Addiction is something that creeps up on us. There can be many reasons why a substance or a behaviour begins to control our lives and the decisions we make. More often than not the substance or the behaviour starts out as providing us with comfort and courage. It can give us confidence and boost our self image. It can help us communicate and socialise with other people. It can make us feel wanted and acceptable to others. It can take away anxiety, stress and painful emotions. It can help us feel ‘present in this world’ and manage the feeling of being alone. But how can we tell when the substance / behaviour is beginning to take over our lives? Let me give you some hints to watch out for. 1. Are you noticing that when you start using or engaging in the behaviour, you need more to have same effect? 2. Are you telling yourself that you have this under control, no need to worry? 3. Are you beginning to notice a growing disconnect between you and those close to you? 4. Do you find yourself avoiding conflict to keep the peace? 5. Do you find ways of not being ‘truthful’, so as not to be challenged? 6. Do you worry about family celebrations and events and how you’ll manage them? These are just some hints that you need to be aware of. If these are happening to you, speak to someone today. These things are normal. You are not alone.