Ask 10 people if sugar or coffee is addictive and you’ll get somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 unique answers. The problem with defining sugar & coffee addiction is the general misunderstanding of the nature of addiction itself and how it manifests. Use the word addict and most will experience images of someone immoral, violent, mentally unstable and anti-social. If one hasn’t lost everything from family to career and home they certainly aren’t addicted to something yes?
The reality is expressed in the graphic below. Yes there are extreme addictions that destroy lives, these are on the end of a continuum. Moving laterally however we encounter what most experience, unhelpful, unwanted habits. The vast majority of people right now are dependent on behaviors each and every day that ultimately create outcomes they do not desire.
To be perfectly clear, all that is written and presented here is done so with full compassion, having seriously abused sugar and coffee on and off for many years. I can attest to the negative spiral both are capable of creating.
Given the moral and ethical connotations that have become attached with addiction it’s not useful for those who are functioning, BUT still unfulfilled and wanting more. Dependency is a much more accurate way to begin traversing one’s behavior and the desirable/undesirable results of those choices.
One can still have their job, their family, their community, and lead the standard “normal” life, yet know at their core that they do not have the resilience, fortitude and daily vigor to live their life fully. For most this is the deepest sense underneath living at a bodyweight that prevents full movement and participation in events they have a desire to experience.
Having worked through several of those “real” addictions, of the variety and intensity that was actually ruining my life, I know firsthand the difference between immediate life-threatening dependencies and those that many would view as “normal,” yet personally I know have held me back from my potential as a man, father, husband. coach and entrepreneur.
Our first podcast was recorded as I decided (and not the first attempt mind you), that my caffeine intake had to be 0 or close enough to it to end the daily unhealthy cycle I was experiencing, being exhausted and therefore impatient and irritable with my family.