Addiction

Addiction is such a powerful force. It can and will take your soul if you allow it. Take it from me, I have plenty of experience with addiction. I’ve had so many bad habits throughout my life. Some of those habits were addictions.

The first addiction I can think of was having a victim mentality. I recall that at one point no one had to accuse me or question my actions before I spewed blame onto others, circumstances and situations in order to justify my bad behavior or worse yet, my lack of action in my young life.

Although I initially was a great student, that all changed as I moved around and picked up some more bad habits along the way. Looking back I think I was also addicted to attempting to self destruct. Those addictions were far more dangerous than chemical addictions in my life.

Nevertheless, chemical addictions such as drugs, smoking and alcohol took my soul and tried to choke my life inside out for a very long time. At times we think that since so many others do it, and it seems acceptable then it must mean that it’s ok to do so. I couldn’t be more wrong.

Connecting the dots looking back (borrowing the term from Steve Jobs) my personality seems to work best with the addiction state of mind which I’m sure I would have never admitted back then. However, with that in mind I had to change my mindset first and foremost.

In order to begin to change, I had to begin with the overall foundation of me, my mindset, specifically my victim mentality mindset. I began the work in several ways. Step one was talking about the why I needed to change my mindset, admittedly this took a while, lots of conversation with people in the same situation as I which bared little fruit, the ideas definitely didn’t reciprocate. Regardless, I became obsessed (addicted) to the conversation even though nothing had changed.

When worse case scenarios began to happen, ie friends ended up in jail for a very long time and others dead over their actions and inactions. I needed to quit talking and start acting, which leads me to step two, execute.

I knew the time to change was now but I’d lived this life for so long that I didn’t even know how to go about changing. I began to read books of great, respected men with great ideas on life, ethics, behavior, beliefs and so on. In order to execute, I needed a clear pathway to doing so but I just couldn’t see it.

I was determined to get started so I decided to make a plan, keep it simple and just plunge right in. I grabbed a piece of paper and began to write characteristics of a good man. Confidence, honesty, strength, goal driven, focused, a student of life, etc. Ok I have my path now all I need to do is to pretend to have these qualities every single day.

I would read these every morning and just pretended this was me. Obviously, in order to achieve success I had to go away from anyone who knew me so I did.

Although I kept reading, working on my mindset and began to become goal driven, I fell off the plan too often. I also still had some bad habits. Still, I had become addicted to my new mindset. Although my new mindset was working out for me I still made excuses for myself. I guess this made me feel better about my bad decisions since I was a million times better than I was.

As I was consuming so many books I came across a little book called Excuses be gone by Wayne Dyer. I’m pretty sure I was his inspiration while writing that book because I felt he was calling me out on all my excuses throughout the entire book.

This is when step three arrived in my life, thank God. Self Responsibility. This book and several that followed made me realize that I needed to take full responsibility for anything and everything that happened to me and from me with zero excuses. Guess what? Yup, you got it, I became addicted with taking responsibility with everything in my life.

I have to admit, although these steps may one day become a book on self development, they didn’t take a week, a month or a summer to be carried out, I’m over 20 years in and still going hard, still addicted to all the steps especially the next one, the one that just keeps me juiced up and going full force ahead.

Step four, although all steps are hugely important and I dare say that none are more important than the next one, this one solidifies them all and continues to nourish the soul with all it can possibly need. Progress. That’s it, I am now obsessed and highly addicted to progress.

I will get an itch in my soul if I go too long without progress in my life. I think my wife is terrified of what’s next in my journey ha ha. All my progress has been positive but I mean it when I say that I am highly addicted to it. Each step above is a stage of progress. Reading has made me progress in many ways. Many years ago I gave up pork, then meat all together, heck I even gave up coffee for several years (what was I thinking), I’ve quit smoking, drinking, took up working out, writing, mentoring, I’ve done juice fast for 30 days, multiple fasting methods, clean eating, running, heck at over 250 lbs I’ve even participated in some ultra runs with my longest run (so far😉) being 44 miles, twice.

Addiction is such a powerful force. It can and will take your soul if you allow it, and when you’re in this stage of your life with healthy addictions, let it. Take it from me, I have plenty of experience with addiction. I’ve had so many bad habits throughout my life and although addiction kept me there, being addicted to progress has gotten me where I have no bad habits, only healthy ones. Some of those habits are addictions and now I’m ok with that.

Stay in the fight!

Love y’all

2 thoughts on “Addiction

Add yours

  1. You’ve definitely come a long way. Thanks for sharing how you’ve transformed negative addictions that consumed your life into positive one that help youthrive.

    Liked by 1 person

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Jimmy Perez

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