Caffeine addiction is something from which more people 'suffer' than would probably care to admit, because really we don't see it as an addiction. Nicotine dependence gives you cancer and emphysema; alcoholism gives you liver disease and driving bans; meth could result in a face different to the one you were born with.
When I speak to people about my sobriety, they imagine either that I am fighting a constant battle against temptation or that I no longer have any thoughts about drinking at all. The reality is somewhere in between. The best way to describe it is through the metaphor of something most of us can relate to - a relationship with an ex-partner, from the initial meet, to the aftermath of the break-up.
Google will provide an answer to pretty much anything, but I'm afraid there are some things that Google just can't help us with. Google can't tell you what you should be doing with your life, or reassure you that you made the right decision yesterday. So, in our fragile, digitally reliant states, we worry. And more and more of us are worrying more of the time.
If you are going to black-out at 10pm, why not just go home? What's the difference between leaving a party early, and drinking to oblivion early? Either way you are intentionally checking out and not being there anymore. The only difference really is feeling the pressure of expectation. Of being other people's chimp. Performing for drinks and approval.
Our single stated aim when it came to curing the world of smoking was to effectively put ourselves out of business - by curing all the smokers in the world. To really achieve our aim we do need governments to engage with us. With one eye on their treasury coffers one wonders whether there's a government out there genuinely interested in eradicating addiction.
I firmly believe we tie ourselves down by saying Never again. Surely better to ask ourselves why we did what we did. So often, we deny ourselves of letting ourselves off the hook, so to speak. I regularly ask my clients to ask themselves good questions. Invariably, good questions elicit good responses.
When I arrived at the address I saw an open door with a small, blue "AA" sticker on it. But it was a big building with many floors. How would I find the right room? I assumed it would be in the basement but it was deserted. I then went up the stairs to the first floor where I saw an open door and heard voices. I swallowed my anxiety and went in.
As smartphone addiction creeps into bedrooms all over the country, it's clear that we need to make a conscious effort to disconnect. A nationwide epidemic of sleep deprivation, smartphone hangovers that sap our productivity, and an inability to switch off from work and relax, are all sure signs that our dependence on the smartphone has gone too far.