The Chase For Victory
It occurred to me last night whilst I was chilling with a cold drink in my hand (just the one). I know a lot of other men who are exactly the same.
I’ve always had an addiction or reliance on something. The school years through until my early twenties brought about a heavy addiction to cigarettes. I’d wake up, light up and continue smoking at the school gates, on every lunch break, on the bus, out my bedroom window and before bed until I opened my eyes and repeated the cycle. This was an incredibly difficult addiction to beat.
Once that addiction had been defeated I moved my attention towards food. Some serious binge eating occurred for a period of several years in my mid twenties and even though I was in great shape at this point my eating pattern was probably what you would consider an eating disorder. Very extreme and at the time I didn’t think it was much of an issue.
Years of self development allowed me to take control of the binge eating patterns and this was eliminated even though I still like a good feed once a week.
Booze, and lots of it, was my go to for a bout of depression around my late twenties. This was curtains drawn and a period of time where I hid away in my house and drank beer when I woke up until I went to bed. This lasted only a short cycle of time before I moved past it.
My latest battle was surprisingly tough and actually left me broken. Energy drinks, caffeine and pick me ups. I’d easily swig 3 cans of Monster during a normal workday whilst having doses of caffeine to get me through the day.
With all the years of self-development I’ve done since I turned 20 I have noticed that each battle has become shorter. New problems and bad habits haven’t been eliminated 100% but they become more manageable and the ability to notice and correct is improving all the time.
Most addictions appear when I have no place to channel my energy or if I’m suffering with major self doubt. If I’m not creating or doing something new and exciting I’ll easily suppress my feelings by lighting up, drinking heavily or eating until I feel sick.
The energy has to go somewhere and if it’s not through creation it can easily be channeled through destruction. Personality type has a huge contribution towards actions but if you have a deep ambition to achieve big things and you find that you aren’t doing what’s needed to bring those ideas to fruition then you can easily find yourself looking for distraction and satisfaction through other destructive pathways.
The truth is I enjoy a challenge but picking your battles is a skill in itself. I like overcoming a situation and if I don't have a worthy war to win I'll find myself creating one that I don't want. You want the challenges that enable you to grow and require all of your positive energy rather than those that damage or drain you. However, a comeback from adversity usually creates a stronger self.
Firstly, highlight what areas you want to change. Find out if you can replace those habits and actions with something that will eliminate or reduce the addiction. Secondly, ask yourself the question “Am I really doing the things in life I want to do?”
A big reality check alongside continuous daily work on self-belief can often give you the much-needed courage to make a change.