There are many different types of addiction that I like to call everyday addictions.
Chances are, you display one or many of these, and might not realize it because they are harder to identify.
Addiction isn’t just limited to drugs and alcohol.
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But first, what is addiction?
Webster’s says it’s “being abnormally tolerant to, and dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit forming (especially drugs or alcohol).
By that very definition, everything on this list qualifies, but I don’t feel like Webster fully explains it. The why is just as important as the what.
The reasons why people become addicted are usually very personal, but they can all be summed up into one statement.
Addiction forms when someone is unhappy in life, and they are either trying to obliterate the pain, or run from it by trying to feel happier. People often fixate specifically on one vice, but they can have a multitude of other vices to accompany it too.
Addiction is a state of being. It’s a mindset, a habit, and a way of life.
So, without further ado, here is a list of 9 everyday addictions that have nothing to do with drugs or alcohol.
Buckle up because this is a long post.
Full disclosure, I’ve been a victim of this one.
The first one of these everyday addictions can be hard to spot because most of the time you don’t realize you have a problem until you’re in too deep.
A shopping addiction happens when you feel the need to spend money because you feel sad, lonely, or bored. Shopping offers a thrill. I mean, who doesn’t like new things?
But, once it’s over, and you walk out to your car with all of your bags, you get the same sense of let down and guilt as you do every time you go on a spree. You probably didn’t have the money to spend in the first place.
The most common signs of a shopping addiction:
- Buyer’s remorse
- The need to hide your purchases from loved ones.
- High credit card bills, or maxed out credit cards
- Inability to pay your regular bills on time.
- The need to explain the necessity of your purchased items.
- The need to downplay how much your items cost.
A shopping addiction can do serious damage to your finances, emotions, and your relationships. It can leave you on very shaky ground with everyone around you, and leave you with years of financial clean up to do.
Next up on the list of everyday addictions….co-dependency.
To love your spouse or significant other is an amazing thing. Too many people never get to experience the kind of love that they want in their lives. It’s what almost everyone strives for.
But, once the honeymoon phase is over, and the new and exciting feelings die down, you’re supposed to settle into a quiet rhythm of contentedness with each other, with the occasional fight here and there. That’s normal and healthy.
Unfortunately, too many people enter into a relationship thinking that it’s going to save them, or fix all of their problems. They fall into this trap where they want to be around their partner constantly, because it feels better than being alone with their thoughts.
The happiness and comfort they feel in the relationship becomes addictive, and they never want it to stop. This is very straining on the other person in the relationship, and it will eventually push them away.
No person is responsible for you happiness except for yourself. Someone may add happiness to your life, but they shouldn’t be your entire reason for living.
This one goes right along with co-dependency. This one often stems from a lack of self-esteem. People use sex to feel confident. They use pornography and sex for a temporary endorphin boost. It’s the exact same high that drugs give you.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of having sex because it feels good, and can momentarily make you forget your troubles.
Some people take this to extreme, and have multiple partners whom they use many times a week. I don’t really need to go into the dangers of this do I? Enter the scary Middle School movies….
Disease, cheating, inappropriate partners…etc. Not to mention that too much porn fries your brain and makes it impossible to connect with a real life partner on a meaningful level.
Notice I didn’t knock porn entirely? That’s because I think it’s perfectly fine as long as you don’t go down a rabbit hole, or it’s used by two consenting, confident, and emotionally healthy partners that love each other.
While everyone’s sex drive is at different levels, and that’s okay, it’s not okay to use sex or porn as a tool to feel better about yourself. That doesn’t end well for anyone, and can leave you feeling more empty then when you started.
4. Animal Hoarding
Not what you thought would be on a list of everyday addictions is it?
We all think of animal hoarding as what we see on Animal Cops on T.V., the lady with 100 cats, living in their filth. That’s not everyday, or normal, but this is one of the more extreme cases I’m talking about.
I’ve worked at multiple Veterinary Offices, and I’ve seen it so many times. It’s so common, it’s crazy.
You probably know someone who has 5 or 6 dogs, a couple of cats, a bird, a rabbit, and a goldfish. (Farmers excluded)
It may seem as if they have a huge heart, and want to save as many animals as possible, but that can actually be part of the problem.
Animal hoarders don’t start out as animal hoarders. They start out as animal lovers with one or two pets, and then something happens to them to make them overcompensate.
Their marriage might have failed. A loved one may have died, or abandoned them.
Whatever the reason, they feel lonely and unloved, and are filling a void with beings that will love them unconditionally.
Animal hoarders often collect an amount of pets that become overwhelming. They find themselves short on finances and time, and are unable to take care of so many responsibilities.
They won’t get rid of their pets, however, because in their eyes that would be abandonment, the very thing they are suffering from. In their eyes, giving them away would be cruel.
Lots of people are going to hate me for putting this one on the list, but it follows the pattern of everyday addictions, so on the list it goes.
Being healthy and fit is something we all want. We all dream of being healthy, looking good, and having the energy we want to accomplish the things we have to do every day.
There’s nothing wrong with any of that. When fitness becomes an addiction, is when it starts to consume your life.
If you eat, sleep, breathe the gym, and you forsake time with your loved ones, and friends simply to do some reps, or go running, then you have an addiction.
The group of people who fall prey to this the easiest, are single people.
There’s an old joke about getting fat and lazy when you get married. Well, there’s actually something to this.
Marriage makes you happier, and more content with yourself. There’s countless studies out there about this. You don’t feel the need to hit the gym all of the time, because you’re loved.
Single people lack this comfort and acceptance, so they work on themselves religiously, usually in effort to attract a mate, weather they realize that’s why their doing it or not.
There’s nothing wrong with this, but it can become a slippery slope if you don’t have good self-esteem, or you’re using it to fill an emotional void. You need to balance your life out.
Who doesn’t love food?
I’m a foodie, so of course, I have fallen prey to this one.
Food is comfort. It’s happiness.
Mindless eating is what so many of us do when we get bored, sad, lonely, etc. It can so easily become a crutch.
I have eaten my feelings so many times I’ve lost count. Heck, I’ve eaten my feelings when I didn’t even realize I was eating my feelings.
Everything in moderation, though. It’s okay to indulge a little, but when it starts to mess with your weight, health, or self-esteem, then you need to put the ice cream down, and figure out what is really wrong with you.
7. Electronics/Social Media
You see the studies all over the internet when you’re browsing Facebook. Studies about how Social Media, phones, and electronic devices are ruining our lives.
It’s so easy to get sucked in to the internet, television, or gaming devices. Yes these things can be beneficial, but again, everything in moderation.
When we’re glued to our phones, or the TV screen, we miss out on really living. You miss the opportunity to connect with your loved ones in a meaningful way.
This, paired with the comparisonitis that social media facilitates, is creating a huge deficit in our lives. We’re becoming depressed because we’re fatter, missing out on life, anti-social, and we think everyone’s life is better than ours.
Did you know, that we’re one of the only countries that works as many hours as we do? We have a lot less time off too.
This society values the hard worker above all else, even personal safety and well being. I mean how many jobs have you had where they don’t care about you as a person as long as you’re being efficient. I’ve had more than I can count.
We become addicted to the grind. We think this is the only way to become successful, but this causes so much burnout, and facilitates the everyday addictions #7 on the list, because we’re too tired to do anything else.
It’s hard to pull away from this one too, because we’re a society of more, more, more, and the only way to get more, is by working harder.
9. Addiction to Struggle
This last one of these everyday addictions is probably the hardest to spot, and overcome, out of all of them.
People who have had to struggle a lot in their early lives are the most susceptible to this one, but no one is immune.
If you grew up in a rocky situation, and pain and struggle are all you’ve ever known, or if you’ve had a long string of bad luck, then chances are, struggle is your comfort zone.
You don’t expect that things will go right or be happy, so when something good does come alone, you inadvertently sabotage it.
At some point, bad things do stop happening, but the quiet peaceful moments become unsettling to you. So, you create your own drama.
You might push a loved one away, because you believe they were going to leave eventually anyway, or you might create a problem where there is none in another facet of your life.
The worst thing about this addiction is that most of the time, the people who suffer from it are completely oblivious to what they’re doing.
They truly believe that things are, and will always be bad. The dramas they create are not vindictive. They are very real scenarios to them.
This addiction is one that I’ve suffered the most from. I’ve lost friends, jobs, and loves to this one. Even now, I still have to stop myself from feeling like the shoe will drop at any moment. It can be very psychologically damaging.
This is probably the worst one of these everyday addictions on the list because it is the gateway cause for every other addiction there is out there, including drugs and alcohol.
There you have it!
The 9 addictions on this list are called everyday addictions, because they are extremely easy to miss. Most people don’t even realize they suffer from one or many of these issues.
If you take away nothing else from this post, I hope you understand that each one of these issues stems from a deeper seated problem. If you exhibit one or more of these behaviors, then it’s time to take a real hard look at yourself, and figure out what is causing this pain, and what you need to do to heal.
I wish you luck on your journey towards a better life.
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Happy Healing Friends,