I believe that most people who know me well, are probably aware that I have addictive tendencies and an addictive personality type, but perhaps not.
You may be wondering, “What does that mean exactly, to have an addictive personality type?”
Well, simply put, it means that you have difficulties with moderating those things that you find enjoyable and pleasurable in life. A normal person may be able to regulate their desires more responsibly, but those with addictive personalities can feel compelled to seek out that pleasure again and again, even when it may stop having a positive effect on the life of that individual.
Having an addictive personality is not always a bad thing, but it can be if you’re not careful or self-aware. Certain addictions that I have formed do not negatively affect my life, like my reliance on caffeine to carry me through my day. It’s only a negative if it effects my sleep or makes me anxious from overdoing it.
Although not always dangerous, an addictive personality can quickly become hazardous when it is associated with health harming substances such as alcohol.
I am all too aware of my addictive personality trait, especially in regards to alcohol because I need to be aware of it. I know that sometimes I can drink too much and I can drink too often if I’m not careful. I’ve used alcohol as a coping mechanism at times, drinking to deal with stress, depression or even just boredom, and that’s never good. So for me, I usually don’t keep alcohol in the house unless I intend to drink it.
Fortunately for me, I am all too aware of the negative side effects that alcohol can have on health and longevity, so I have forced myself to try and find healthier coping mechanisms in recent years. Yet in times of great struggle, my progress can stall or even regress.
Sometimes my compulsive habits are so ingrained in my nature that quitting one addictive habit can be a hell of a lot easier by simply replacing it with something else that’s less harmful.
For example, I’ve always struggled with moderating my alcohol consumption until I started using marijuana. With very few negative long-term side effects and a plethora of positive health benefits, weed has been a much better option for me to use in my life for relaxation at night or just to lower stress.
Yes, weed can also be abused and I do need to be conscious of moderating my consumption of this drug as well, because waking up and getting baked is not the most responsible way to lead your life. In order to keep a clear head for motivation and goal setting, I most often keep my use of weed isolated to the evenings after accomplishing whatever I had needed to do first throughout my day.
There is a fine balancing act required in order to live harmoniously with your addictive personality, yet it can all fall apart very quickly if great care is not maintained.
For example, I write this post from an all inclusive resort in Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba. Now, having an addictive personality, unlimited alcohol and zero access to marijuana has pushed me in a direction these past few days that I don’t feel so proud about.
Yes, I’ve been having a fun time and forming great memories (from what I can remember), but needing late afternoon naps these past three days because I’m too drunk to stay awake is not okay for me. Being aware of this, today I intend to go dry and just enjoy good food, beautiful weather and living life without any mind altering substances, but these personal struggles will likely be a part of who I am for the rest of my life.
Addiction can manifest itself in other ways too, such as with compulsive sex, eating and even too much entertainment (TV, video games etc.). I’ve dabbled with it all.
Fortunately, my personality type can also lead me to become addicted to activities that are also beneficial to my life. When I invest my energy into an exercise routine, I can also become addicted to the endorphins and positive results which I see from this beneficial habit. I allow myself to indulge in this sort of addicting activity, running to deal with stress and lifting to increase my strength because it doesn’t harm me at all. Well, usually.
However, it can still become a problem when I injure myself and continue to try to work through that injury before it is healed or when I work myself past the point of exhaustion in the duration of any given week. When it stops being enjoyable and becomes mostly compulsive, it’s a problem again.
Everything needs to be enjoyed in moderation. Living a successful and happy life is all about finding the right balance for yourself in your hobbies, your work, your relationships and your vices. It doesn’t take much for a person to tip their scale too far in one direction or the other, leaving them unbalanced. When the scale tips too far to one side it can become increasingly more difficult to balance it all out again. This is especially true for someone like me who lives their life with compulsive tendencies.
So love life, enjoy it. Indulge from time to time. Treat your body well, because you need it just as much as it needs you. Eat well and stay active. Forgive yourself for your mistakes and work towards balancing your life out when you feel your scale tip in a way that feels undesirable. Life is already short and there is no reason to make it even shorter than it needs to be.
If you are a person with an addictive personality and you struggle with healthy coping mechanisms, consider seeking help from a professional or speak with your physician about your issues. There are a lot of us out there and we all deserve a shot at a happy life without living as a slave to our unhealthy habits. If you are one of those people who are in a crisis right now, my heart goes out to you and I am wishing for your success in learning to live life with your demons in a healthy and balanced way.
Do you struggle with addictions? If you do or ever have, I would love to hear from you. Drop a comment below and share your story!
Feel free to check out The American Addiction Centers for more information on individuals with addictive personalities!