Dealing with an Addictive Personality
If you want a perfect albeit harmless example of what an addictive personality looks like, just spend a little time with me while I’m listening to music, or take a look at the number of times each song has been played on my Iphone. What you’ll find is that I like to listen to my favorite songs over and over, and over and over again! My college roommate was a big music buff. He hated whenever someone would listen to music and not go through albums in the order they were intended. As you can imagine, he would get extremely annoyed with me when he’d come back from class and I’d be listening to the same Dave Matthews song for what seemed like the 967th time in a row. Obviously this is only a small example of what an addictive personality can look like, but don’t worry, I have more.
The issue with my addictive personality that I find particularly troubling is that it tends to manifest itself in short, intense bursts. When I order pizza, I have to eat as much of it as I can. And it doesn’t take much for a habit to be formed which only makes me want to order it three or four times a week. Whenever I go gambling with my friends from college, I have to be careful not to try and match their spending, and sometimes it is a struggle to walk away when I know it is the smart decision. Even smaller things like getting a terrible breakfast sandwich from the gas station whenever I fill up, or playing video games when I know the better option is to read or workout. These are daily struggles for me. But fortunately, I have come to know my own personality such that I can combat these issues and cravings with hopes of living a longer and more fulfilling life.
As I’m sure you’ve deduced by now, moderation is not my strong suit. I am clearly someone who needs to completely abstain from the things I’m trying to avoid. In essence, I need to go cold turkey. A perfect example of this in my life is the day I decided that I would stop drinking soda. Honestly, nothing happened. One day I was someone who drank two or three Mountain Dews per day (not an extreme amount by any measure, but I knew it was bad for my health) and the next day I was never going to drink a soda again. That was it, I just woke up one day and made a decision and now I haven’t had a single soda for just over four years.
Essentially, I think people just need to figure out what works for them. I know my way of fixing these issues and dealing with them may seem almost childish (like I’m grounding myself and taking something away) but I know I can make it work for me. Besides, if your somebody who can make moderation work, then my guess is you’re not dealing with an addictive personality anyway.
Don’t get me wrong, as I described my “relationship” with pizza above I clearly have a long way to go. But I do believe I have found a system that works for me. It’s simple and it’s challenging, but it is effective. Hopefully anyone else out there dealing with an addictive personality can take something from this, and if you have any additional knowledge to impart please share!