This is a question that seems to be coming up a lot. I have friends who tell me that they would be interested in going to Celebrate Recovery because they have some issues they’re struggling with. One kind of laughed and said she would like to overcome chocolate. Another said he is struggling with giving up an addiction to viewing sports. His wife made the comment that she’s glad his addiction is something so small.
Other people have told me that they didn’t really ever consider coming to a recovery program because their addictions didn’t seem all that big compared to others. I’ve even had people kind of belittle my addiction to porn and lust and love addiction. They’ve told me that I’m being too hard on myself because these things are normal. They point out how these activities are common in the world today and not really that big of a deal.
I’ve also heard people talk about it being harder to give up smoking than it is to give up heroine. People compare alcoholism to meth addiction. There are all these comparisons–everyone wants everything in a box. Everyone wants to size up everyone else’s struggle and compare them with their own.
Here’s the deal: Let me ask you which is easier… 1) To swim to the very bottom of the ocean (with no tanks or assistance of any kind) and collect a seashell, or 2) To fly (unassisted in any way) into the clouds and gather yourself a glass of water.
Do you have your answer?
The correct answer is that neither one of them is easier–THEY ARE BOTH IMPOSSIBLE! What people often don’t understand about addiction is that whatever the addiction, the addict has absolutely NO POWER over it. It is absolutely, 100% impossible for him/her to give it up unassisted. Impossible is impossible. There are not some things that are more impossible and other things that are less impossible. The word impossible is pretty static. It means it cannot be done. Not more or less–but completely impossible.
Do you get my point? So, for the sugar addict, their addiction is impossible for them. For the sports addict, their addiction is impossible to break. For the heroine addict–impossible. The alcoholic–impossible. Etc.
To belittle another person’s addiction or to belittle your own addiction is to not really understand the true nature of addiction. Sure, there are some addictions that may seem more dangerous outwardly. Meth addicts easily become very volatile and out of control. But, so do porn addicts and sugar addicts. All addictions are a loss of self-control. When people lose their ability to control themselves in an area of their lives it leads to despondency, depression, hopelessness, pain, anger, and so on. All of these feelings can be exceedingly destructive and even fatal.
Can a chocoholic become so depressed over it that they could possibly kill themselves? I believe it can progress to that point,just as any addiction can. So, they are all a VERY big deal.
I don’t believe that one addiction is harder than another. I believe they are all impossibly hard to deal with and we must find the assistance we need to overcome them or we will be destroyed.