Breaking Our Addictions
Our ability to form habits cuts both ways. If we form good habits, we reap the benefits. Unfortunately, if we form bad habits the same is true. If you plant carrots, you get carrots…. if you plant thistles, guess what?
So this is Grandma talking to you about those addictions that harm you and your families — things that do no good, and by doing no good, actually cause harm — as well as things that out-and-out cause harm to your health, to your relationships, and to your well-being overall.
Too many people either inherit physical predilections that lead to various kinds of addiction, or are nurtured in an environment that leads to addictions, or develop addictions circumstantially. This wastes their lives and talents and makes these people a burden on their families and on society at large.
With up to 40% of all Americans suffering from some kind of addiction, it’s time we dealt with it.
Let me give you some examples of predisposed, cultural, and circumstantial addictions:
Many Native Americans are predisposed to alcoholism because they lack adequate amounts of the enzymes needed to break alcohol down once it enters the bloodstream. This is an example of a physically inherited factor that predictably lends itself to addictive behavior.
Certain cultural factors also weigh-in, for example, alcoholism is more common in communities where the pub is a venerated local institution, and drinking is part of the tradition marking all major occasions– births, weddings, and deaths. There’s a reason that Irishmen are famous for drinking to excess.
In America, right now, we are dealing with large numbers of veterans maimed in nasty conflicts all over the globe. These men and women often suffer horrific pain on the long road toward recovery, and not a few become addicted to painkillers. This is no fault of theirs — it’s a circumstantial addiction.
But all these addictions can be outsmarted and overcome.
When you account for the physical and cultural factors that support a particular addiction, there’s only one wildcard left —– each one of us.
We are the ones that ultimately decide the impact of all the rest.
We are the Gatekeepers who say “yes” or “no” at the end of the day, and this is why addiction is also always a profoundly lonely thing. If it becomes a struggle, it’s always a struggle with me, myself, and nobody else.
In my lifetime I have known people who have been addicted to a dizzying array of things — from ball games to Cheetohs, from Meth to Marijuana, from beer to Pall Malls, from whiskey to sex, from Crack to Smack to cheap gin and chocolate, from card games to race tracks, from pasta to cheese sauce, Cuban cigars, and licorice.
I’ve even known people who have been addicted to their idea of government; because their fantasy belief in government made them feel all cozy and secure, they could never get enough of Big Brother, either. They want more government control, more government intervention, more government programs, more government giveaways — in exactly the same way a whiskey addict wants more whiskey.
I’ve seen bankers who — despite knowing all the secrets of their trade and knowing (for sure) that money is just a shady commodity like lipstick — have been overcome by greed and finagled to get more money and credit amassed than they could ever possibly spend in dozens of lifetimes.
Whatever the object of the addiction, the process is the same.
The addict becomes habituated to the addictive agent, the addictive agent fulfills their craving for a short time—- and then leaves the victim wanting more. More. MORE.
Observe the cigarette cycle: the addict feels nervous and smokes a cigarette to get a hit of nicotine; nicotine (a very effective nerve poison) appears to calm their nerves (by poisoning them); the nicotine eases off and the addict gets nervous again— because their nerves are being poisoned and irritated by the nicotine.
As the addict’s nerves become more and more irritated, they need more and more nicotine to calm down.
This same basic theme of the addictive agent causing the problem that it appears to cure is common as dirt and applies to Democrats, tobacco, alcohol, many drugs, and many food addictions.
How else can you explain the addiction of Chicago voters to Democrat politicians? They have had control of the city government for almost a hundred years and have steadily driven the people into poverty and the government into ruin, yet because they appear to be the cure for the problems they are causing, people continue to vote them in—- just like a drunk “takes the cure”.
It’s the same process. The addictive agent appears to cure the problem(s) that they are in fact causing.
The foods you crave, you are actually allergic to.
For example, people who are sensitive to sodium chloride (table salt) may become addicted to chips and pickles and other things that are high in salt content. People who are lactic acid intolerant crave milk, cheese, and yogurt.
Nobody caught in the clutches of an addiction can get enough of whatever is making them poor, sick, and miserable.
It’s this last part that turns something as innocuous as liking crackers with your soup into a harmful addiction.
With an addiction, you are tricked into the idea that you can never get enough of whatever it is, and so, by definition, you can’t.
See how that works? If you think, for example, that two glasses of wine isn’t “enough” — then two glasses isn’t enough for you in any case, because that’s what you believe.
In this way, addiction becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. As a friend struggling with alcoholism once described it, “One is too many and ten is not enough.”
So, what to do? Want some proven and practical advice?
Changing your thinking can change your beliefs and changing your beliefs can change your habits and actions.
All interactive programs designed to break addictions work on the same premise, but some programs operate from a basis of guilt and will power, while others — like Allen Carr’s — go at it from the opposite direction, and bring forward your actual self-interest.
Like some carnival and casino games (and government programs, too) there is no winning from an addiction — whether its an addiction to booze or welfare or candy corn or painkillers or political parties. It’s a lose-lose proposition from the start.
Once you truly realize that, it’s amazing how easy it is to quit whatever addiction has its hooks in you, because you see that there is no Either/Or proposition involved.
Instead, it’s an Either/Either proposition, and just like the Democrats versus the Republicans, you lose either way.
If my-Mother-didn’t-love-me belly-button staring group session therapy isn’t working and the traditional “you’re guilty of sin, you-have-to-man-up, and get serious!” Twelve-Step programs are falling flat — try Allen Carr’s route out of the addiction jungle.
Start focusing on winning, instead of looking at it in terms of loss avoidance, and you’d be amazed at what you can do and the mountains you can move.
With 40% of Americans struggling with addictions of one kind or another, there’s no doubt that we need to stop, look, and listen.
The Hegelian Dialectic of causing a problem, presenting the solution, and getting your way with the victims— applies all across the board —- at the bar, in the bedroom, the Board Room, the grocery store, the gas station, and everywhere else you care to look.
We are under siege and being victimized by addictions as a result of our own gullibility, our failure to identify the actual sources of our problems, and our failure to take action.
If you are struggling with addiction, or someone you love is —- a condition that affects nearly all of us in one way or another — check out Allen Carr’s answer.
Earlier I said that addiction is a lonely battle, because it’s one on one with yourself, but it doesn’t have to be as lonely as it currently is. Many communities shun addicts and refuse to face the huge problem of addiction.
When we bury our heads in the sand is when we catch it on the butt.
With 40% of Americans struggling with some form of addiction, this has gone beyond the point of being a private matter. This is a public issue. We literally cannot afford to have almost half of our people incapacitated and unable to function because of drugs, tobacco, and alcohol.
Remember that the first prerequisite of self-governance is being able to govern yourself, so for a government like ours that does not pretend to be a Nanny State, addiction is a major stumbling block.
Unlike the Federal Government which makes its money from regulating controlled substances and the sale of controlled substances, our government is highly motivated to stem the tide of addiction.
Unlike the Federal Government which receives more money every time an American gets sick, becomes an addict, or is unemployed, our government is motivated to promote actual health, independence, and full employment.
The kind of life you live and the government you have depends on the choices that you make.
Go to: www.TheAmericanStatesAssembly.net today and get started. And if you are struggling with addiction, tune in and hear what Allen Carr has to say.
What works in the fight against alcoholism works against any addiction you can name.