What’s Your Addiction?

Last week I had a conversation with “Bryan” about his addiction.

“It started as something purely social, something casual and relaxed I could do with my friends.” I empathized; I understand what it’s like to join my friends in whatever activities they are up to.

“Eventually I started to get my own. It never kept me from interacting normally with society. It was just a good way to unwind after a long day’s work.” Again, I nodded in empathy. Especially working nights, with nobody else around, I’m always looking for ways to unwind before bed.

“After a while, though,” Bryan went on, “it started to take over my thoughts. Going to work, being with friends, running errands, it was all just routine, just going through the motions. Now the important things get done, but my mind is never truly there. All I think about is the next time I’ll be able to use. That’s my life now.” He knew this was happening, and it probably wasn’t for the best … but to be honest, he enjoyed it and wasn’t quite ready to let go.

Truth be told, the addiction Bryan was describing is mine.

The more time I spend at Emmaus, the more I realize how similar my addictions are to those the men deal with. All of Bryan’s statements are thoughts I’ve had over the last few months regarding the new video game I got during Thanksgiving. In fact, I could insert several of my habits, addictions, or even some hobbies into every one of those sentences. How many other things could I put into that category?

Whether it’s video games, watching sports, money, family, or anything that occupies my time and thoughts, I find that it often sounds a lot like the symptoms I hear described by some of the guys. How much is too much?

We often share how we minister to or help the men at Emmaus, yet I feel that more often than not, they are the ones ministering to and teaching me.

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