The Addiction…all you can “C”!
Have you ever sat there and wondered that all the “C” words contain addictive behaviors. Have you noticed the correlation between these lifestyles? Casinos, Coupons, Contests, Chocolates, Cash, Coffee. It’s as if someone had said “English Language words beginning with the letter “C” should be addictive.” Of course all these addictions have many variables and not everyone is going to share some of the same traits. However, there will be some traits which we will discuss below which can be found amongst all the addictions which are more recognizable and I encourage you to be aware and help yourself before your passion of contesting goes from a healthy addiction to an unhealthy addiction.
When I first suggested this article and mentioned I would do a write up on it, I knew I would be talking from first hand experience. Secretly I had hoped another member of the ContestMob team would choose this article so I could sit there and critique it saying “Oh those behaviors don’t fit me” or ”I share nothing in common with what that writer has said.” From a personal standpoint the best defense of course would be to deny. Deny the existence of addiction or that I may have an addictive personality.
The fact remains, that I was and have been addicted to all three behaviors and I will share my insight with you. Not the insight that a guidance counsellor could give, not the experience of a trained professional. Rather my experience comes from the “Hi, my name is Roger and I am an Contest Addict.” “Hi, my name is Roger and I am a Coupon Addict.” and “Hi my name is Roger and I am a Casino addict.” Are you recognizing a pattern here yet? I could easily be seen standing in a circle with others like me that share the same problems. We only see and hear of the more common ones. Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous. But please be aware and recognize that addictions are more commonly shared trait than you may know or see.
The shared traits of addiction
I am blinded to the effects of addiction. I am blind to the surrounding environment and the damage that it creates. Damage to my family, to the quality of time I spend with my children, to my financial resources, to time with my spouse. It creates mistrust, deflates morale, pushes friends and family away and isolates and alienates yourself. When we see these things, sometimes we don’t even see them occurring. This is called denial. We can easily see when others have a problem, but we fail to see our own addictions. The addict can only see what he/she wants to see. The traits I have listed above are shared by all addictions. For now, lets put this into a Contesting, Coupon and Casino perspective which are the top three shared interests among Facebook friends who love contesting.
The Contest Addict
Casinos, Coupons and Contesting. Three words which by themselves lead us into a new world of relationships. They can open us up to fun and excitement. They can all lead to a world of greed. They can alienate us from our families in the quest to gain more for so little. What happens though when your love of Contests goes awry and you become so enrapt in it that you fail to see what you are doing to your relationships. You become so engrossed in them that you lead no social life. Your constant world revolves around giving and getting votes. Your daily thoughts turn to when can you get back onto the computer. It is this thinking which we ultimately fail to see. Others notice the not so subtle behaviors. As soon as you come home from a family outing you are on the computer. Your children ask for things and it becomes annoying. All these little signs may show that you are already addicted.
The Coupon Addict
So how do Coupon addictions fare? Not much better. With the addiction to coupons you are always on the hunt for more. One coupon is never enough. You see a pad of them and you grab half of them to trade online or sell on E Bay. Every waking moment is spent searching for the newest coupons and best deals for freebies online. Every time you shop although it costs only a few dollars a day is spent amassing needless deoderants, more bodywashes than you can use in years and more toothbrushes that you could literally use one per day. Razors become stockpiled, shelves become filled with all the latest and greatest fragrances, but yet you continue to buy them like a mindless zombie you crave the next shop.
The Casino Addict
Casinos are another addiction which becomes a nightmare. At first it starts out as fun. You pop into the casino for a few minutes and the next thing you are walking out a few hundred dollars poorer. Your thoughts turn to making the money back with the next win. Day after day you continue to go back thinking th e same thing. One jackpot and I can pay it all back. Money begins missing from the household budget, Credit Cards begin to rack up to the maximum withdrawal limits, The spouse gets lied too about where you’ve been.
As you can see, each behavior has negative consequences. Failed marriages, divorce, financial cheating on your spouse, debts, missed payments, no food on the table. It doesn’t take much to see the devastating results of the addictive traits and see where they lead.
What do I do?
So maybe you notice a few of these traits in yourself. Maybe they seem small right now. Maybe you didn’t notice them before. How many of us have actually asked our spouse; Do I spend too much time Contesting/Couponing/at the Casino?” If the answer from your spouse/loved one is yes, then you should consider that a forewarning. Take a rest every day, devote some time to your family, change your attitude at work and free your thoughts of how soon can I be back to the computer to going out for dinner, spend some time with a co-worker, take your children out for a meal or to the park, go to a movie. What you need to do is re-evaluate your position and determine if what you are doing is worth the risk of negative consequences.
If the answer is of course no you do not want to have negative consequences, then set aside time for everything. Contest one hour daily, Only buy what you need with the coupons and eliminate the small trips to the store for the needless items which are wants and not needs, set aside a monthly budget to gamble with. If you are a severe addict and cannot refrain yourself then put a self imposed ban on yourself.
As an example, I and my wife attended the Casino together for the sole purpose of having a self imposed ban placed on me for a lengthy period of time. Since the last day I attended a Casino, I woke up to the amount of money I actually wasted. I woke up to what I was putting my family through. The lying, the unexplained maximum daily credit card withdrawals. These things all just disappear with the right help. With coupons, I simply stopped amassing them. I gave my coupon collection away to another and I stopped shopping and amassing things which were not required. For contests, I set aside daily time for everything. Work and family come first, then if there is time left over I enter a few contests.
Your choice to “C”
Ultimately, I could write a book on all these articles with my experiences, but due to space I will shorten it. Whichever the path you choose, just remember that you are not alone in this world. Many have come and gone that have been in your position. There are lots of support systems out there, you just have to widen your sense to look for them. From Facebook friends to family, to co-workers to your spouse. Reading self help books from the library. As long as you make your choice a healthy one, you will never go wrong.
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