I’m going to give it to you straight: I’m a little weirdly obsessed with zombie shows. The challenges faced by the survivors? The inevitable character growth? Yes, please! Pass the popcorn – I’m overly committed! 🍿
So when this addiction = the zombie virus comparison popped into my head, I tried to walk away from it but I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. What can I say? Sometimes the brain loves metaphor.
So, without further delay, here are the Top 5 Reasons why Addiction is the Zombie Virus!
1. Addiction is a Family Disease – EVERYONE’S INFECTED!
One of the first things you’ll hear in a 12-step recovery program is that addiction is a family disease. That means it affects everyone in the family – not just the addict.
And as frustrating as that can be, it’s true: we’re all
It doesn’t matter one little piggy toe whether you’re the addict’s child, spouse, parent, sibling – whatever. You’re still infected. And, even if the addict stops drinking or stops using or is out of your life for whatever reason, it doesn’t mean that you’re miraculously cured. Absolutely not! You still need to handle your own infection regardless of what the addict does. I guess in zombie-talk it goes something like this: Wow, it really sucks that you got bit and all. And it’s not your fault that it happened. But it is your responsibility to make sure you don’t bite someone else and continue to spread the virus. 🧟
2. Addiction doesn’t discriminate – it’ll bite anyone and everyone it can.
Zombie shows and movies feature all kinds of zombies stumbling around: guy zombies, girl zombies, sweater-wearing zombies, granny zombies in their moo moos, even celebrity zombies. R.I.P. Zombie Bill Murray. 😔
The point is that zombies don’t care who you are when they bite you. They don’t care about where you live, how much money you make, or whether or not you have big dreams for the future that you. Zombies don’t discriminate and neither does addiction.
3. Addiction is a progressive disease – things go from bad to worse.
Ever read World War Z? Or seen The Walking Dead? If you’ve ever consumed any type of media having to do with zombies, you know the world doesn’t instantly collapse like a tent in a hurricane. Nope. Everything starts out slow. There are a few strange cases. Some whispers and wonders. And then everything just continues to get worse until life as you know it is gone. That’s what addiction does too. It may start out small and be easy enough to handle at first for the addict and anyone who cares about the addict. But, if left unchecked, everything will continue to decay until nothing is left but the chewed up remains of what used to be life.
4. Survival requires really hard work and commitment.
The reach of addiction in an established family system is far and wide. And, if you don’t become aware of this and take action to stop the spread of the disease, it will catch up with you. I don’t think it’s all too dramatic to say that addiction (whether you’re the addict or the addict’s loved ones) will eat you alive if you let it. 🧟♀️
So do not become complacent. Call your sponsor. Make an appointment with your therapist. Journal about your resistance to talking about the pain. Get up and get to a meeting even if you’re majorly uncomfortable to walk into the room – I promise none of them bite! Let yourself feel your feelings. Honor the place you’re in at this exact moment in time. Be present in your body. You can rest. You can cry. You can take time off to relax and refocus. But do not stop moving forward in your healing – even if you have to slow crawl like a zombie torso who’s lost its legs.
5. Survival requires community – you gotta have your Apocalypse Team!
Everybody knows that you’ve gotta have your kick-ass Zombie Apocalypse Team if you plan on making it through the ordeal. And it’s the same with addiction. People need people – in order to be heard, to be supported, and to be loved among other requirements. So who’s on your addiction apocalypse team? You need a good, strong group. 💪 Some people to include would be your sponsor, home group, counselor, life coach, and supportive friends and family. And you don’t have to stop there!
Add the massage therapist and Reiki Master who’s helping you manage your stress and feel at home in your own body. How about the Kickboxing trainer who’s building your muscles and giving you a healthy outlet for your anger? And you know what? Go ahead and throw in the nice guy who makes the awesome smoothies at the corner deli. Because it takes a village to keep us healthy and well and you can’t discount the importance of a good, healthy smoothie on a rough day. You just can’t.
And if this sounds fine and dandy but you feel like you’re going at it alone at the moment and you don’t know if you can put together an apocalypse team, please don’t give up. Keep looking for your people because they’re out there. And they need you just as much as you need them.
Sometimes we’ve lived in what can feel like post-apocalyptic chaos for so long that we just get accustomed to it. We get used to craziness and fear and we do what we can to survive it. I truly understand that. But, if you’re reading this, you’re a survivor. No matter what has happened up to this point, none of it has taken you down! You’re still alive and it’s like Season 30 of the Walking Dead.
And no matter what kind of horrors you’ve lived through, I believe in hope for better days. You see it all the time: Scientists discover cures, impossible head shots take down zombies at the last second, zombie-slaying cowboys find their favorite Hostess treats, and people affected by the disease of addiction get better. Good things are meant for you and you can find them on the path of recovery & healing. ❤️
If you liked this post, please click here to become email buddies with me. And share this post with anyone you know who has been affected by the apocalypse of addiction.
First person who can comment below and tell me the movie with the Twinkies gets a virtual high five from yours truly. 😁