You probably have heard of a second-round addiction you just don’t know it by that name. Basically a second round-addiction is a substitute addiction that you pick up once you are in recovery. How do you avoid second-round addictions and how do you know if you already have one?
The most common second round addictions are overeating, anorexia, bulimia, exercise, gambling, spending, and work. These are just the most common ones…not the only ones. What is difficult with these addictions is that they are usually more socially acceptable and most times a mandatory action in life…ya gotta eat right?
So how are you supposed to know if you are replacing the addiction to your substance of choice with a more acceptable addiction?
Come On…Be Honest
The answer is simple, being brutally honest with yourself. Notice I said the answer is simple, not the act of being honest with yourself. We all know first hand that being honest with yourself is not always an easy thing.
Since addiction is about the disease not about the substance, the telltale signs you have already experienced in your major addiction will be there.
You have to ask yourself if your escalating new behavior is serving a purpose for you other than the norm. Is it distracting you from certain feelings like fear, inadequacy, loneliness, anxiety or anger?
Are you using the time that this behavior takes up as an excuse for not risking new activities or socializing? Are you feeling that this new behavior is really just your disease rearing it’s ugly head in a new way? Come on…be honest.
So if you find yourself answering yes to any of those questions you are obviously being very honest with yourself…good for you. But what do you do now?
Say It Out Loud
Now that you have been very honest with yourself about admitting that this new behavior is becoming an addiction it is time to tell someone else.
Why do this? Because as we have experienced in the past, our addictive thinking minds have a way of easily slipping back into denial and minimizing the problem. Maybe I’m not really addicted…that sort of thing.
I’m not saying go ahead and blurt it out to the first person you come in contact with at the food store. I’m talking about telling someone in your support system. Get it out there so you can start dealing with it.
Remember, there is no shame in realizing that you have a growing addiction to a different behavior. We’re addicts after all…it’s what we do.