Dealing with Addictions- All In

All in
All in

You are in a game of poker, sitting opposite you is a master at the game. You have gone several rounds and he has won all of them. He is looking at you, his eyes boring into yours, his face is expressionless, betraying nothing. He is sitting in a relaxed manner and he takes his eyes off you to take a sip from his glass.

Your heart is pounding furiously and your throat is dry. All around, silence reigns as all eyes are fixed on you, waiting for your response. Your opponent has bet all his winnings from the evening and in the centre of the table is a castle of coins. The decision is yours, to call or fold.

You know that your opponent is good at bluffing and he has used that in previous rounds but you can’t tell whether he is bluffing or not. You look at the cards in your hands and something tells you that they are good enough. You disagree, you had been sure too in the previous games and you had lost still. Not this time, the voice in your head replies.

Your opponent arches his eyebrows as he prods you for a decision and looks at his wristwatch that was gleaming from the light from the candelabra overhead. What are you going to do? His eyes asks. You look at your cards once again and make a choice.
You push your stack to the centre of the table.

All in. your life is at stake.

You call.

poker1

He drops his cards on the table and for a moment you stare, transfixed. Just for a moment. Slowly, a smile breaks out on your face, starting from the corners of your mouth and reaching your eyes. You drop your cards on the table. It’s a flush.

You win.

Your opponent stares unbelievingly as you offer your hand for a handshake. You had lost all day but you had won the most important game and had emerged the winner.

poker2

Dealing with addictions is akin to a game of poker. The stakes are high and your opponent is a master at the game. To win, you have to be all in, to stake your life in your fight for freedom. You have to call its bluff because most times, you have all it takes to win. Only you don’t always realize it. Or feel it. Most times you fold when the stakes are raised.

It doesn’t matter how many rounds you have lost to the deadly habit and the things that you hold dear that have slipped through your fingers- friends, family, job, etc. the game isn’t over yet. You are still alive and you still have one more fight left in you.

This time around, you have to be all in; no half measures. No self-doubt. No folding.

Let us hear from victor:

“I had tried many times to quit. Making the decision comes easy most times; the addiction was killing me and it was obvious that I needed to stop. In the few days and even weeks following the decision, my determination would be strong and I would stay sober and happy. Then as the weeks go by, I would begin to take things for granted. I would allow myself to think that I had now become a master and that nothing could ever make me to revert back to the deadly habit. I would become careless and begin to take risks. At this stage, it would only be a matter of weeks before I slide back.

Several years after giving up on ever breaking the habit, I decided to try again. This was after I had reached the rock bottom and told myself that it wouldn’t hurt to try. I was ready to try but I wanted to do things differently. But I didn’t know what.

Then one day, the answer came to me.

It was on a Saturday morning and I had been struggling with the urges and cravings and I had become frustrated. It had been a difficult week prior to that day and I had struggled all through the week and was tired. I wondered if I would be able to keep on with the sobriety.

While brooding and trying to take my mind off the mental images swirling around in my mind, it occurred to me that staying sober was a process. It required an ongoing commitment from me every day and every time I feel the temptation to go back. It was a war, one that I must constantly fight in order to remain sober.

Breaking the force of a habit isn’t a one-time thing, I realized. Each day, my mind and body wants to slide back into its usual routine, which includes the habit, and each day I have to resist it. Some days are going to be harder than the other, like I have discovered. Some days, I would be distracted with work or something else, and on others, it will be like the universe had connived to make it impossible to scale through; every sight, sound and images will remind me of the habit.

And on one such day, that Saturday I had an epiphany and I knew what to do. I was in a fight and it wasn’t going to be easy but then I am all in. I was going to have to fight the urges every day. I was willing to give whatever it takes to remain sober.

I decided not to be dormant anymore. Whenever my mind gets flooded with the images and the intense desire to indulge, rather than being passive, I will fight. For as long as it takes, whether I am weak or tired.

Fortunately, I am not alone. I have recruited God’s help. With my determination and His strength and grace, I know I will pull through”

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you do know that your comments are highly appreciated. be generous!

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23 Comments Add yours

  1. Yemie says:

    Reading through this amazing piece from the onset, I’d thought you wanted to address the ills of gambling and its attendant cause and effects, leading to an addiction. I was totally thrown off upon the realization that the poker game was just an illustration to drive home a point. Doc, you’re soooo full of surprises and you pulled this off, again. Its interesting how you’re able to just adopt certain elements, either by making comparisms or contrasts; to make clear whatever points you wish to drive home. An inspirational piece this one, I’ve learnt something new today. Thanks.

    What’s more, thanks for listening. That final paragraph, did it for me. You really listened. Who woulda thought??? LOL!

    And now, I’ve a new addiction of my own. Do I wanna share or be rid of it? Hmmmm…… I think not! Plus, don’t ask! Jeez! I’m really fast catching up on this ‘left to the imagination of the writer or reader’ thingy and I have you to thank for that Topazo, I mean REALLY. LMAO!

    1. topazo says:

      Aunty Yemi…thanks. I am a good boy and I always listen..*grin

      I don’t need to ask, I know it already. don’t ask me how I know…lol

      your comments are like ice cold water in the middle of the sahara desert…thanks a bunch

      1. Yemie says:

        Brother Topazo, are we back to right where we started? You just looovveee and get kicks from teasing me, sebi? Well now I know and I refuse to give you that satisfaction. Silly Nilly! Tan l’anti ofo? Warn yourself o. LOL!

        1. topazo says:

          fell right into the trap…you can’t help yourself…you just have to reply…I was banking on that

          1. Yemie says:

            You were banking on that, I’m sure that’s made you more popular, famous and richer than you were a coupla minutes back abi beeko? Sombo! And what’s the moral of that story now? Be on your best behaviour and I promise I’d return the favour. Appeal to the nice and loving Yemie, and you’ll get her in all of her kindly glory, flip the coin and that’s exactly what you’d get. You of all people should know that by now. I can play nice and I can play nasty two times over, trust me. LOL!

            1. topazo says:

              oh yes, I am more popular, famous and rich!

              appeal ke? when did you become oya that needs palm wine and libations?

              1. Yemie says:

                Oya ko, Osun ni! Olodo ni e o. Appeal is different from appease na. If I said appease, that feedback woulda cut it. Now let me educate you, aburo mi. In one of T.D Jakes’ message, he said there are two parts to every man: the king and the beast. Whichever one you appeal to is what you’d get. Do you understand? And why am I beginning to suspect this your ‘palm oil’ theory? Is there something more I need to know? Have you ever had to appease someone or something with palmoil? Do tell, your secret will be safe with me, I promise! LWKMQ!

                1. topazo says:

                  well, thanks for the lecture…sorry, sermon.
                  that’s the tradition…but you wouldn’t know that, you are a city lass…lolz

                  1. Yemie says:

                    Tradition nikan ko, asa ati ise ni. Iwolomo o, iwofa l’enu, ohunkohun ti o ba wu elenu ni ki o fi enu re so. *shrugs*. LOL!

                    1. topazo says:

                      o boy! that fiery storm of a temper is brewing….

                    2. Yemie says:

                      Fiery temper? Whatever are you talking ’bout my youngman? Please enlighten me abeg.

                    3. topazo says:

                      I think you know old woman…*wink

                    4. Yemie says:

                      Its not always safe to assume things my young boy, that’s the penny this very wise old woman’s borrowing you.*wink wink*.

                    5. topazo says:

                      thanks o ancient one….I will try and not forget too soon…

                    6. Yemie says:

                      You’re most welcome buddy boy, please don’t mention really, the pleasure was all mine. Ancient one? Ouch! I’m laughing and crying simultaneously. You’re fast learning my boy, I’m so proud of you right now. Iwo yato jo! LMAO!

                    7. topazo says:

                      thanks..i pick on very fast…*grin

  2. Isaacola AA says:

    Breaking bad habit need working at it all the time just like anything worthwhile. It is only weed that grow without tending, for you to break bad habit or cultivate good one, it need good attitude with WORK WORK WORK

    1. topazo says:

      you are absolutely right

  3. buqie says:

    I enjoyed reading this post gan o, and i must say, Yemie and Topazo’s discussion is another post on its own. Ehehehehheh. It made me smile tho.
    Kudos Topazo, you have so much to offer the world!

    1. topazo says:

      thanks buqie…you are far too kind

  4. Yomi says:

    You don’t know how much this touched my life,am an addict of masturbation for many years and the battle is still on but thank God that you have shown that it’s possible to win the war. God bless you

    1. topazo says:

      Hi Yomi, thank you for your kind words. Thanks for sharing your story, many people are fighting this particular addiction too and your comment would serve as an inspiration for some.

      yes, it is possible to win the war. there are times when it will seem hard and almost impossible but when we lean on God for help, he will always come through for us.

      God bless

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