Tuesday, November 4, 2014

On Compulsion and Self-Restraint #Addiction

I’ve become addicted to many things in my life. I’m a passionate person, so when I get into something, I really get into it--until I can convince myself to get it together. I have what you might call an addictive personality. I have become addicted to really innocuous things (Sims, Starbucks lattes, etc.) and significantly more harmful things (bad relationships, eating disorders, drugs).

fire, fire! I love to play with fire! 

The good news I suppose is that I am also a person who loves challenges. And this is probably the single most reason why I’ve been able to break every addiction I’ve ever had. Because for every addiction I’ve picked up, I also relish the opportunity to prove that I can live without the thing that has turned me into a total mush of a person! 

Upon realizing I shouldn't sex everything that moves... Oh wait, what?

So as I work through my latest addiction, it is giving me the opportunity to explore two aspects of addiction: compulsion and self-restraint.

On compulsion
The simple decision to not do something doesn’t break the chain automatically. And it certainly doesn’t override the desire to do <insert addiction here>. Completing an act out of habit is usually so habitual that you can be halfway through the process because you realize what you are doing. So unconscious is the desire to fulfill yourself that it is easy to get through the first few steps before realizing the danger of “completion” you’ve put yourself in.

*****SHARE TIME******

For example, many years ago when I had an eating disorder, I would already have 1) gone to the grocery 2) bought all the things I planned to binge eat and 3) be in the car on the way home to do so, before I realized what was happening. And unfortunately, for addictions like this it is easy to commit fully to the act once you are through these first few steps. It was super easy to say “Well I’ve already bought ALL THE DONUTS so…”

Then again, is eating 20 donuts REALLY a sign of addiction?
But even if you keep working hard to break the chain and eventually get to a place where you can simply avoid the bakery section ALL the time, it is harder to be aware of all the little triggers. People do unhealthy things for all kinds of reasons and so ALL KINDS of triggers can set you off---even ones you didn’t expect.
Eat a salad!?!? *Buys 15 donuts on the spot*

Almost anything can remind you of the pleasure you feel when indulging your compulsion. For example, today I read a super hot sex scene from Monica La Porta’s Broken Angel book (not yet released, sorry.) and it “triggered me”. One minute, an angel was so horny that his wings were glowing and the next, I’m like talking myself down.

Making out with your mirror-self is a safe alternative to inappropriate behavior.

Which brings me to “self-restraint”….

On Self-Restraint

Actually, my opinion of self-restraint diminishes daily. So much so that this is currently all I have to say on the subject. Maybe I'll come back to this when I'm feeling a little more fortified...until then, if you need me, I'll be eating donuts and making out with myself.


  1. We all have things we love. My own addictions to food have been especially hard to over come. It's necessary for life, but that walk by the bakery and the smell of fresh bread can easily lead to bag full cakes and rolls. I have two brothers that struggle with alcohol. One fights his addiction the other accepts and enjoys it. We as a family did everything possible to get him to stop, but until he makes the choice, it's impossible.

    If I start a collection of something I can't stop and will go to great lengths to obtain it's entirety. I often lose interest after that and sell it off. It's about the hunt.

    You're certainly not alone in these struggles and there's a time for self-restraint, but at times it's liberating to let the beast off the chain.

    With food, I was becoming at risk for very bad things and I was able to change my lifestyle, add exercise and put myself down a new path. It was hard, but worth the struggle. On the other hand, I now have a complete set of Pierre Pevel's The Cardinals Blades series in hardcover in English and deciding if I want to go for the originals first editions in French. Life is about finding balance and coming to grips and accepting our nature's as wonderfully flawed individuals.

    1. Thank you for your super thoughtful response! I think you are definitely right. Thank you for responding! :)

  2. Hi, my name is Monica, and I am a collector. I also mastered self-restraining, so that helps ;)
    On a more serious note, self-restraining is present in lots of my stories and now you made me wonder why is that... :)Thanks for the mention!