“So What is Your Addiction or Addictive Behavior?”

        I think most people have some form of addiction or addictive behavior. What do you think? And I am not saying that all addictions or addictive behaviors are bad or harmful. Exercise can be an addictive behavior. Anyway, most addictions might not be as serious as my past behaviors; however, I believe that most of us have behaviors that motivate us to a desire to be rewarded in some way. Now, I am not saying that all additions are wrong or life-threatening. Believe it or not, “Addictive Behavior” is defined as a “behavior, or a stimulus related to a behavior, that is both rewarding and reinforcing”. (look it up on Wikipedia) Remember, in my blog two weeks ago, I confessed that I actually gave up going into Value City one year for Lent. See, I was “addicted” to buying something almost every time I walked into Value City. Now, I ask you, was my addiction to Value City wrong or harmful? However that store was a “stimulus” that motivated me to reward myself in a positive way. But I must also confess and admit that I found myself in a temporary state of “withdrawal” after my local Value City closed its doors. As I reflect on my life at the old age of 72, I also realize that I suffered from other forms of addictions and additive behaviors. The longest addiction was my dependency and desire for alcohol which began when I was a senior in high school. I was a very serious alcoholic for twenty-four years. Now, did my alcohol addiction motivate and reward me? Honestly, my answer would be “YES”, although there were many times when my addiction almost killed me. See, I must admit that my alcohol addiction and addictive behavior actually empowered me during those psychologically deadly years living undercover in drug organizations and organized crime associations. Basically, being drunk all the time undercover actually freed me to take more chances and raise the “risk factor” in investigations that I would normally never have had the courage to enter into. And so, my alcohol addiction was the stimulus that motivated me to go deeper undercover and I was “rewarded” by taking down some very serious organizations and operations that no one else could get into in my unit. Were they potentially life-threatening? “YES”. Were they fun? “YES”. Were they rewarding? For me, personally, “YES” because most of the time, I lived in fear. And so, again I ask you what are YOUR “addictive behaviors”? What motivates you? What stimulates you? It could be your occupation or profession. It could be your spouse, relationship or family. Again, not all addictive behaviors are “bad” for you. However, there are many forms of addictions and addictive behaviors that could cause you to have a negative impact on your life. Food addiction, excessive spending, gambling, sex, pornography, cheating on your spouse, just to list a couple potential harmful addictions. I can still remember the addiction or addictive behavior I had in the seventh grade. No, it was not girls. See, I was too shy to ever talk to a girl. However, my addiction was Playboy Magazines. Remember them??? Every month, I would walk into my local drug store and “pick up” the latest copy of Playboy Magazine. And since I was too young to buy it, I would simply just steel it, put it in my duffle bag and walk out of the store. And believe me, in the seventh grade, I was not interested in the articles. Honestly, what are your addictions and addictive behaviors? Most, if not all of us have a couple things that motivate or stimulate us. And they do not all have to be bad. If you have the courage, come out of the “closet”, write to me and share what motivates you. Basically, we all need to be honest with ourselves and others. Our addictions and addictive behaviors have a lot to do with our personality, identity, self-image and perception of how we see ourselves when we look in the mirror.

Leave a Comment