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The Distorted Need Of Addiction

It’s the kind of comparison that is quite common for many. It isn’t necessary to have an addiction problem or a mental health problem to understand a certain duo of categories in our lives. With that being the case, this piece should be able to reach out to many, whether or not you’re a person who has had life experiences like I had. This is about two different things, that travel an extremely similar route. But during that journey, different forks in the road are taken.

When we are speaking of needs and wants, there really is more of a clear defining point then may be seen at first. A big question to tackle first, is the question of, whether or not both of these two things are two things that are truly required in our lives. We likely all agree that needs, are often exactly what they’re called; and that after all is needs.

The defining moment, or as I like to call it, the event horizon between these two are usually very blurred, and extremely subjective for where the true definitions lie.

But to get moving past the cleaver comparisons, I can attest to a time in my life where I had very blurred understandings of my needs. A life in addiction, and especially opiates specifically, can quickly distort many of your needs and wants in life. We begin to have this somewhat incredible evolution in of our minds and our hearts. In somewhat of an extreme change, our wants become needs, and our needs become our wants.

It is not just the heroin that becomes our needs, but it is so much more of the lifestyle as well. Our needs of protection, trust, shelter, food, and things similar are sidetracked, as it is our desires that become our new needs. We disregard the importance of trust, and faith, and go against many morals we once had. We feel a need to lie to our closest loves. We take the choice away from our drug use. We give ourselves no choice, but to need the drugs.

We wake every morning, and we are sick. Therefore we need fast money, and we need fast drugs. Because we “cannot live” through daily life without them to make us normal. We forget that we need food, health and shelter too. We compromise all of that. Sometimes we compromise health so strongly, that we may not always get it back.

The needs list becomes so long, and shallow. Total distortion. There is one lesson that addiction can make us easily forget. We forget that reminder, that in life, it is actually our needs that are few. In sound mind, we can appreciate the value of a need. The fact that needs are quite few, make the needs quite valuable.

What we need to see is the need for a healthy mind. A brain that once again grows strong. Fueled by the power of our needs. Our brains are wonderful, and powerful tools. We want many things. We desire many, and often demand many.

The first day I saw my needs and wants a bit clearer, was after another true rock bottom. That was the day, I had enough. It was time to give up on my drugs, and turn my back on addiction. That was the day that I finally saw that the heroin just couldn’t be a need anymore.

What I needed once again was the trust and love of a family. The better health in mind and body. And the breaking free of what turned out to only be the want of addiction. That was nothing more then disguised as a need.

Thank you for reading,

MICHAEL PATANELLA; Author, Publisher



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Michael Patanella

Michael Patanella


Author, Publisher, and Editor. I cover mindfulness, mental health, addiction, sobriety, life, and spirituality among other things.