Chances are, if you have to ask whether you have an addiction problem, you probably do. The majority of “normal” people don’t sit around analyzing and questioning their behaviors, trying to figure out whether their problem is outside of what’s considered “normal”. As addicts, we begin justifying these insane behaviors to trick ourselves into believing that we still have our shit under control.
- Well yeah I got pretty fucked up Friday night, but wasn’t planning on drinking on Saturday until I found out about that party that only happens like once a year.
- Sure, I ate the whole box of donuts on the counter, but there’s nothing else to eat in the house. What am I suppose to do? Starve? That doesn’t mean I have an eating problem.
- I had a really bad week otherwise I wouldn’t have done that. It was a one time thing.
The reality is non-addicts don’t even think about these things at all. The reason we do is because there is some level of guilt within our being that is trying to let us know that something isn’t right. It is the beginning of recovery, but far from being the end of it. It is only of importance to us when we are ready to honestly look at our life and stop making bullshit excuses for our behaviors. The only thing that happens when you find out whether you are an addict or not is that you get a name to the problem. That’s it. So don’t expect some radical change to occur once you find out “what you are”. In order for there to be a solution, there has to be a problem. In that respect, you step onto the road of recovery once you find out that you are an addict. But if you would have asked me at 17 if I was an alcoholic, I probably would have told you yes and may even have been proud of it. I would brag about how I could drink you under the table and say everyone else my age is doing it too, so get off my back. See I may have known what I was, but I wasn’t ready to acknowledge it down to my core. I hadn’t yet looked at myself in the mirror and been disgusted at who I’d become. It’s in moments like that, that there is no doubt..we are what we are. There is no second guessing when your life is a twisted mess and every piece of it bears the marks of addiction.
Until we stop blaming our situation, our circumstances, and our past, what we are really doesn’t matter. I am not trying to say that the blame is totally on our shoulders. There’s a whole lot to addiction that is beyond our control. But what is under our control is the decision to change. People seem to put a lot of weight into finding out if they have a problem, but very little into the solution. Typically if they are still not ready to change, it doesn’t matter. We get this notion that by finding out that we’re addicts the problem is just going to go away. I guess it gives us an explanation for our behavior, but that’s about it. It’s like someone finding out that the big piece of metal sitting in their driveway is called a “car”, but not having the keys or any gas. You may find out you’re an addict, but unless you’re ready to go get the keys and fill up the tank, you’re going to be still sitting in your own shit, standing still.