To say that addiction is epidemic in our society is no
exaggeration. Mention the word and most people think about
alcohol and drugs, substances which alter the mind and
provide a ready escape from unpleasant feelings.
Substance addiction is a huge problem but it’s only the
tip of the iceberg. Chemical use is only one way to avoid
reality. An activity or process can also be used
compulsively to numb the body, distract the mind and paralyze
No doubt workaholics far outnumber alcoholics.
Compulsive working and obsessive thinking about work can keep
one so busy there is no time to feel pain or emptiness. It’s
probably the most popular way to avoid intimacy and you even
get paid for it! So easy to justify, too!
How about shopaholism? This is compulsive spending in
order to feel good. What better way to assuage emotional
deprivation? Of course, it helps if you have a workaholic in
the family to pay the bills.
Quite a few people are addicted to religion. This feels
safe and righteous. They can avoid addressing the deeper
questions of life by quoting scripture and congratulate
themselves for their own morality by attacking yours.
Then there’s sex addiction. Some people avoid intimacy
by compulsively seeking physical closeness or self-
stimulation through pornography. It’s less threatening.
Many are addicted to their own fantasies. They
stubbornly refuse to recognize and deal with real people and
real situations because of their attachment to their own
delusions about the way things “should be”. They’re living
in a dream-world of romance and perfection.
There are lots of relationship addicts. These are the
“co-dependents” who are addicted to a particular person and
that person’s problems or to a series of problem people.
Just another way to avoid facing oneself.
All addictions are ways of avoiding reality. They all
involve denial, grandiosity and perfectionism. They are all
attempts to right something that is wrong without ever
acknowledging what is really wrong. And they’re all doomed