Addiction. How it consumes

ad·dic·tion

the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.
Wow what a state to be in. Do you have a problem with addiction? Are you ready? Are you willing to admit it?  Are you feeling convicted by God to get you life straight? Get your marriage straight? Become the parent you should be?
These are the questions I have been facing lately.

ad·dic·tion

I never really knew how bad it was. Mine weren’t a problem,  they are more of a means to bring me pleasure. To pull me out of depression. To satisfy a need. To make me feel important, worthwhile, happy. They filled an emptiness, a pit,  a Hell

ad·dic·tion

They rule me, they tell me what to do, when to do it and how. They fester like an open wound they consume me.

ad·dic·tion

I have two and they are ruining my life.
BUT……Its time in that journey,  time… in my life change to overcome them. To call them out. Expose them for what they are. Defeat them. Bury them.
Oh the shame. The embarrassment. The fear.
Addictions are powerful thing, THEN add a little Bipolar in there for fun and you have a deadly mix.
I have latched onto two vices over the years. Pornography and Obsessive Shopping.
They each started out simple enough and they have each turned into life consuming nightmares.
Pornography was fueled early in my marriage through my photography business. Getting connected with an Adult Entertainment Agency and providing photography for their Exotic Dancers, spending more and more time in Strip Clubs, driving dancers to various locations and just being absorbed by that whole lifestyle. From there came the purchase of a computer and THAT just opened up a whole new world to me. The addiction began. Years of pornography. Daily doses of it. Then when the mania would kick in it was taken one step further. Lets just say it was inappropriate conduct for any married man.
I’m very ashamed about that part of my life. I have repented and asked both my wife and my God for forgiveness. I no longer photograph models of any sort as it all comes down to the promotion of Sex in most cases ( in my eyes) …I prefer to just leave it alone.
I’ve done my best to control it over the years but it’s always there…..always lingering…..a peek here a peek there.

ad·dic·tion – It Controls.

I say it again….. they consume me. They harm the loving relationship I have with my family AND my shopping addiction keeps us financially strapped. They run my life, and they get stronger with every hypomania phase I go through.
The time has come to stop the addictions. To stop the habits. To break the mold.
Since Palm Sunday 2013 when I reached out and declared that I needed to get God back in my life these addictions went from being a way to pleasure to a thorn in my side. A thorn that frankly I’m getting sick of dealing with.
So I am now fighting to overcome them.
There is a great resource out there by XXX Church called X3 Watch and its monitoring software. It emails chosen accountability partners when you venture into questionable websites. There’s no more hiding it. Your exposed. Its now installed on my computer AND my smart phone.
I will overcome.
If you or someone close to you is battling pornography addiction I would encourage you to check out XXX Church. They can be found here…
As for the Obsessive Shopping…..MAN this is the tough one for me. It’s been around since my marriage began. Shopping shopping shopping……then debt debt debt. It was camera gear back then and LOTS of it. Whats that? I would say to the wife…..No more money? But I NEED that particular lens or camera,  so off to the loan company I would go…. You know the ones, the sharks that would give you the thousands of dollars knowing you would be paying it back slowly because you were broke to begin with. Those crooks loved that about me because they knew they were going to get more interest.
BUT……..New things make me feel good ( a definite plus when you live with depression) so I did it.  BUT new things ALSO bring me down, BIG TIME when I see the financial statements.
Then ….. if I’m on a mania….the shopping sprees are big…. hide the credit cards…..oh wait, they are maxed anyway from the last mania, so I sell the new stuff to get cash to buy more new stuff……Pretty messed up eh….ya it sucks.
And its embarrassing. I once posted a photo on Facebook of a new item I bought. It was a watch and it was a huge impulse buy. Couldn’t afford it BUT IT MAKES ME FEEL GOOD…….so I bought it….on credit…So I get it and post a pic online to show it off ( part of making me feel worth something…(research depression)…. ) well someone said “Man you shop a lot” I was so embarrassed and ashamed, I deleted the picture immediately  because I didn’t want to see that truth written about me.
So what have I done? I have deleted the Kijiji app off my phone. It may sound funny or frivolous but that 1 App alone fuels most of the addiction. Most people watch TV or read a book when they retire for the night….I surf Kijiji for more things to buy…..TO MAKE ME HAPPY.
I also subscribed to SEVERAL online companies that would send me daily emails with sales and deals on their products. Several of them.
I have unsubscribed to them all.
I “LIKED” businesses on Facebook to get their deals…….They are now on the UN LIKE list.
I’m Taking CONTROL and I have wonderful supportive friends in place.
A friend also told me about a 12 step addictions program that I’ll be checking out. It is called Celebrate Recovery. They meet in Saint Catharines at Bethany Community Church. If you need the help I encourage you to look into it….hey we can carpool.
Check them out here
Just to leave you with something that my cousin said to me…..
She said
“You just need something GOOD to get addicted to”
My Reply
“I am……..The Church.”
Till next time folks
GodSpeed
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