uplevel yourself

Journal

Addiction Doesn't Exist.

Dear Angela,
You've shared in the past your affinity for mind and body-altering substances. Are you an addict? I think I am an addict. I drink alcohol and smoke marijuana. I do other things in secret, too. Is it okay to be an addict? Or should I try to stop?
Thank you for your authenticity.
Anonymous.




My lovely mirror: anonymous,
Addiction, in the way you're asking, doesn't exist. You and I, we all choose to consume substances or participate in activities because it makes us feel better about our lives, about the choices we're making. 

We are not addicted to substances; we are addicted to our excuses.

As humans, we are constantly coping with this life. I have never met a person who isn't coping with being human. It's a crazy life; I'm not pointing fingers. I don't pretend to have it all figured out.
Just this morning I ate a handful of dark chocolate peanut butter cups... we all have dirty little secrets or dirty not-so-secrets. I am not addicted to sugar. I am not addicted to peanut butter cups. I ate them because I am coping with my emotions and I thought they would help in that very moment. They did. Now, instead of sitting with my emotions, my blood sugar is out of control as I type this and my heart feels like it will burst. I am realizing I could've chosen an outlet other than chocolate and sugar, and I likely would be feeling much better if I would have made a better choice. But I didn't. So now I get to make another choice: eat more peanut butter cups because my blood sugar is already elevated and they are so f*ing good and I've already made one "bad choice" so why not make another bad choice? Or I could have some protein to help level out the sugar consumption swirly twirly in my system. Or I could use that sugar and go for a walk. Or I can feel the sugar, feel the decision, and sit here writing to you. This life is decision after decision after decision. 
We each choose whether to live or opt out and blame something ("addiction"). I have never met a single person who isn't actively opting out of living in the present moment and blaming something - whether by:
~ choosing a lifestyle that is completely dedicated to some cause (which alienates them from everything and everyone) instead of daily enjoying their own life
~ having a glass or bottle of wine every night and then blaming poor sleep on apnea or stress instead of finding a healing, creative expression before bed,
~ proclaiming we want to find "the one" but sleeping with whoever will give us attention instead of giving ourSelf the attention we crave,
~ running marathons or getting 4 yoga teacher training certifications or pushing our physical body to extremes instead of nourishing our inner, non-physical body,
 ~ "needing" coffee in the morning instead of sitting quietly or breathing for 10 minutes,
~ ingesting mind and body altering herbs, tinctures, teas, and essences to dull our senses instead of fully feeling life (or to feel life "more fully"),
~ ruining every relationship that comes our way and finding excuses to opt out of human interactions instead of letting others be the mirrors that we actually need,
~ taking ADHD pills instead of examining the behavior that creates the anxiety,
~ placing impossible rules on our eating habits (gluten free, vegan, sugar free, etc etc) and then binging when no one is around instead of loving our bodies and allowing them to tell us what they actually need for health,
~ spending hours on social media comparing our mediocre lives to other peoples' seemingly perfect existence instead of shutting the computer and living the life we dream,
~ eating 10 cookies as fast as we can instead of stopping to see what emotions we're shoving down our throats under the guise of cookies,
~ choosing an illness and sticking to it, labeing ourselves a victim - or worse "a survivor" - instead of allowing ourselves to be happy, healthy, and without cause for complaint,
~ fasting and water/juice/master cleansing as a way to "clean out" our bodies instead of dealing with the years of repressed sensitivities
...I could go on about the forms of "addictions" I've helped people work through. The fact is that in being human, we must make choices. And when we have to make excuses for those choices, they become addictions.

Addiction is the excuse for the poor decision we made. When we label our decision as addiction, we become the victim to that substance or action.

And then we are no longer responsible... the substance or action is.
Or genetics.
Or circumstance. 
Or being raped.
Or being abandoned.
Or that we are in a job we hate.
Or that we are poor.
Or we are sick.
Or _________________.
Fill in that blank. Do it now. Whatever is your fallback blame game, whatever gets you into the place of excuse-making, go there now.
And recognize that you are the creator of this life. You have chosen this life. 
Why, then, are you opting out of living it?
I urge you to completely drop the word addiction in your life. When you aren't addicted to making excuses, you have nothing left to do except:
LIVE.
love,
angela
 

angela sumner