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We Are All Addicts

The hard truth of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is that it forces you to fixate. Not just focus in, but attach and attend in ways that can be channeled extremely positively. If misdirected, however, you are left with a compulsory attitude towards a modern world chalk-full of the next thing to be addicted to and dependent on.

The tricky part of all of this is that it is difficult to resist anything designed to become a part of you, with or without the basis of intrusive thoughts and mental compulsions. It is necessary to note that the challenge is not exclusive to a compulsive disorder, but a facet of the human condition; we love to be miserable, perpetually addicted to cycles of emotional torture with physical withdrawal.

We are all addicts. This is not supposed to act as some sort of cold comfort, but rather the realization that you are not alone in this fight. Yes, the nature of the disorder can make it seem almost impossible to break free of an addiction, but this is a sentiment shared by everyone, so many of whom do not suffer from OCD.

See, we are all in this constant battle of how much we give in to this addictive nature; it is what you allow yourself to become addicted to that is key. Now, the word allow in the previous sentence is doing a lot of heavy lifting, as allowance is really the whole issue with addiction, but I digress.

I am an addict. You are an addict. We are all addicts. What separates us, however, is what we are addicted to and how it dictates us. We, as beings, are oddly addicted to things that hurt, those things that tear us apart and then act as if they are the only thing that can save us.

This painful, toxic love affair comes in many forms: cigarettes, alcohol, work, ego, drugs. They give us a nasty hangover (and we know it all the while we indulge), but the rise is fantastic. The plateau is incredible and we may even discover something within ourselves as the high brings forth this newfound euphoria.

But the phenomenon here dissolves when you start to ask the obvious question, “Why do I take pain from the wrong sources, or sources that continue to hurt me?” If we were uncomfortably explicit with ourselves, this might sound something like: “Why am I willing to accept and overcome the burn from a cigarette, knowing that there is a buzz coming soon, but I am not able to overcome the burn of lactic acid in my legs during a run, despite my love for the calmness and clarity I feel after?”

The exhilaration of doing a drug and not knowing exactly how it’s going to affect you or what the come-up might feel like is exciting; the feeling of uncertainty and curiosity overrides the barrier for pain inborn in all of our minds. On the other end of the spectrum, however, when you are inflicting unwanted pain upon yourself for an end goal deep into the horizon, it not only feels more painful, but it quite literally is more painful as your body breaks down with your mind's obsession and fixation on the symptoms of the pain.

The most irritating aspect of all of this is that the craving sensation that might hook you onto running goes away with minimal amounts of pain, but it remains for cigarettes and eating yourself sick, despite the coughing or pain or blood clots or strokes or any of the other nasty things that come with the territory of addiction.

Where is it in our psyche that we have this insatiable desire for pleasure at the cost of pain, but seemingly never when the pain is chosen by ourselves. The truth is that we run away from self-inflicted pain, acting as if we are being asked to tie our own noose and we suddenly become overly protective of ourselves. The only excuse for being truly trapped in this cycle is existing in it absolutely blind. The moment we become self-aware and cognizant of the miscalculation by our own mind, the responsibility to set up our addiction-driven minds for success lies on our own shoulders.

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