Is there such a thing as an Addictive Personality?

Old 04-18-2015, 12:12 AM
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Is there such a thing as an Addictive Personality?

Or is it just a person who has not yet learned better ways of dealing with their feelings?

Long before alcohol entered my life, there was always cake and comfort eating. And a huge amount of it. Now I am not drinking, my binge eating is rampant. I am gaining a lot of weight, which hurts my confidence, which weakens my armour against alcohol.

I still can't work out - is it to obliterate feelings, or myself? Most of the time I can't even tell what the feelings are. Is sugar just another distraction from the realities of life? An escape? A habit? An addiction? I am so all or nothing in life. Am I just programmed to move from one obsession to another? Can I really learn not to use any substitute substances or activities to get through life? Is that what being sober really is?

I have been in therapy a really long time, but this is proving a tough nut to crack.
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Old 04-18-2015, 12:23 AM
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Morning SoberFreckles i found this SR link from 2010 on this subject
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Old 04-18-2015, 12:33 AM
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Hi. I was a binge-eater for 30 years, ended up having to have weight loss surgery. I quickly turned to drinking when food was no longer an option.

I've been very worried that once I quit drinking, I would turn to something else. I don't really have an answer for you (I've asked the same question in SR before). I do find that I need to fill my free time with lots of different activities. I could easily start obsessing over SR, AA, exercise, shopping... Whatever. I need to diversify.

I do crave my sugar though! I buy candy in copious amounts. I'm doing this thing I did with my kids, I portion it out in smaller amounts in ziplock bags, and I'm allowed one bag a day.

Last edited by StellaPolaris; 04-18-2015 at 12:34 AM. Reason: Screwed by auto-correct.
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Old 04-18-2015, 04:10 AM
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hello. addictive personalities are real.when i dont drink my obsession moves towards fitness and being lean as i can. this can be dangerous too.
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Old 04-18-2015, 04:20 AM
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Sometimes I think "working out" automatically puts a bad spin on healthy activities. Have you tried fun classes like Zumba or Spinning where there is pleasure to go along with the calorie-burning? If I had to rely on a treadmill or elliptical for my exercise, I would lose interest immediately.
Once you start having fun with it, you'll enjoy the feeling and your self esteem will return.
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Old 04-18-2015, 04:52 AM
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I know for myself a balanced life will always be a struggle. I do things to excess. Today I try to stay between the rumble strips of life
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Old 04-18-2015, 04:55 AM
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I know I have an addictive personality. That said I have had to find ways to work around it. Just because it's there doesn't mean I have to give in to it.
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Old 04-18-2015, 05:00 AM
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Many years ago I took the MMPI personality test. The results were that I have an addictive personality. I agree with this.

However, now that I'm sober that personality no longer runs the show.
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Old 04-18-2015, 05:36 AM
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I too suffer from this. When it's not drinking, I focus (obsess) over something else, whether it's martial arts, dieting, work, etc. I constantly need that external THING to fill the hole in my soul. I'll do it to the extreme, until I move on to the next obsession.

I'm working on that. A more balanced, mindful life is one I seek.
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Old 04-19-2015, 09:24 AM
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As ever, some really excellent, thought provoking comments from everyone. Thank you all for taking the time to respond. I really do need to find more meaningful ways to fill that hole in myself, and I am also struck by the fact I am very much driven by instant gratification. Lots to work on!
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Old 04-19-2015, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by soberwolf View Post
Morning SoberFreckles i found this SR link from 2010 on this subject
I thought that was a terrible article. It was full of loaded, judgemental terms like: parasites, negative hedonists, antisocial, out of control. It claimed that addicts were unable to make long term plans. Maybe some can or some can't, but I've made long term plans and stuck to them, despite a decades long addiction to alcohol. I'm sure I'm not unique.

The article dresses itself up to sound scientific, but is nothing of the sort. It gives no data, no references, no arguments, not even examples. There may be some truth in some things it says, but it's full of wild generalisations. In my opinion, it is best ignored.
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Old 04-19-2015, 01:43 PM
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I had a normal personality prior to drinking. I developed an alcoholic mind while drinking, I was restored to something approaching a normal personality as I recovered in AA.
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Old 04-19-2015, 02:25 PM
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My opinion probably isn't a popular one, but I personally don't believe in such a thing. It sounds like a convenient excuse to continue destructive behavior...."I've got an addictive personality, I just can't help doing xyz...." Ridiculous!

Before you shoot me, understand this is coming from an ex alcoholic, ex drug addict, an ex smoker, an over-exerciser, and a strict borderline over-the-top vegetarian health freak. I don't believe I did/do those things because I had a personality disorder....I did/do them because I tend to do things in excess! But I've learned how to control my urges for alcohol, drugs, cigarettes by learning to recognize them for what they are and move on without giving in. The other stuff is getting dealt with by fate.
All these 'disorders' everyone's got these days play into the victim mentality plaguing our society. They make people feel helpless and doomed, when in reality we all hold the key to our own destiny.
Whatever our problems or our diagnosis, we can choose to shouldn't define us.
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Old 04-19-2015, 03:21 PM
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I think until we find SOME measure of inner peace, make peace with our past, exorcise our demons, and generally shuttle all the negativity, many of us are inclined to seek RELIEF. and even moreso, until we learn to just BE without reaching for something to change how we feel, we doom ourselves to greedily grasping at whatever THING we think will make it all stop.

we can be like petulant cranky toddlers....overdue for a nap, but racing around yanking things off the table, and throwing our sippy cup, and screaming NO NO NO. we must learn to grow, to mature, to accept that we are NOT the center of the universe and that life happens. that there will be good days and bad days. headaches and serenity. the less personal we take everything, the more we FEEL ok.

we learn we have options. we learn that others have it much worse. we learn to be grateful for all the abundance life has showered upon us. we find balance. and eschew excess.
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Old 04-20-2015, 02:27 AM
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Become addicted to a dog or cat. These are low calorie and are harmlessly codependent. If you are allergic to fur get a poodle. If you travel get a miniature poodle and put it under the seat in the cabin with you. See Caroline Knapp's book "Pack of Two".Or get addicted to exercise. Avoid bulimia (cf. Princess Diana). Collect string or rubber bands and make a six foot diameter string or rubber band ball. Avoid grouse shooting in Texas with former Vice Presidents.

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Old 04-20-2015, 03:56 AM
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brynn - maybe it depends on what we do with that label of 'addictive personality'? I can definitely see it being used as an excuse to continue destructive behaviour, so I get what you're saying. But I could also see it helpful for some in that it identifies a pattern of behaviour that can then be worked on.

I'm a little more dramatic in my diagnosis (and less scientific), and refer to it as my 'soul sickness' a la AA. But I definitely don't want to stay this way.
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Old 04-20-2015, 03:58 AM
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Yeah, I think there's personalities who are more prone to addiction than others.

I'm more of an "all or nothing" kind of guy myself, and have been addicted to tons of things. Sometimes it can be beneficial though. For example, falling in love -- I can provide a huge amount of love to the right person, due to my addictive personality. Work -- helps make for a healthy bank account, and allows me to learn nearly anything I need to. Then obviously, there's the bad parts, such as addiction to alcohol.
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Old 04-20-2015, 04:00 AM
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Maybe all personalities are addictive. The ego is wired for addiction.... Look around - broaden the definition.... Seems like everyone is addicted to something.
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Old 04-20-2015, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by FreeOwl View Post
Maybe all personalities are addictive. The ego is wired for addiction.... Look around - broaden the definition.... Seems like everyone is addicted to something.
I'm addicted to this website, SoberRecovery.

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Old 04-20-2015, 07:28 AM
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I 100% have an addictive personality. I either do everything 100% or 0%. That's why "cutting back" on drinking never worked for me - I had to stop drinking entirely. I used to have a shopping addiction - again, I had to stop shopping entirely in order to stop the habit (although I've slowly started shopping again and am now able to do it in a healthy manner).

I'm newly sober and I've replaced "drinking" with exercise - I play tennis constantly and whenever tennis isn't available and I have a craving I go for a run. That for me is a healthy "addiction" as long as I'm not doing it too much (and I'm too lazy to do it too much LOL)
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