Friday, 13 April 2012

Addictions - Small Decisions With Big Results - Health - Diseases and Conditions

We have all heard of AIDS. The letters stand for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. However, in a graduate school class called Confronting Addictive Lifestyles, I learned that there is another thing that those letters stand for. It is Apparently Irrelevant DecisionS.

These are decisions that appear to be small and insignificant in themselves and that have little to do with our lives. Imagine a recovering alcoholic going a tour of a winery in the Nappa Valley. Or someone who is desperately trying to lose weight but they book a Caribbean cruise that features endless buffets! Someone has struggle with the use of drugs but continues to hang around others who habitually use drugs. Irrelevant decisions? No way!

Addictions are a terrible thing. They ruin not only the individual's life who has an addiction but often also many others around them. A husband's alcoholism can ruin his health, cost him his marriage and job, and destroy his relationship with his children.

Addictions are complex and there are different theories about the nature of addictions and how they are overcome. There are no simple solutions.

But certainly part of the answer is related to the "small" decisions that are made. If someone struggles with alcohol, then it is not best that they drive home from work everyday passing by a couple of liquor stores. Even if he has to drive out of his way another route, it could make sense to do that just to avoid that pull toward the liquor store.

Someone trying to lose weight in a similar way can guard themselves against exposing themselves to the temptations. Probably best not to pick a magazine while at the drugstore which has pictures of recipes of decadent desserts.

AIDS. Apparently Irrelevant DecisionS. If you are trying to overcome some addiction, any addiction, spend some time thinking about the little decisions you are making that can have a huge impact.

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