Yesterday I had a casual, engaging conversation about alcoholism.
The people I talked to wanted to know all about the official criteria for being hooked.
The amount of glasses, the frequency, the specifics of the booze, the differences between men and women, stuff like that.
But I guess it completely misses the point.
I really don’t think it’s a very interesting and helpful direction to follow.
Because we are not perfect machines that behave the same, that feel the same, that respond and react the same, and that can be caught in neat little formulas.
What I believe to be way more important is the answer to the following question:
How do you want to live?
Truly independent, or chained to a specific routine or substance?
Naturally free, or artificially liberated?
Authentically unleashed, or conveniently paralyzed?
The amount or frequency don’t really matter.
It’s the misconception of ‘need’.
When I quit the devastating daily habit of drinking, smoking and using weed that I had engaged in for decades, I knew I wanted to break my dependency more than anything else.
I had no idea what was waiting for me (and I’m happy I didn’t because it would have totally depressed and demoralized me up front) and how this process would unfold, but I knew deep inside that I needed to break the reliance, the hiding, the numbing.
That’s why I quit everything at the same time.
Without knowing it exactly, I had a deep inclination that there was a general problem I had to solve, more than just quitting a specific habit.
Addiction is not about amounts or frequency: it’s about quality of life.
It’s about clarity, about trust, about curiosity to follow your intuition instead of your fear.
Addiction is not a disease: it’s distraction that turns into a new reality.
It’s only when you really, truly, deeply want to live without the need for stuff or activities to numb out your discomfort, that you can move on.
That should be the criterion.
The wish to be completely free.
So how do you want to live?
(Photo by @pixldlife, for Unsplash)