Is addiction a choice

Is addiction a choice

Read this and see if your mind changes
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I see many people post statuses or talk about how addictions are a choice, or that people with addictions are stupid. Ive noticed that most of those people themselves have never experienced it first hand. From having experienced addiction myself, I'm going to share with you my insight and knowledge on this topic to shed some light on this very touchy subject.

Sitting on my old 70s looking, mustard colored couch, my sister said to me something along the lines of "Just don't do it." She meant no harm, and probably doesn't even remember she said something like that, but it played like an old record in my head, over and over again. I would constantly ask myself why couldn't I just stop. It wasn't until years later, that I was able to answer that question for myself.

When someone has a hot temper, they usually respond to criticism or something that bothers them in a way they fundamentally know isn't serving them. They know that responding in a calmly manner would be ideal, but did something else. Even if they see that their behavior is ruining relationships, and making them unhappy, they continue to repeat those patterns. That is because their reactions and actions are impulses based on hard wiring in the brain that was unconsciously created over time through past thoughts and experiences. Addictions and mental illnesses are no different. It is hardwiring in the brain created unconsciously, not by choice, that cause people to take certain actions. To behave in a different way, one must change the hardwiring in their brain, and in order for one to do that, they must have the desire and persistence to change.

The decision to change does not come from a choice at first, but from a burning desire. That desire has to be stronger than their desire to act in a way that isn't serving them, which is extremely difficult when the hard wiring in your brain is unconsciously making you crave that behavior. Unfortunately for some, that burning desire only occurs once they have reached rock bottom. Other instances, inspiration is the catalyst for a desire which leads to the choice to change. Without the desire, there really is no choice. We can not force desire on another, just like how no one could force you to feel good when someone makes you upset. What we can do is shine our light and be the inspiration for change, and lead by example.

Is addiction a choice? Only you can be the judge of that. Every opinion, judgment, reaction, action, is of our own doing. Therefor our opinion on addiction is not based off of what is right or wrong, but what belief system we have built. I'm not here to tell others what to believe about addictions, but I'm here to share my voice and encourage you to challenge your own beliefs, show compassion towards yourself and others, and shine your light.

Cover Image Credit: Brooke Lyn Landon

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5 Things I Really Wish I Knew ~Before~ Losing My Virginity

Advice to our younger selves.
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Everyone has a first time. We're all at different stages of our lives when it happens, which impacts how we approach the situation and how we feel about it immediately after and in reflections. Some people idealize their first time, some people regret it, some people feel nothing about it. I agonized over my virginity.

I wanted nothing more than to throw it at the first willing participant. I felt that it made me someone inferior to my friends who had already had sex, like somehow I was missing out on some great secret of life or somehow I was less mature than them. I spent a lot of time wishing it would just happen, and then one day, it did when I wasn't expecting it. I don't regret my first time, but because I had wished for it to happen for so long, I had built up this image in my head of how it would be that was completely unrealistic.

So, this is for those girls like me whose imaginations get the best of them. Here are some tips to ease your worries and prepare you for what it's really going to be like.

1. It's going to be awkward.

Not just the first time, every time. No matter how much porn or how many blogs or erotic fiction you read, you will not have any idea what you're doing. The other person probably won't, either. There are too many variables, and you're both so concerned with doing it well, you'll be focused on too many things to properly control your limbs.

2. Don't think about your body.

The angles that are required for things to work leave both participants in awkward positions with limbs in strange places. Don't look at your body; don't even think about where your limbs are. Just keep your eyes and mind on the other person and what they're doing and how you're feeling. If you're feeling bad, let them know, so you can change it. If you're feeling good, enjoy it.

3. Don't do it drunk.

Not even a little tipsy, at least not for the first few times. Alcohol throws in another variable and another reason your limbs are flailing listlessly on top of other unforeseen complications. Just wait until you've had a little practice to introduce alcohol into the mix. You want to actually remember your first time and understand what's going on.

4. You're not going to feel any different after.

I expected to feel a weight being lifted or some newfound maturity, but I really didn't feel any different at all. That's because I really was just the same girl as before. Finally having lost this imaginary flower didn't make me physically any different at all.

5. You're going to feel something.

There wasn't some profound emotional release afterward, either, but I did feel a little different. Again, not in the sense that something had actually change, but I felt different because I had placed so much importance on this, on having sex, and now it had happened. I wanted there to be some big release or celebratory moment, but really, I just felt the same. I didn't even feel a little more mature or experienced. I was positive that if I ever did it again, I would still have absolutely no idea what to do (which was true).

Cover Image Credit: Seventeen

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The Pill Made Me Crazy, So I Got An IUD

I was literally depressed. I would sit in my college dorm room and shut myself off from the world.
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Ok, Mom, Dad, Grandmom, Aunts, and Uncles, shield your eyes! As adults, we females do enjoy having sex, especially if we are in a relationship. Some may say that if you are having sex, you should have a baby out of it.

But let's be real—we are in 2018 for God's sake. We have sex, and we want to be safe during it. Believe me, condoms don't always do the trick.

As an independent female, I want to protect myself. I want to make sure that I am 100% protected because, nowadays, you never know what could happen.

Right?

As my mom said to me one day, "I was so against it before I had a daughter. But now, I think if there is a way to prevent having a grandchild too soon, I'm going to do it."

So, do it. Protect yourself.

So, why not pills?

I was taking oral pills for about two years when I finally decided that they weren't for me. I knew it was completely normal for me to be moody during my period. But man, I was moody all the time.

I'm not just talking about being a bitch. I was literally depressed. I would sit in my college dorm room and shut myself off from the world.

Frankly, I was sick of it, and I wasn't the only one. You can ask my family, my friends, and my boyfriend.

I believe that these "mood swings" made me sever my relationship with my mother, completely lose my relationship with at least eight friends, and almost lose a boyfriend.

My breaking point was when I was on the sidewalk screaming at the top of my lungs at my boyfriend telling him to break up with me.

Long story short, the pill made me a monster. I had to do something about it.

What did you do?

I spoke to my doctor ASAP. We sat down and went through all the alternatives. We decided that the IUD was the best option.

But my mother wasn't too sure about it—a foreign object in my uterus just sitting there? It literally sounds like an infection waiting to happen, or so we thought.

Although in the '60s the IUD did cause infertility in some females due to harsh infections, doctors and researchers have perfected it.

My OBGYN told me word for word that every female nurse and doctor in the office had one and the males have put ones in their wives. With that statement, I was sold. Plus, the IUD can lighten up your period and be implanted for about five to ten years until you'll have to get a new one.

10 years without an alarm on your phone to take a pill, and 10 years without the constant "uh-oh" moment when you forget your pill. 10 years of protection.

In the next month, I got it implanted and, ladies, I'm going to be honest.

"That shit 'hurted.'"

If you don't get that Vine reference, you can leave now. But seriously, the pain was enough to make my face go completely pale and nearly pass out.

I spent that whole day on the couch with a heating pad sleeping, and the next few days fighting back some minor cramping.

Was it worth it? Absolutely.

Although I have been put on Zoloft for some minor depression and anxiety issues, I haven't gone through the mood swings or the immense amount of depression since.

Yes, I get cramps every once in awhile but it's really nothing to run home about. Yes, I have gotten heavy periods the first few months, but it's really not THAT bad when you think about the long-term pros.

I turned to Instagram polls to find out how many females agree with me. The IUD is the GO-TO.

A whopping 82% of the voters take the pill whereas 18% of those who voted have the IUD implanted.

I had some females actually reach out to me via direct message to tell me about their IUD experience:

"I have an IUD and I like it so much more than having to worry about a pill. Not going to lie, it hurts when they put it in, and the first couple days suck, but after that, it's awesome. And you don't have to worry about anything for five years."

The conversation went on for a while. She finished off by saying, "100% think the IUD is the better choice."

She's not alone. Another woman stated:

"GET THE IUD. IT'S AMAZING. It's so much better than the pills!"

If you are seriously thinking about changing your form of birth control, look into the fabulous IUD. In the end, it's all about what is good and right for you. It's just like trying on jeans!

Good luck, and stay safe, ladies!

Cover Image Credit: Instagram: Sugar Fan Club

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