Unrelenting Addiction to Non Addictive Substances

“But Alexa, you can’t get addicted to something that’s not addictive!” Well, first of all let me just tell you if you believe this statement, you’re wrong. Even if it is your opinion, I hate to tell you but, you’re still wrong. The truth is, you can get addicted to anything.

You see, there’s different types of addiction. Physical addiction and mental addiction. Cigarettes give you a physical addiction. Go without one for too long and you’ll start experiencing symptoms like the sweats, irritability, anxiety, and restlessness. Mental addiction on the other hand is much more complex. The substance itself may not be addictive, therefore you are becoming addicted to the feeling of the substance, rather than the substance itself. You want to feel this way all the time, without it you just don’t feel right.

So which one is worse? Physical addiction or mental addiction? From what I’ve found, they’re both equally as bad, just in different ways. How do I know this? Well, I haven’t had the best history with substance abuse.

Several years ago, I used to be addicted to alcohol. I didn’t know how to cope with the problems that were going on in my life. I was a closeted lesbian struggling with diagnosed bipolar disorder and PTSD. I felt so alone.Β So I turned to alcohol. Needless to say it became a habit, a bad one at that. I wanted to drink more and more. I continuously broke the rule my roommate and I had made, which was to only drink alcohol once a week. It wasn’t until the stress of a new job that I began drinking every single night. I couldn’t go without it. I needed alcohol. If I didn’t get alcohol that night, I’d find a way. I’d do anything, because if I didn’t, my anxiety would go crazy, I’d get the sweats, basically, I would go into extreme panic mode. I remember all the times my best friend would try to stop me from drinking, whether it be by hiding the alcohol, keeping me distracted, or just constantly keeping an eye on me to make sure I don’t drink. Each time this happened I would beg her to give me the alcohol. I was desperate, and it showed. While she was at work, I would search the apartment up and down for alcohol. At one point I found it, and I decided since the liquor was clear, that I would take a water bottle and fill it up with the liquor, then fill the liquor bottle back up with water and put it back where I found it. There’s so much more to this story, but I’ll save it for another time.

So we’ve covered physical addiction, but what about mental addiction? Well as ashamed as I am to admit, at one point in my life I was severely addicted to DXM, AKA cough medicine. Now you may be thinking: Cough medicine? Well, yes. When taken in huge doses, the Dextromethorphan allows you to see crazy hallucinations. I remember laying in bed and looking at my ceiling light, which had turned into a flying sea turtle. Yea it sounds cool, but really it’s not, at all. I got addicted, addicted to the feeling it gave me. I absolutely loved it. I could escape for a good 6 hours of my life and all I had to do was swallow a bottle of pills. I hated my life, so DXM was the only thing I looked forward to. After awhile I was doing it almost every day. I started to notice side effects (some of which are now permanent due to my bad choice). The strongest side effect was memory loss, I wasn’t able to remember my friend’s names, certain events that happened earlier in the week. Even now I still suffer from memory loss due to the damage that drug gave me. I regret ever giving that drug the time of day, because now I’m suffering the consequences.

Addictive or non addictive, you can still get addicted. It’s unfortunate but true. Which one is worse? Is one even worse than the other in the first place? Well that’s for you to decide.

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