Friday, January 30, 2009

Addictions

I don't know how much I've talked about addiction on this blog. I've probably alluded to it a time or two though. But I think I'm going to come out and talk about it now. I'm not really sure why. Partly, I was motivated by this article.

http://www.ldsmag.com/articles/090123addict.html

It is written from an LDS perspective, just to let you know. It is a long read, but it is also pretty eye opening. Here is a small part of it:


"Use of prescription drugs, gambling, excessive spending, excessive use of television and other electronic media such as computers, electronic games, and fantasy games are some of the most prevalent addictive behaviors today. In the LDS culture and beyond, unhealthy eating behaviors are becoming more than just bad habits for many who find that no number of diets, exercise programs or weight-loss drugs offer permanent relief. Just one more bite, one more brownie, one more meal-then we'll ”go on the wagon.”

Why do these behaviors qualify as addictions, even though they do not involve ingesting any mood-altering chemicals? Because they all can mask and postpone negative feelings by triggering rushes of internal mood altering chemicals such as adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine. In fact, we would be wise to examine even some of the most admirable activities-- such as working hard, serving others, exercising and keeping our homes nearly perfect-- in our lives to see if we have become dependent on them for our sense of self-worth. Thus, when we indulge even in these socially acceptable activities beyond a healthy balance, we need to prayerfully ask ourselves this question: Am I doing this because it brings me joy and peace, or because I am feeling compelled to do it? If, in all honesty, we we feel compelled to do these things, we would be wise to consider we may be developing an addiction."


Addictions come in many forms. It doesn't have to be a substance. It can be anger, food, the computer, or shopping. Sometimes I wonder about my blogging addiction. :) I have been in the 12 step Addiction Recovery Program, ARP, run by LDS Family Services for about a year now. I had been using food, as the above article mentions, to "mask and postpone negative feelings." Since joining ARP, I've lost 45 pounds, but I still have lots of work to do. Weight loss is great, but I really need to deal with the feelings and emotions that led to this addiction. This is obviously hard for me to share in such a public place, but I'm doing it for a reason. If you are out there, struggling with any kind of addiction, there are places to go to find comfort, support, strength, and healing. This program would be beneficial for anyone. If you need to learn how to work within your budget. If you need to help your temper with your kids. If you have a family member struggling. The principles taught in the class would benefit anyone trying to further their dependence on the Lord. There are many ARP classes in church buildings around the country. But if there isn't one in your area, you can do a self-study with the available manual.

http://www.providentliving.org/content/display/0,11666,6629-1-3414-1,00.html

Okay. I've said it. I hope the reason I felt prompted to put all this in such a public place is so I can help someone. We don't need to struggle alone when there is help out there.

9 chocolate lovers:

GooberDiva13 said...

My deep thoughts:

What would happen if one was addicted to addiction recovery programs?

Sarah C said...

Thank you so much for sharing that. I am proud of you for recognizing your addiction and then getting help. Good luck with your goals. I have a hard time admitting my weaknesses. I try to mask my problems with eating too. I think that is part of why I am so over weight. I am working on it now though. Reading your post inspired me. Thank you!!

Becky and Chris said...

Blogging, in my opinion, is the modern day version of writing in a journal, which I still believe is encouraged by those who know. My goal of writing in a journal is one that has never been taken seriously and has often given my hand a cramp, but blogging is something I can do. O.k. I guess I'm addicted to blogging/ journal writing.

Victoria :) said...

Good for you Melisa for posting this blog!

Dunstan Family said...

can they help with chocolate.???

Rachel said...

Thanks for sharing that Melisa! I really appreciate your honesty and openness on this issue. Sometimes I forget what addiction truly is and how it can impact families. It is always a good reminder to re-evaluate our priorities and make sure they are in line with the whole purpose of being here... obtaining exaltation.

Lots of love out to ya!

Nata-Leigh (Lubbock's Mom) said...

Great posting. I am so thankful that as I tackle my own addictions, I have beautiful friends to confide in and help point me in the right direction. Thank you.

Jennie said...

Thanks for sharing that. I've also wondered if I have an internet addiction. :) I've noticed it and am trying to work on moderating my time on it.

I wish you success in overcoming your addiction.

Thanks for always saying such lovely things on my blog, it makes my day!

PS. If you are going to be in MI the end of the month, I'm going to be teaching a coupon class and wanted to let you know so you could come. I know, it would be a drive!

Missy said...

Thanks so much for sharing that. I may stop by next ARP night. I have been wanting to work on anger management but didn't think of it as an addiction issue. Thanks!