Strike a blow to addictions


Many of us are addicted to something. We all have our drug of choice. For some it is pornography, for others it is alcohol or nicotine or shopping or spending or TV or sport… The point is there is most probably something in your life you just can’t get rid of, although you would love to.

I always ask myself how those with an addiction to food can join a group of people who also want to break free from that addiction and then suddenly things start to happen. They loose weight, they start to feel good about themselves, they eat healthy, etc. etc. – all benefits of deciding to join a group of people with the same desire.

Is it the desire that causes it all? Most probably not, but to change you first need the desire before it can happen. I used to be a Psychologist in private counselling practice and there I saw people changed. Those that changed had one thing in common – they wanted to, they were desperate, they couldn’t stand their current state of existence any longer. Surely there is a lot of credit that can go to ‘desire’ when we talk about change in behaviour. The stronger the desire to change the higher the probability that you would change…

But for now, where I want to go is the long forgotten idea of accountability. Accountability is that ‘thing’ you can create around you when you are not strong enough on the inside to do what you know is best for you. “No man is an island!” a clever man exclaimed one day. I want to echo that. Because of the fact that no man is an island we can’t just do what we want to. We have to consider others. We live in community, all the time, whether we acknowledge it or not.

We all need accountability some times in our lives, especially those of us prone to addictions.

In psychology we talk about internal and external locus of control. When the internal locus of control is absent you need an external locus of control. In simple terms when your child doesn’t brush her teeth you should tell her to. The internal locus of control is absent and therefore you as a parent provide an external locus of control.

Now to get back to those with an addiction to food, especially the overcomers. They have joined a huge external locus of control that will check them, monitor them, weight them and ‘rebuke’ them if needs be. Now my theory says they have integrated the necessary accountability into their lives and therefore they will be able to shake of the addiction and the extra weight.

You want to change your behaviour because you are fed up of things you do that you don’t want to do? Make yourself accountable. Join a group, confide in a friend. Reveal your addiction and ask others that love and understand you to assist you. I have a couple of those kind of people in my live. They save lives!!

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