I. Addiction: What does one get addicted to, generally?
Additions may be many but let’s look into those addictions which can create problems in life:-
This addiction may be for the love for alcohol itself as it appears to give temporary pleasure and a false sense of well-being and the fastest way of escape from problems in life. Any one of these factors can be a cause for addiction and this leads to one drinking day in and day out and losing all control over one’s senses, emotions, feelings ,rational outlook due to a dulled intellect . All these may overpower him and make him their slave. In such a situation, he not only loses his self-control, but also his health and it mostly leads to problems of the lever, etc.2.
This may have become an addiction may be due to taking to it at an early age, or, may be, due to some external factor being instrumental in leading to it. Addiction to this can again lead to cancer,, etc.
Mostly this becomes an addiction for those who , I think, have been victims of some sort of abuse in the teens or in youth , and, have not realized the power within that gives them the strength to survive under all circumstances in life, and thus victimized themselves.. have lost faith in themselves, in the Power above, and, who doubt the power Supreme and succumb to the life-situations that have caused them agony and heartache. They slowly but surely remain lost in an unreal world of escape from misery and end up as psychological wrecks.
4) Food: The gluttons who live to eat instead of eating to live are addicted to it and hence can’t resist food. They not only become obese but develop all problems of health related to it.
5) Wealth, Power and fame : Many get addicted to these due to their desire to get fast money, name and fame and they can go to any extent …even to the extent of corruption and crime to get what they want. Wealth can also lead to one’s addiction to comforts and luxuries that one becomes a slave of and hence can be happy only in their own world. Where they don’t get the comforts and luxuries they are used to,because of a change of circumstances or a turn of destiny, they become unhappy and find life it too difficult to cope up with and this may result in drastic reaction.
6) Sex : This addiction may be a result of some abnormal experiences in early childhood or adolescence leading to a hormonal imbalance, can be a consequence of addiction to alcohol, smoking or drugs. Addiction to sex means that you are never satisfied in sex nor do you ever find fulfillment in it, forget about satiety in it. Hence, you may have a marital relationship but still run from pillar to post to gratify your lust, it may even lead to even committing rape.
7) Work,Television, music, shopping, partying: Such pursuits can also become addictions if one crosses the limit. A workaholic may possibly neglect his spouse and children and not give them his time though he may give them all material comforts of life. A TV addict will become so lethargic; a killing inertia may set it, be it addiction for Bollywood/Hollywood movies, be it for cricket matches , or, be it for religious or spiritual programs, after a certain time, his reflexes slow down, he or she will become very temperamental if not earlier so, he may lose his precious time to pursue some outdoor hobby, to spend time with his family, and so on.
Those who get addicted to shopping and partying may not be able to restrain themselves from overindulgence which can lead to the inability to save for a rainy day . And in such a situation, when one is faced with some unprecedented problem like an illness calling for a huge financial investment, one is at a loss! Some people like to live for today; and don’t believe in saving for tomorrow; fine,as long as all goes well. But then this life is so unpredictable , who knows when you need money to save your relative’s life, to cure someone of a chronic illness – who knows?
8) Spirituality:- Spirituality, if understood and practiced in life in the right way, can never be an addiction in itself. But, if it is misunderstood as separate from day-to-day life and as contradictory to it, then, it can be an addiction. Spirituality and practical life are so integrated into one another that they complement and supplement each other. True spirituality is the life of one who ‘walks the talk’ and integrates it into his own life. In fact, spirituality is not a means in itself; it’s a means to an end…to live this life in love, peace , bliss and contentment , in harmony with one and all….at home, in the society, in the world . Many in this world also use spirituality as an end in itself, which will only create havoc in their and others’ lives. Many others practice it as the means to an end, which is of course right…..but the end is mostly our vested interests….of personal growth in terms of wealth, fame, power , etc. What a pity!
If practical life of a well-balanced individual is the wheel, spirituality is the axle.
Even if one gets addicted to spirituality for one’s own peace of mind it is not the ideal situation for man is not an island in himself. Married or unmarried, he has a family and has responsibilities and addiction to God, Faith , Form, Religion , may not be the love of Shabari or Meera, it may most probably be an escape from the reality of this world and inability to accept the world as it is. Such people attach themselves only to the spiritual organization they believe in. They may be working for a living , but, they detach themselves from all family members even parents. This is not dispassion…it is detaching oneself from something and attaching oneself to something else. The mind is still attached..it’s one and the same thing…doesn’t make any difference whether it is to alcohol or to a spiritual organization, Religion , etc. The only difference is that the one addicted to spirituality ( as he perceives it to be, for, anything that takes you away from this practical world is not spirituality) enjoys good physical health. He may be happy, himself, but others around him may not be, due to a wide gap of interests between the others and him. Insensitivity to the other on both sides can keep a family together, only in the literal sense.
9) Physical beauty: This weakness not only led to the battle of Troy but also has led to blindness to the beauty within, the beauty of the soul, which God has equally gifted all with .This addiction to beauty can lead to desire to possess another’s wife, sister, daughter or niece and can lead to crime of the gravest kind. Weakness for physical beauty can drive a parent or an elder in the family to compare one of his own children or family members with the others and thereby cause a lot of emotional hurt to affect the child’s self-esteem, and consequently, personality when he or she grows up.
All these habits or pursuits are okay if it is within the limits. But one never knows when one will cross the line between a hobby and an addiction and bring uncalled-for problems to oneself and one’s loves ones.
Those of us who are fortunate to have families who love us and care for us need to think of our duty towards them. And, especially, those who are parents and have children still growing up and need careful and fond handling need to put their welfare and happiness and optimum growth in a conducive environment , need to be aware of the consequences of every word and action of theirs on the children and the entire family.
Even given the fact that one is single and one doesn’t have any family or relatives, one still is not alone in this world, one goes to work , one has a social circle, one has to make a difference to this society and this world at large, in a small way, at least, as much as one can. And, addiction is certainly not going to help one in life, in will only take one away from the right path.
I am not dreaming ( at least, for the time being) of a Utopia where everyone leads a normal healthy life without any addiction….I am not dreaming of a time when all those who manufacture hard drinks , cigarettes etc .would be out of their business. But I can dream of a total ban on manufacture of killer drugs can be the first step to rehabilitate the victims of this addiction. The others can follow in course of time.
II. De-Addiction: Of course there are De-addiction centers only for alcohol, smoking and drugs,
But, whether you have a remedy or not, the most important and lasting solution is the realization of this fact that it is an addiction and will only lead to unhappiness for oneself and others around.
And, then, when this realization dawns, a deep longing to be rid of it and not to be a slave anymore to it, sets in. This will pave the way to some introspection and along with spiritual practices, and a strong will, one can overcome any addiction over a period of time…how soon depends partly on oneself and partly on how much one has drowned oneself in the’ mire’.
All these addictions result in illnesses of the body and mind, and the hormonal imbalances set in and even the nervous system collapses.
Regular spiritual practices can bring one’s hormones back into the right balance and give clarity of mind and a sharp intellect to handle one’s addiction and get over it..be it sex, be it drugs. In fact, one’s intellect can’t find a solution to it. With spiritual practices the Power within takes over and brings the individual back to normalcy. Yoga and meditation, and , especially Sudarshan Kriya done on a regular basis, can go a long way in helping the individual to be free of his or her addiction. I strongly believe that every De-addiction program should have Yoga, meditation and Sudarshan kriya integrated into its framework. This can bring faster and lasting results to bring the person back to leading a normal life, for, whether an addict to anything has been harmed or not, definitely, his nearest kith and kin bear the brunt of his addiction.
It is not fair to have a temporary experience of pleasure, escape from mental agony or whatever one experiences by the object one is addicted to, at the cost of one’s loved ones. It’s gross injustice.
We need to be sensitive towards those who love us and care for us and those who are financially, morally dependent on us and we need to shift our focus from our need of the hour to their needs.
Also, most of those who are victims of some addiction or other, are helpless and don’t intentionally want to hurt their loved ones .
From my own experience with such addicts who were very near and dear to me is that they are usually highly sensitive people with the capacity to love and hence, hate also may be with more passion that others and are emotionally too susceptible to take bad experiences lightly. They take it deep in and store it in some dark corner within them which they don’t want anyone to see, and, a time comes , when they can’t take it any more and something explodes within and their addiction goes from bad to worse till it ruins their lives! What a pity!
But, a lot of emotional and intellectual maturity is required of a person or persons, their loved ones, who need to stand side by side with the doctors and the healers to bring them back to normalcy. A sense of guilt induced by a wrong understanding of the situation by people around can create a grave crises. Hence, they need to be given a lot of love, and need to be handled with a lot of patience , compassion and understanding . Medication, the counseling sessions for both the addict and his close relatives and of course spiritual healing and practices can go a long way in bringing about the recovery to normalcy.
All the loud thinking I have done above is known to all, but , then, what we know needs to be reinforced again and again to keep us aware. It’s never too late! Let’s wake up and save ourselves from addiction/addictions and save others by an awareness campaign!