear the word addiction? Are you lamenting under some terrible addiction that has turned you into an old rickety rackety wreck? Or do you have some friend you care about who is almost being reduced to a skeleton of a human being because of some unbreakable chain? Whoever you are, whichever point of view you are facing this article, there is something for you.
When the word addiction is mentioned, many people think of drunkards or walking chimneys (smokers). Some could be thinking of their relatives or close friends who cannot function without some particular substance. Probably those who have been abused by adults who forfeited sobriety by their intemperance could be confronted by sadistic scenes. All these notwithstanding, addictions could take various forms and formats. Apart from drug and substance addiction, contemporary society has invented many more chains. So today we have things like sex addiction, pornography addiction, sports addiction, social media addiction, masturbation, food addiction, caffeine addiction (for lovers of tea) et cetera.
I may not have named it up there, but you can still know it is an addiction. How can you know that something has made you an addict? For me, it is by understanding what addiction means. Addiction is defined as a compulsive, chronic, physiological or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, behaviour, or activity that has harmful physical, psychological, or social effects and typically causing well-defined symptoms (such as anxiety, irritability, tremors, or nausea) upon withdrawal or abstinence. So are you an addict?
Why You Should Break from the Chains of Addiction.
Addictions have a lot of negative consequences, which ultimately have a negative net effect on your person. Here are some of the reasons why you should make urgent plans to come out of your addictions:
1. It is a form of Slavery.
Human beings were created to be moral agents who make decisions based on free will. Anything that addicts turns people into mere automata and makes it difficult to obey your conscience. I have known of a man who could not get to bed without a cup of tea. Another was fully convinced that he would die if he stays away from liquor for one day. Most people get to the point that they are robotics, being controlled by their particular issues. Most addicted people do not consume their darling substances because they love them but because they cannot do without them. The system is hacked, and their opinions do not count anymore. Addictions reduce you to a yes, man.
2. It unfits you for Usefulness.
Addictions make people useless in all duties of life. Time and resources meant for useful labour, and productive ventures are employed in securing the substance of addiction. An addict would see the family go hungry than miss a daily dose of their darling substance. An addict will miss vital appointments because they are caught between a rock and a hard place. What about performance at work? According to a Forbes article, “Who Wastes The Most Time At Work?” posted on Sep 7, 2013, 25 per cent of working adults admit to looking at pornography on a computer at work. And 70 per cent of all online pornography access occurs between 9 AM and 5 PM. This statistic was for the year 2013; what do you think are the 2021 statistics? To be honest, I am afraid of getting current statistics; they must be disturbing. An addict have their priorities reorganised in such a way that entertaining their addictions comes first and everything else second!
3. It will Catch up with you someday.
Probably this is the most important reason to break loose from those blackmailing fetters. There is a powerful principle of cost and effect, a principle that has little room for adjustment. Cirrhosis does not seek the permission of the drunkard to smother him to nothingness. Lung cancer does not beg a smoker to allow for uncontrolled cell division. Madness does not seek the opinion of a masturbator to reorganise their mental faculties. Any kind of addiction is like a bait trap. When fisherfolk lowers the bait into the waters, fish may think it is altruism until he suffocates in the air. If the fish were informed that anglers are not philanthropists, fishing could be rocket science. Addiction like sin fascinates before it assassinates.
How to Break Loose from the Strong Chains of Addictions
Having realised that addictions are terrible tyrants and breaking lose is an absolute necessity, the next and most significant question is how to find your way home. Addiction is like a forest fire, easy to start but challenging to quench. The following tidbits would help you find your way home from the far country of addiction:
1. Seeking professional help.
Some addictions may need you to seek expert assistance. People who have some upper hand and professional information can be beneficial in helping you find yourself. These may be counsellors, doctors, and even well-trained clergy. If you take this direction, be sure you are willing to tell them precisely what is happening. No silent prayer requests here. They don’t have instruments for measuring your situation, and your information is their only data source. So it should be essential to be sure you can be free enough to open up with them. It is for your good anyway, so you better get straight up and cry for help.
2. Having an accountability partner.
An accountability partner is someone you trust who keeps track of your success as you battle your addiction. They help you monitor your success. They ask you very personal questions like, “Has the flesh done it again?” And you tell them nothing but the truth. They may not necessarily be professionals, but a trusted friend, a mentor, or relative that you are sure means well for you. They will be there for you as you travel the road less travelled, of reclaiming yourself from the burdensome loads of addiction. If someone confides in you as an accountability partner, you need to realise that this is one of the most important positions you can ever earn in this world. Quit your job with the broadcasting corporation and remain faithful all the way through.
3. Remove dead moments.
Addictions, especially of sensual nature, thrive in privacy and slothfulness. You need to create no room for lazy moments. Have a well organised day with no time allotted for nothing. Deny yourself the convenience of having time with nothing to do; it is too costly for a moral invertebrate! If you have done all the assignments, go exercise, read a book, visit a friend. Don’t lock yourself in your room to watch your series. If possible, reduce your online activities. Reduce your chances of seeing dazzling sights and hearing tempting sounds.
4. Remaining faithful to your vows.
The most critical success in human life is acquiring unquestionable character. We have great plans. We have versatile strategic plans. If half of the resolutions laid down every year were carried out, the world would have been far better off than it is now. What about our baptismal vows? If you can remember them and compare them with your life, you may always find reasons for reform. What if you are not spiritual? Addiction is not good even for an infidel, and you will have a reason to remain vigilant to real growth into the full stature of manhood. It needs a character that cannot be questioned or pinned down by cognitive dissonance. Obey your marching orders.
5. Seek God.
The ultimate deliverance is from God. God is the supreme accountability partner. He will not ask you if the flesh has done it again. He has all the information. If you are claiming piety, and at the same time, you are enlisted in the servitude of addiction, just know you are wasting your time. God is not ready to be in a love triangle, and if you cannot be fully committed to Him, just know you are wasting your precious time. He knows everything about you, and He still loves you the same way. He doesn’t call you by your sin but by your name. The business of addictions is to keep you gambling with your faith till the close of probation reminds you that you are not only almost saved but eternally lost!
God will forgive and forget and provide the power to go forward. His assurance is that you can always come home as long as probation lingers. A preacher I highly respect once confessed that a Psychologist of no mean stature once referred a man to him with the following additional information: “He needs God, but I don’t know how to give people God, kindly help!”
We can trust the maker. He knows how to restore the factory settings.