Signs You Are Addicted
Russ discusses some of the more subtle signs that you are addicted to something – whether it be substances or something else. He explains how addiction becomes an outlet to avoid negative consequences you don’t want to experience. Maybe you don’t want to have a tough conversation with your wife so you go out for a few drinks with your buddies. Or maybe the thought of quitting your nightmare job and starting your own business causes too much stress. So instead of dealing with that stress by tackling the issues you’re facing, you find another outlet.
You convince yourself that your new addiction is stopping you from dealing with the consequences so you continue to alleviate that stress the same way. This is especially true when you’re not addicted to a substance because the signs are even less noticeable. But eventually, the consequences catch up with you and deal way more damage than they would’ve if you would’ve just faced your problems in the beginning. Watch the episode below!
Subscribe to catch the latest episode!
Enter your email address to download this week’s Action Guide
& get each Action Guide personally delivered to your inbox
Each week we release an Action Guide filled with relevant exercises from the latest Russ Perry Show episode to help you expand your sobriety across all core areas of your life: body, being, balance, and business.
This week’s Action Guide will have you analyze potential addictions you are developing and will help you visualize the damage they’re doing so you can make more informed decisions.
BONUS: No need to take notes – we transcribed the episode for you!
– Well hello everyone. We’re running a tiny bit late here. The old internets were continuing to break at the offices here at Design Pickle. But this is the Russ Perry show. I am so happy you are here. And this is a very special episode on multiple occasions.
First, it’s episode number 20. I don’t think I’ve created 20 of anything in my entire life, let alone weekly in a row show so I’m very excited about that. If you don’t know, we’re also syndicating these on iTunes so you can get over there, just search Russ Perry show and subscribe so you can listen to it on your car, your bike ride, your canoe rides.
But also, this is the last episode that we’re actually having here in our studio until we move to our new offices which will be a bit sketchy for a while cuz we’re doing some remodeling and construction. So there’ll actually be quite a dip in our production quality as we move, but don’t worry, the content will continue to come.
But today’s episode, we’re gonna be talking about a very kind of real topic. And this is signs you are addicted. When I talk about addiction, most people just assume substances, they assume alcohol or drugs or these things that are very easy to know if you’re addicted or not. But there are so many other subtle things, both with substances and then ways you could be addicted to other things that people are not even aware of. So that is it, that is not it, but that is the topic for today’s episode 20 of Russ Perry show. Stay tuned and thanks for tuning in, here we go.
[Intro] ♪ Let’s go. ♪ There’s a new way of living to give you the unfair advantage in all areas of life. Body, being, balance, and business. Welcome to the Russ Perry Show.
So whenever I have a conversation with someone about what I’m doing and the sober brand and my book here, actually have a copy here conveniently located, The Sober Entrepreneur. Most of the time, the conversations revolved around my addictions and my past behaviors around alcohol.
Substances are the number one thing that we think of when we both hear the term sober as well as addiction. It’s just what’s in the media, it’s what’s perpetuated with things like Alcoholics Anonymous, celebrities, all of this stuff, like, that is the essential vibe and brand, the dominating conversation, it is with substances.
But the reality is, and I talk about this in my book, we are all addicted to something. It may not be as obvious as it was for me in my life where I was drinking during the daytime, I was making extremely poor decisions, risking my life and risking my family and risking my marriage, risking my businesses. All of those consequences that come with impaired judgments around alcohol.
I would even argue that the other kinds of addictions which we’ll get into in a bit, are more dangerous because their effects are subtle. Their effects compound not over a day or a week, but months and years and decades. And these compounding effects end up having the consequences that you can rarely recover from. For example, a liver failure or a divorce. Things that you could probably fix if it was the first inkling, the first small indications of problems. But unfortunately, some addictions hide dormant for years.
And like I said, decades until all collapses in and the consequences rear their ugly head and then it’s too late. At least with alcohol and some substances, the incremental decline or challenges are a lot more apparent. Now we may not always be as wise and as smart to acknowledge those changes and recognize those as warning signs. However, it’s more substantial, it’s more concrete.
So how do we know if we’re addicted? That’s the topic of today’s episode. But I did what every eighth-grade essayist does when they’re writing a paper, I looked up the definition of addiction. I wrote it down right here, I didn’t memorize it. You know like the essay that starts off like define inspiration. The Webster’s Dictionary defines inspiration as blah blah blah blah blah blah.
So here’s the definition of addiction, roughly paraphrased. Addiction is when we’re physically or mentally dependent on something and we’re continuing that dependency because if we stop, there are going to be adverse effects. And I’ll add on there, or the perception of adverse effects.
So let’s go through a couple examples here, from the really concrete to the more abstract. When I was addicted to alcohol, and I was drinking, there was a biochemical effect when I would stop. That would be depression, that would be being tired, that would be the facing the consequences of all of the responsibilities that I had been sweeping under the rug for the day or the weekend or whatever, how long that bender was. So I would continue to drink because it would at least in my mind, push away and hide the perception of these consequences.
So, we’ll switch over to the tablet here. So if I have these consequences, consequences, it’s been a while, you know, I’ve been traveling, I’ve not been on the tablet here. But if I have consequences and then I have my habit, we’re just gonna call it habit, that I’m addicted to. It’s my addiction, at least on the surface, sort of insulates me, A-D-D-I-C-T-I-O-N, sort of insulates me from facing these consequences.
The truth is though, those consequences are always there. So if I’m drinking, whatever I’m trying to avoid, or if I’m smoking a joint, whatever I’m trying to de-stress about, or if I’m working all day and all night, whatever I’m trying to accomplish and overcome, those things remain. My addiction does nothing except to postpone or avoid the consequences that exist.
So the concrete consequences are really easy when we’re talking about biochemistry or let’s say we’re talking about a tough conversation with our wife. Like, ah, I’d rather go to the bar and have a drink with my buddies than face her. Oh, I’d rather, you know, put the kids to bed and have a joint and have a smoke rather than tackling a big, you know, challenge in my home or in my business and that extra time could be used to solve that problem, but instead, I sort of avoid it.
So this perception that the addiction prevents the consequences is totally false. And the dictionary has kind of weird interpretation. It’s more it delays, or it pushes off. And I don’t know about you but anytime I’ve avoided something, what ends up happening? Avoidance amplifies the consequences. So whatever you’re afraid of, whatever you’re worried about, that thing, if you don’t tackle it and you push it off and you push it off and you push it off, then what ends up happening is the consequences of finally dealing with that become larger and larger and larger.
I’ll give another concrete example, that’s not related to substances. Recently, I encountered an incident where someone I know was challenged in dealing with an addiction that they had regarding, I don’t know how to describe it, I guess, inappropriate behavior with women.
Now this person was in a relationship, this person was someone that you would never perceive this to be a challenge. But they never addressed this issue. They never addressed the issue, they never addressed the issue, they never addressed the issue, until the issue got so big, it boiled over and it became something that was irreparable.
If this person had talked about this or faced their consequences versus succumbing to the habits and fueled by the addition of his behavior, I am certain that the consequences, just hit the button, we’re recording live here, I’m certain that the consequences would have not been as extreme and perhaps even been able to be recovered from the problems and the issues that this person was facing with.
So I argue that addictions are merely a smokescreen that hides the consequences temporarily. But what happens with smoke? It eventually dissipates and it eventually blows away.
Now there’s another piece to this that I’ve seen time and time again. Often these consequences are actually, I’ll keep the cloud analogy here, they’re completely made up. Have you ever, you know, I assume a lot of you watching this have flown. Like if you see a cloud and you don’t understand the environment, you don’t know how clouds are made, if you’re just a kid and you look at a cloud, it’s really realistic to believe that this is like, literally, like a pillow or a cotton ball in the sky. I mean it looks like a thing. And until it gets kind of wispy and dissipates, like that cloud is solid.
But if you actually go up into a cloud, and you’re inside a cloud, well all of a sudden, there’s nothing there. It fades, it’s misty, sometimes it doesn’t even seem like you’re inside of a cloud. Like if you’re passing through it on an airplane.
And so for us, when we’re looking at facing our consequences or facing the perceived consequences of our addictions, like quitting drinking, quitting smoking, you know talking about an inappropriate relationship or facing a boss that’s a nightmare, or a job that you don’t like, those consequences we create in our own mind and they actually prevent us from tackling whatever it is we’re facing with.
And so this is like, textbook 101, like every time I talk to someone who’s entertaining quitting drinking, granted they’re not in a dire situation, always, they’re like, you know, I just, I don’t know what my friends are gonna say, like I’m a social drinker, um, you know, just, it’s not, I don’t really have a problem but I’ve kind of been thinking about it. And a lot of these things that they think about, are just completely fabricated. They’re not real at all.
And so there are two consequences that we struggle with when we have an addiction to something. The first is the real consequences which usually are around facing the issues you’re trying to avoid. And the second is the fake, like perceived consequences that we’ve created, that rationalize us not quitting, or not facing our addiction.
Now other signs that you’re addicted, are all around us. There are the biochemical ones and I’ve in passing mentioned other ones, but let’s revisit those. Other signs really concrete that you’re addicted is you’re avoiding challenging conversations. So, you could be avoiding challenging conversations and you may not realize it but by avoiding that, you’re actually fueling an addiction elsewhere.
Don’t wanna go home, so you go to the gym for two hours. Don’t wanna deal with the stress of your significant other, so you drink all weekend. You are really unhappy at work but you don’t wanna deal with it, you don’t wanna talk to your wife about potentially quitting and the risks or this cool business idea that you have, and so you just show up every single day and deal with the bullshit that you’re faced with in a dead end job that’s murdering you slowly.
So addictions are wrapped up in a lot of other behaviors. And it’s sometimes hard to see or acknowledge that we have an addiction in our lives if we don’t look at those ancillary behaviors. So avoiding tough conversations is one.
Another is eternal adolescence. This is mainly driven to the men out there watching this who are unmarried without children. If that is you, and you’re like over the age of 30, then there is something that you’re addicted to that you’re not acknowledging. This could be, you’re addicted to, like, having no responsibilities, as abstract as that may seem, which is affecting you and ultimately robbing an amazing person that you could ultimately be with and a family that you could start.
It’s no question that I’pro-family here on this Russ Perry Show. I have three daughters, I have an amazing wife, I have a great family that I have embraced and loved and getting to that point required me to accept responsibility for myself.
And so if you’re avoiding those commitments, that is a sign of addiction. Now, rather than abstract things, things you could get addicted to that some people don’t acknowledge like we’ve mentioned, physical activity, running is a great one. I know many men, and my business and professional coach and mentor Garrett J. White has talked about how he used to run ultra marathons just so he wouldn’t have to have a hard conversation with his wife.
So for me, that is one of the signs that if you’re at the extreme of endurance, athleticism, and you’re not being paid for it, like that’s not your job, then you’re avoiding something.
Another could be with professional commitments. You are at a point of breaking point professionally, but you’re rationalizing and justifying the eventual rewards down the road.
Food is another one, rather you eat too much, you don’t eat enough, you eat bad stuff, you’re OCD about only eating fruit that’s fallen off the tree and nothing else, those could all be signs of addiction. Because what it is, is it is this smokescreen right? We don’t want to face the true feelings that we have, the feeling, the consequences, and so we fill this gap with our addiction and we never allegedly, have to actually get to those things.
So there’s a big conversation here, and totally self-promotional, go get my book. It’s actually now free, if you go to soberentrepreneur.com you can get a copy, you pay for shipping and handling whether it’s here in the United States or internationally we’ll ship anywhere in the world.
And you can understand what I mean and understanding and unpacking this concept of addiction. Because eventually during the show, I wanna talk about the sober side, which is actually the cool fun lifestyle, amazing side of all of this. But we cannot get to that conversation until we fully understand and are on the same page about addiction.
So do yourself a favor, go to soberentrepreneur.com get a free copy of the book and that’ll help you get up to speed.
So this wraps up our final episode here in the offices. If you’re on a podcast, you have no idea what I’m talking about, but this has been episode number 20. If you’re not subscribed to the show, we send out show notes and a recap every Tuesday morning. Go to RussPerry.co/show, pop in your email and you’ll start getting those as well.
These are actions guides to help you kind of fill out, unpack a concept in your own office or in your own minds, and we’ll include this episode as well. Thank you so much, we’ll talk with you next week wherever we’re gonna be filming, same time same place for the live stream 12:30 Mountain Standard Time here in Arizona on a Tuesday and catch all the past episodes and recording on RussPerry.co/show. Take care, see you next time.
[Outro] Check out past episodes and download custom action guides at RussPerry.co/show. ♪ Let’s go. ♪