Have you ever wondered if there are signs you're struggling with addiction? I used to Google this a lot because I couldn't walk away from sugar. It's interesting because the same behavior can be found in people who are addicted to porn, sugar, alcohol and shopping. It's really about the behavior more than it's about the thing you can't do without. Check out this list of signs you're struggling with addiction to see if you may need to take the next step in recovery.
1. Being Secretive
I knew that I was struggling with addiction when I would hide my cupcake boxes under the seat in my car. I know, it's awful, but at the time I felt that I couldn't help myself. Have you ever found yourself sneaking in time to feed your addiction? Have you ever lied about where you have been or what you are doing? This is definitely a sign that something isn't right.
2. Loss of Interest
If you find that you are no longer interested in the things that you used to love, this could be another sign of addiction. What usually happens is that you become so consumed with your addiction that nothing else seems to matter. Your friends and family will usually notice. Nothing should consume your time so much that you forget what you truly love.
3. Mood Swings
I was a total grump if I didn't have a cupcake or cookie. I'm sure that my behavior was confusing on many occasions to the people closest to me because if I couldn't get what I wanted (sugar), I'd get really angry. If I had what I wanted (sugar) then I was on cloud 9. Pay attention to this kind of behavior.
I live in Hollywood so I've unfortunately been around many people who struggle with substance abuse. One of my co-workers used to carry little clear bottles of vodka in her purse and one day I commented on it. Of course she denied that it was an issue. What's wrong with a shot here and there, she'd ask. It's not uncommon to live in denial if you are struggling with addiction because when you live in denial, you don't have to face the truth.
We all need our solitude. But if you notice that someone has totally disappeared or always makes excuses for hanging out, please pay attention. It's not uncommon for people who struggle with addiction to isolate themselves in order to be alone with their addiction. This isn't good because we need others to share what we are going through and help keep us in check.
This is often the response from people who are in denial with their addiction. The natural response is to defend your behavior or yourself in order to rationalize your addictive behavior. If you find that someone you care about lashes out and gets defensive, they aren't ready to deal with their issue. Don't give up on them, but try to be sensitive to where they are in their journey.
7. Money Issues
I'm so grateful that I didn't spend ALL of my money on sugar. There were times though when I found myself deciding between a healthy lunch and dessert for a meal. Many people who struggle with serious addictions will find themselves having money issues because they are so out of control that they splurge everything they have on the addiction.
Addiction is really difficult to deal with, whether it's you or someone you love and care about. Try to be patient because it's possible for healing and recovery to occur. Have you noticed any of these signs in your life or the life of a loved one?