Faith and Family: The Many Faces of Addiction

a can of soda

When I saw the word addict what do you immediately think of? Is it drugs? Alcohol? Gambling? Those are the big ones that most people associate with addiction, aren’t they? Unfortunately, though, those are only three of the many addictions that people struggle with every day—big and small. 

If you do any reading on addiction, you will discover that there are many different beliefs on what is or should be considered an addiction versus an addictive behavior. And while there is definitely a need for those discussions, at the heart of the issue are people dealing with something that has or could possibly take over their lives. 

My Own Story

Would you believe me if I told you I was an addict? Well, you probably should. While I luckily haven’t fallen prey to the terrible addictions I mentioned above, I do have an addiction. I’m addicted to soda. 

For over 30 years, an ice-cold soda has been the first thing I drink in the morning and the last thing at night. I don’t want to count up the amount of money I have spent. There have been times when I have tried to hide from friends and family how much I was consuming. I have rationalized that it’s only soda. I have tried to cut down or quit so many times, I’ve stopped counting. In fact, I’m giving it another shot this Lent, but I’d be lying if I said I thought it was going to work. 

My point in writing this column is not to shame myself, though this is a bit embarrassing and difficult to write. In fact, I hesitated even writing this column at all because I thought to myself, Who am I to talk about addiction? Yet I decided to write it anyway to show that there are many different things to which people can be and are addicted. 

Many Types of Addictions

For instance, I would venture to say that a lot of people are addicted to their phones. Think about the last time you went anywhere and weren’t surrounded by people with their heads hung low, poring over their phone screens. Or when was the last time you left your phone at home for an entire day and didn’t miss it? 

And what about social media? When you get a “like” on your Facebook post, it triggers your brain to send out a hit of dopamine, and you get a feeling of joy brought on by that little “like.” 

Now, I am in no way saying everyone who scrolls on social media is an addict. What I am saying is that addiction has many forms and faces. We often turn a blind eye or judgmental gaze at those struggling with major addictions. We cast shame on them for not being able to get it together and overcome their demons. Yet we fail to recognize those things in our own lives that we have become dependent on. 

So when we begin to pass judgment on anyone struggling with addiction, let’s stop and remember that none of us is immune and that those who are struggling are our brothers and sisters. 

New call-to-action

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to St. Anthony Messenger!

Skip to content