We’re already into the second month of 2019. The start of this month observes National Freedom Day. This day celebrates the 13th amendment that banned slavery. However, freedom can mean more than the absence of slavery.

The word “addict” comes from the Latin word “addictus” or “addicta” which means “slave (of)”. “Addiction” was a term used by Romans to refer to slaves. This stems from a myth, where Addictus, a former slave, roamed the Earth with chains attached to his appendages. Over time, he actually became comfortable with the feeling of the chains.

Given that addiction is a compulsive behavior, it’s justified to claim that addicts are slaves to their addictive behaviors. The progressive nature of addiction also parallels the story of Addictus. Oftentimes, addicts become comfortable with their addictions. It is not uncommon for addictive behaviors to be at the top of an addict’s priorities. Thus, addicts will often go great lengths to ensure there is nothing in the way between them and their addictive behavior. You may have surrounded yourself with people that wouldn’t question how many drinks you’ve had, or maybe encouraged you to drink more. You may have gotten so used to buying drugs, it no longer gave you anxiety about possible legal ramifications. No matter how the comfortability manifests, it is the nature of addiction.

Whether you’re Addictus or an addict, being comfortable with the things that bring you harm leads to complacency. You are less likely to change the things that you have no problem with. As such, true freedom can only come about when one sees the chains, or the addictive behaviors, for what they are – obstacles holding you back from achieving your full potential. The chains serve more as a literal example of restraint, while the addictive behaviors usually hold you back in more complex, abstract ways.

This Freedom Day, think about the ways you have been restrained from accomplishing the things you want out of life. Breaking free from the chains may seem impossible, but you do not have to do it alone. If you are enslaved to drugs, alcohol, or gambling, call Williamsville Wellness today to get the help you need to be free.

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