Healing Stories: What is the Largest Addiction in the World? This might surprise you.

What is the Largest Addiction in the World? This might surprise you.

With the recent surge of opiate related deaths addiction is in the headlines once again.

For years, because of organizations like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers), alcoholism has been outed from the acceptable social addiction that it still is to something that law enforcement has taken very seriously.

But what do you think the largest form of addiction is today?

For the past 28 years, number one best-selling author, Counselor and Life Coach David Essel has been a pioneer in the world of addiction recovery.

His work, which has broken new ground in addiction recovery, began because of his own addiction to multiple substances and behaviors that lead him on a search to be free for himself and then lead the way for millions of others.

“When I look back at my life, my addictions to alcohol and cocaine, which I carried for more than 25 years, have become the bedrock of my work in the world of addiction recovery.

And in 1996, when we released our holistic addiction recovery program, we shattered the old method of addiction recovery buy using brain chemistry supplementation and so much more that even today seems ground breaking, which is extremely unfortunate.

But the number one addiction in the world has nothing to do with substances. It has everything to do with relationships.

In 2002, when my work in the field of codependency hit an all-time high, I declared then as I do now that “codependency in relationships is the largest addiction in the world.”

Codependency has been around since the beginning of time, but even today, very few of us realize how insidious it is and how it destroys self confidence and self-esteem as well as our health, careers and of course relationships with lovers, children, friends, family members, coworkers, bosses and more.

Every week we take on new clients in my work as a counselor and life coach, and 50% of the new clients we take on are related to codependency and relationships.

Now, I will admit, 80% of those individuals have no idea when we start working together that their main issue is codependency. Some of them will come to me for financial help. Others will come to lose weight. Others will start working with me because they’re unhappy in their current careers but are not sure what to do next.

But eventually, 50% of my clients, will come to the realization that the reason they began their work with me one on one was because of their struggle with codependency.

I myself, in 1997, was declared by my counselor at that time as “the most codependent man she had ever met in her life.” And I had no idea what she mean  even though I was doing my counseling and life coaching work back then.

Isn’t that amazing? A counselor and life coach that wasn’t even aware of their own depth of codependency and relationships?

So what is codependency? Here are just a few of the traits: fear of rocking the boat, fear of being rejected, abandoned, ridiculed, laughed at by others, craving to be liked, loved, accepted by others. These traits I’m sharing with you right now are only the beginning of the definition of codependency.

Some codependents like myself, believe we are incredibly independent in life, yet we don’t tell others how we honestly feel. Maybe there is someone at work making inappropriate jokes and instead of walking away, or telling the person to not share those type of jokes while you’re in their presence we put up with it. That’s codependency.

Enabling a husband, wife, lover or child to continue their addiction to any substance whatsoever while they’re in our presence is a form of codependency. It’s called enabling.

To vote Republican because your family has always been Republican or to vote Democrat because your partner is a Democrat and  not because you believe in the principles of either party, it’s called codependency.

To go out on Friday night with your friends and have one too many drinks because you don’t want to be left out of the crowd is called codependency.

To go to a restaurant and order dessert when you’re trying to lose weight because everyone else at the table is ordering dessert is called codependency. Now, to make matters even a little bit more complicated, everyone wants to be accepted . Everyone wants to be loved. No one truly wants to be rejected or ridiculed.

But the codependent puts these belief systems on steroids.

One gentleman I worked with came in every week complaining about how much money his wife spent and how she was putting them in financial peril but he didn’t have the strength to stand up to her and to set a boundary with a consequence.

On the flipside one of my female clients came in complaining about how her husband was drinking way too much. Spending way too much money on alcohol. And when I recommended that she draw up a contract with him stating that if he came home one more weekend drunk that he would have to move out for 90 straight days and get sober.  She looked at me wide-eyed and finally agreed.

She had just become an independent person. And what happened next? He signed the agreement and two weeks later he was moving out of their house for 90 days. She was clearly an independent person.

The above examples are just the tip of the iceberg in regards to what codependency is. It has become one of my greatest goals in life , to help millions of people on a daily basis to shatter their codependent ways.

The downside? You’ll have upset in your relationships. Family members may reject you. Your relationship may crumble in front of you. Your children may decide not to talk to you for weeks, months or years.

But on the flipside, you will be setting an amazing example of what it looks like to be an independent, strong and grounded human being. And that, my friends, we need more of in this world than you could ever imagine.”

David’s most popular course that he takes people through one on one from anywhere in the world today, via phone or Skype, is called “Codependency Kills.” In order to join the course, and work through it at your own pace, visit his website HERE