When does Binging Become Addiction?

If you have a strong desire for something, is that necessarily wrong or bad for you? The way I see it, nearly everyone indulges in pleasure from time to time. And, as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, indulgences, like everything else, are fine in moderation. 

Indulgences are usually things we can live without and may even be considered unhealthy – like alcohol, smoking, and sugar. But there are times when we have to go on our computers and phones or shop for an item and, certainly, we all have to eat – these activities are not considered indulgences or luxuries but they can still lead to binging and addictive behaviors. 

What is the difference between binging and addiction? 

When an occasional indulgence becomes an overindulgence whether it be caffeine, alcohol, food, or even streaming content, we enter into a world of excess. Sometimes our intemperance is short-lived like in the case of binging. Binging is defined as “a short period devoted to indulging in an activity to excess.” The emphasis is on the phrase “short period.” Even if this activity takes over an evening or a whole weekend, by Monday morning you are able to get back to your normal routine.

However, when your indulgences start to occur on a daily basis and you are mentally and physically dependent on that something or someone, you lose objectivity, you become obsessed, discombobulated and disconnected with reality. When a habit, no matter what it is, leads to such extreme behavior, it falls into the category of addiction. 

The intensity of a person’s addiction may create such an obsession that they become detached from others. They may have shame or guilt associated with their addiction and avoid interacting or connecting with friends and family. In the end, this can make a person become selfish or greedy. They don’t care how their habits affect others because their own pleasures are what is most important. 

Once down this road of addiction, it is often difficult to make your way back toward moderation again. Sometimes the object is best left alone. 

For me, my vice is coffee. Having a little always leads to daily usage which makes me a more agitated person to be around. Although it doesn’t sound extreme, it does follow the progression of the state above: indulgence to addiction to greed. My realization is, since I cannot be moderate in my coffee intake, I need to detach from it in order to seek a more pleasant state of being.

I hope that this commentary can help you if you are seeking balance and non-greed in your life. It begins with awareness and a hard, true analysis of how the habit or addiction is affecting you and those around you. Telling someone of your struggle can be helpful. Just revealing the addiction can be freeing! 🕊

As promised, I am now using this blog to supplement my new book, Yoga Posts: Building a Steady Yoga Practice One Day at a Time. This week’s post refers back to Chapter #12: Let Go. If you wish to start at the beginning of our journey, please look to my first post.

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