Addiction is complex. It is a disorder that affects a wide range of people, no matter the age, race, income or personal willpower. Understanding addiction can truly shed some light on why it can be so hard to overcome and/or beat. At the root of all addiction is pain. It is the only prison where the locks are on the inside. Finances, relationships, parenting or stress in the workplace are a few reasons for the need to escape reality. It is a disease of instinct, it lives in the brain that tells you to breathe. Many people mistakenly think that those who deal with addiction lack moral principles and that at any time, they can just STOP simply by choosing to. I don’t want to limit this term addiction to DRUGS. It is a major part but there are many addictions that have the same effect of harmful consequences. SEX, SOCIAL MEDIA, ALCOHOL, even FOOD. Addiction is a chronic disease that is almost always characterized by compulsive behaviors. It’s known also as a “relapsing” disease because especially in drug use disorders, there is an increased risk for returning to the activity after one has tried to quit. Certain functions that most come to know as “natural” i.e. learning, judgement, decision-making, are all affected once an addiction takes over. Despite being aware that once you are faced with the fact of being “addicted” and the negative consequences, so many still decide to experiment and believe that something “out there” will fill the internal emptiness. It is said that the hardest battle is between what you know and what you feel. I find this to be accurate. I, too, battle with addiction. Some days are better than others but as I am my problem, I am also my solution. Every experience that has led me to look fear in the face, in return, I’ve gained strength, courage and confidence. I am working on forgiveness, every day. Learning to forgive myself and leave the guilt behind. Learning that loving myself requires falling apart only to have an opportunity to rebuild myself the way I envision. I cannot compare my progress to that of others. We all need our own time to travel our own distance. Some people are hurting so bad, you have to do more than preach a message to them, you have to make a choice to BE that message. It is so easy to tell a person “Get over it!” or ” You’re so selfish” but you can’t just will away a condition that has become part of an individuals’ chemistry. Addiction can be a dark and lonely existence but never give up hope! Here is a link https://www.addictioncenter.com/addiction/ where u can access more info and a nationwide hotline as well. It is NEVER too late to turn it around and make a dedication to being all that you are destined to be. Recovery is a process, it takes time. Give it all you got and remember it is not selfish to make your happiness a priority. You are here for a wonderful reason!