October 01, 2019
Life as an addict can be difficult even when you’re not using. As an addict I have a tendency to grab onto things and dedicate every waking moment to that particular thing. A long time ago for me this was drugs. I would do anything and everything to get high. I find that to this day I still have these tendencies. Whether it’s coding or fitness I tend to grab onto it and focus 100% of my attention and energy to it.
I’ve heard other addicts say similar things about their “addictive personalities”. However, to me this is almost as negative as actually using. Life is about finding a balance between the things that we need and want to do, yet when you dedicate all of your energy to one particular thing, everything else suffers.
When I first discovered coding I dedicated every waking moment to learning more, I was actually addicted to it. Because I was incarcerated it didn’t really matter that I devoted all my time and energy to it. In that circumstance it was actually a good thing. However, my life has changed drastically since then and I can’t afford to continue with this behavior.
About a year ago I decided to improve my physical fitness. I would always get tired playing with my kids and I wanted to improve my conditioning and just try to get in a bit better shape. However, once I started I quickly started to dedicate more and more time to fitness and lost all interest in writing code, work, and family. Everything took a back seat to fitness.
It took almost a year before I realized what I was doing. I struggled to produce work and to spend meaningful time with my family. All I wanted to do was exersice and learn more about fitness. The funny part is, I was trying to improve myself and physically I accomplished my goal, I actually got way worse in other areas.
My inability to complete work or spend time wiht my family caused me to slip into episodes of depression, caused me a ton of anxiety, and make me fear for my job and family relationships. These things are the key to slipping back into drug addiction and luckily I was able to spot this before it was too late, but I definitely started to exhibit destructive behaviors. It scares me to think of what could have happened had I not had this self discovery in time.
So now I’m focused on creating balance and I have to say I’m really struggling to do that. I also have to be careful my search for balance doesn’t become an addiction and I don’t drop everything else while I try to figure this out. If you’re an addict I urge you to be careful and keep a watchful eye on your behavior and where you spend your time and energy.
Here’s to a better future with more balance.
Written by Kurtis Kemple who lives and works in Virginia Beach, VA.You should follow him on Twitter