The Zone
The Zone : The Addiction Zone

The Zone

The Addiction Zone

By Tom Evans | Updated 4/25/15

« The Guilt Zone

Many addictions start off as routines and the first level of addiction can be relatively harmless or even beneficial.

So for example, I wrote each of these chapters immediately after morning meditation and before answering emails. This is a habit I find hard to break nowadays so you could say that I am addicted to doing it this way.

If I can't fit my morning meditation into the day, I have even been known to get grumpy and slide into the Anger Zone. In general though, I hope this is an example of a healthy addiction. If this practice made me forget to take the children to school, or to put out the recycling, you can see how easily an addiction can slide downhill and have negative consequences.

A good example a relatively modern addiction is a craving for social media. You may even see some people checking their Twitter feed and Facebook Wall on their mobile phones while they are walking along. It is all too easy to take the high ground and get moralistic about this habitual behaviour. Someone might be monitoring a social media campaign to raise money for a charity, or sending a message to a loved one. Others might be wallowing in negativity, or even hate, and be creating a virtual Negative Zone, dragging others into it in the process.

One person's drug dependency might be someone else’s life line. Cannabis can be used both as a relaxant and a pain killer for cancer sufferers. An addictive gambler might have been sucked into their habit as a last ditch attempt to feed their family. When that plan fails, a visit to a pay day loan company might be next on the list.

Sexual addictions can be a hidden cry for a love of another form. Like all addictions, the chemical cocktails released in the body generate a corresponding ‘inner drug’ addiction. What hope is there for someone so afflicted? We are biochemical beings after all and sometimes we just can’t help ourselves.

It's clear there is a fine line between habit and addiction. Classically we label it as the latter when it has an adverse affect on ourselves and others. Like all learnings and behaviours that we adopt, addictions forge patterns in our neural networks both in our brain and our body. This gives all addicts hope as our neurology can be rewired in an instant with the right treatment.

For the milder forms of addiction, a spell in the Chillout, Kindness and Loving Zones may be the best remedy.

When addictions become more severe, external help is needed. As for some of the other Danger Zones, there are many therapies and therapists that can help. Some people will benefit from the chemical approach, others from hypnotherapy and the like. Some will have to go right to the edge, stare at their own oblivion and then return from the brink.

As always, learnings are to be made. Ex-addicts make by far the best counsellors for others so afflicted. There is always light at the end of every tunnel. •

Next: The Fear Zone »

© 2014 Tom Evans. All rights reserved.

Tom Evans Renaissance Man and Imagineer Tom Evans is the author of four books and counting about creativity. More »
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