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THE UNADDICTED BLOG

Why I Wrote Unaddicted

Written by Jim Huntzicker | Category: Addictions, Alcohol, Behavioral Addiction, Cigarettes-Tobacco-Nicotine, Coffee-Caffeine, Junk Food, Marijuana-Cannabis, Opioids-Narcotics-Prescription Drugs, Pop-Soda, Processed Sugar February 26th, 2021

Where do I even start…

Let me start with this, I definitely didn’t write this to try to convince anyone to quit something they aren’t interested in quitting. And for the record, I’m not against alcohol or drinking, it just isn’t for me. 

I guess I have what’s referred to as an addictive personality. I become addicted to things easily. When I think back it all started out with work (workaholic). I am 42 and I’ve been working full time since I was 14 so I guess I’ve already been at it for 28 years. Dang. I didn’t realize that until I just wrote it right now. I graduated from High School while in the “work program”. You could get a reduced class schedule if you worked in the afternoon. I worked at my dad’s gas station five days a week from 2-10 pm (sometimes 10pm-6am on the weekends- things were different back then). My dad didn’t make me work, I wanted to.

For the last 15 years, I’ve been in the real estate business. I started out as a Real Estate Agent but have become what I’d call a real estate entrepreneur. I have done and still do several different things in the real estate investing space. From rehabbing one house at a time to buying and renovating apartment complexes to speaking about real estate investing on a stage in front of 500+ people. I like new challenges and get bored easily. For the first 6 years I worked 7 days a week. Work, work, work.

 I’m really into personal development, life hacking and health/fitness, which I’ve been at for the last 10 or so years as you will find out more about if you stick with me. 

About 15 years ago I put these quotes up on my wall. 

I’ve since moved offices twice but these quotes have always stuck with me and went right back up on the wall as soon as I moved in. It turns out that one of the reasons you are hearing from me is because of this one: 

 “You can have EVERYTHING you want in life, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar (the late great)

And it took nearly 14 years to realize why I kept it up there all this time.

Originally I thought it was about helping people get or make money, but it wasn’t. I almost took it down a few times because it felt greedy to me at that moment. But for some reason, I knew I should leave it up. Now that I’m a little older and a little wiser, I realize that it’s all about time and freedom. I want more time with my family and I know a lot of you are, right now, how I used to be and need freedom from something in your life. 

During the last 15 years, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to quit several bad or addictive habits that I’ve had. Once I put the list together of the stuff I’ve quit, it was longer than I expected and until I started writing this book I didn’t talk about it much or at all really. 

Here is the list of a few of the things I have quit or dramatically reduced my use of over the last 15 years: 

  • Alcohol – I quit July 14, 2011, after telling myself probably 75-100 times “this is the last weekend I am going to drink”. I finally quit. I didn’t go to AA or a rehab facility. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. One day I just quit and never drank again. More on this later.
  • Cigarettes – I had smoked for 14 years, was 26 years old, and at 2 packs a day (if I wasn’t drinking- if I was, more like 3+ packs a day, easy, you could still smoke inside the bars then). Working at a gas station since I was 12 made that accessible. I still drank for 6 years after I quit. 
  • Vicodin/Hydrocodone  – I got hooked on it by accident but stayed on it because it’s highly physically addictive and I don’t really need any help becoming addicted to things. So throw in something that is as physically addictive as this, overprescribed drug, is and I was an easy mark for the Doctor that was handing them to me like candy. I should note I sought him out and at the end of the day, it was my choices that got me there. The story about how I got off them is wild, scary, and sad all at the same time…
  • Junk Food & Processed Sugar – I gave them up at different times. Junk/garbage food first. Then Processed Sugar which has similar addictive qualities to cocaine. “Food Cocaine” is what I call it now to remind me what it does.
  • Pop/Soda –  Pop or soda/coke – whatever you call this sugary delicious poison (being from Chicago we call it pop). This was actually one of the hardest and last things for me to give up after I got my health in order (Alcohol was easier to give up). Now I’m so far on the other side of it, that stuff makes me sick even if I have one sip.
  • Marijuana – dang marijuana addiction! This was a more recent and quite a depressing realization. The withdrawal from MJ sucks- that’s right, I had f-ing night sweats for 3-4 nights in a row when I took a break from it because it wasn’t helping me sleep anymore. Now I know…course-corrected. 
  • Coffee/Caffeine – I still drink coffee but quit for at least 30 days a year just to show my body and mind who’s in charge; a self-check-in, making sure I can still kick my own ass. 
  • Internet – Social Media / Facebook / Smartphone – I deleted my FB account recently, 4900 “friends” and all. Also, lately, I’ve been changing the kind of smartphone I have so I don’t really know how to fully use it, and that way I don’t focus on it. It’s too time-consuming to learn and I don’t care enough to do so. I am actually looking to dumb my phone down a bit. Not kidding. As for FB, I was looking at it more than I liked so it was time to cut the cord. I’ll probably be back at some point but not with that account since I literally deleted it and it will only be because of this book that I do.

If you want to learn something new, the best way is full and total immersion. If you want to completely stop something, sometimes the best and only way is completely cutting all ties with whatever you have to. Sometimes “burning the ships” is the only way.   

Addiction and alcoholism stretch across both sides of my family tree. I had a grandmother and uncle literally drink themselves to death. Plus I have other family members that have been extreme alcoholics or drug addicts most or all of their adult life (to clarify, not all of my family has addiction issues, but most). Not making an excuse, just giving you some context.

There is more to my story, especially the part about how I put it all back together, lost a bunch of weight, somehow managed to hold my marriage together during all of this and come out the other side even stronger than ever with 2 wonderful kids.

I am extremely grateful for my wife’s patience and thankful I found the courage to do it at all in the first place because it’s not an easy road but turns out the one I was on was way worse and was eating my life away. 

So back to my addictive personality and becoming addicted to things easily: sometimes it’s good things like working out, healthy eating or lifehacking. Sometimes it’s bad things like alcohol, cigarettes or vicodin. The good news is you can become Unaddicted to anything the same way you became addicted to it. So it’s not all bad. You can literally become Unaddicted to any bad or addictive habit you want any time you want. 

unaddicted | adjective | un•ad•dict•ed | /,ənə’diktəd/

Definition of unaddicted

: becoming unaddicted

  1. : no longer physically or mentally dependent on a particular substance, was able to stop using by way of choice, free will, and willpower.  
  2. : exhibiting a compulsive, chronic, physiological, or psychological need to stop using a habit-forming substance, behavior, or activity
  3. : able to stop repeatedly using a harmful substance (such as drugs or alcohol) 

Similar: choice, strong minded , determined, strong-willed, free-thinker 

This is my definition of Unaddicted. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s definition is simply stated as “not addicted”. That is literally all it says, which I find insulting based on what I know from personal experience. “Not addicted” refers to someone that is not addicted to something but also infers that they were probably or possibly never addicted in the first place. However, UNADDICTED refers to someone that was addicted but has become unaddicted by sheer determination. Big Difference.

On my journey to get here today I lost 60 lbs by working out and healthy eating. Even though it truly is just that easy, this is probably where the saying “easier said than done” came from. 

But how did I even get to the point that I had that much to lose? 60 lbs damit! 

Well…I ate so poorly in my 20’s and early 30’s for starters. Then I put on 20+ pounds when I quit smoking and another 20+ pounds when I quit drinking. Ugh. 

I’m 5’7” and at my peak weighed in at 215 (recorded at my Dr’s office). I probably weighed more at times but I wouldn’t dare weigh myself back then. Either way, I was clinically obese and I was like,  “Son of a bitch! I’m f-ing fat!”

Here’s a shocking stat: right know over 30% of the United States is obese and over 60% are over weight… 

Let that sink in for a minute.  

I expected to put on a little weight when I quit smoking but the problem was I already ate so poorly (fast food, junk food, pop, pizza… so much delicious pizza) that it didn’t actually take that long to put on the  20+ pounds. Then when I thought I couldn’t possibly get any fatter, I quit drinking. And I actually expected to lose weight. The main problem there was that I supplemented the sugar I was getting from alcohol with milkshakes. I guess I thought I was “rewarding” myself but in reality, I was screwing myself.   

On the path to lose the weight at first, I just worked out and kinda ate healthy. As a result, I lost 20lbs but put it right back on. It wasn’t until I took that magic pill of consistently working out AND eating right that I finally lost all that weight and kept it off.   

Anyway, back to the reason, I am here all goes back to that quote that’s been staring at me on my wall for all these years:

“You can have EVERYTHING you want in life, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” 

Well, I should say ‘reasons’ because there are a couple more that got me here. I became a student of personal development in my early 30’s (which is also when I started to really figure myself out). I would listen to a lot of the greats; Jim Rohn, Zig Zigler, Tony Robbins, Les Brown (love Les: “you gotta be HUNGRY!”), Wayne Dyer, Brendon Burchard and others. All of which I still listen to today. 

However, one of them has always stuck out to me personally and he is without a doubt one of the main reasons I am here and that’s Tony Robbins. I am a big fan of TR and the incredibly inspiring work he does. This dude talks more about giving back and helping other people than anyone I have ever seen. And he does it in a way that helps you help yourself in the process; it’s truly incredible. Similar to being on a plane and putting on your own oxygen mask on first before helping others (even kids). 

He says you should make it your mission, duty, and purpose in life to help others. 

The story I’ve been telling myself for years is, “Yeah, but I am not that person”, “I’m not the kind of person that can do something like that”, “I mean who am I, why would anyone listen to me and where would I even start?” 

“It doesn’t matter how you start, just START!” – Les Brown

But even still, with all my self-doubt and self-consciousness I have in my head (did I mention I’m an extreme introvert), TR made a lasting impression in my brain and honestly on my soul that has only grown over time. That it is my mission, MY mission, do I have a mission, could I have a mission, ME?

Shit, I think I do…  

“The secret to living is giving.” -Tony Robbins

TR is truly one of the greatest humans on earth and I look forward to meeting him in person one day. The last thing I will say on him is this: unless you’ve seen him live and in person at one of his events then you don’t know the real Tony Robbins. His books, audios, podcasts, and interviews are fantastic but seeing him live will change you forever. It will change whatever your current opinion of him is. If you like him already you will love him after and if you aren’t sure yet you are going to be pleasantly surprised. It’s not what you think in a really awesome way. I can say that with absolute certainty 😉 because there is nothing like it on earth and it has to be experienced live to get the full effect. I promise you will not regret it and your age or current situation is irrelevant.

I’ve been to 4 of TR’s events and was planning to go back to another this year when he came to Chicago but then COVID hit. So as soon as I am able I will be as close to the front as I can get. I usually sit in the back, off to the side, hiding, but it’s time to get outside of my comfort zone the next time I go since I know getting comfortable being uncomfortable is the only way to grow.

“If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn  

Then, oddly, what actually got me to this point was a story my wife shared with me about Bradley Cooper and Brad Pitt. I say oddly because I’m not into celebrities or what they do. I could really care less but this was different. I had heard over the years that Cooper had quit drinking when he was 29 and now 16 years later he has climbed to be one of the top actors in Hollywood. Imagine that; all without drinking in the Hollywood social circles. And at all the parties, meetings and events that he had to attend. With all the pressure to be drinking to fit in, to be “liked”. It is really impressive. How he did it I don’t know but I’d sure like to find out one day. Bradley you got time for a quick question? 🙂  

But that wasn’t what did it as cool as I thought that was. When Pitt thanked and credited Cooper with helping him get sober in an acceptance speech: that got my attention. Here are 2 of the biggest and baddest names in Hollywood and one is thanking the other for helping him get sober on a podium in front of the world. F-ing awesome!

Knowing who they are. I think that is some really cool and noble shit. There are not many people that are as big as these two are in any profession that would put something like this out there publicly. Maybe they are fans of Tony too. Who knows. Or maybe they are just two down to earth dudes that happen to be extremely well known around the world and ridiculously good looking (I mean seriously WTF:). Either way, it made me feel proud of what I’ve accomplished and really got my wheels spinning…   

…you take that, plus all the personal development I’ve learned and applied over the years, TR weighing on my soul that it is my duty to help others. Then there’s that dang quote that’s been lurking in my office, staring at me every day as I walk in all this time. 

Finally, in light of all these recent world events, I said fuck it, it’s time. 

Ahhh… it did make me feel better to get one full-on ‘fuck’ out in this because knowing me and talking to me in person is knowing that if I am being my true authentic self, I use the word fuck… a lot. I don’t know why. Why do Canadian people say “eh” or, some people say, “and that” after everything…? I am not doing it to be cool, it’s just me.

The thing is that I actually started to feel selfish for not sharing what I’ve learned. It’s hard to explain; it’s like I have this need, desire or hunger inside me that I just can’t shake. It has got to the point where I just knew this is what I was meant to do. 

Part of future planning or future pacing is visualizing yourself in the situation that you want to be in and once I started to visualize this I’ve never seen anything clearer. The specific things I saw, the moments I was able to visualize felt so real it literally brought me to tears (more than once). It was wild, as if I had already experienced them. I have done future planning visualisation before but this was different. This felt real. Tears or emotion is not something I have ever shared publicly but I wrote this to explain why I wrote the book in the first place, as outside of my comfort zone as it is to share that kind of thing. I am an open book now, ask me anything you want. 

I am here to help and I know the only way to grow is to get outside of your comfort zone which is exactly what got me here in the first place. So when I made the decision to write Unaddicted I knew I would be all in. I mean everything!    

Unaddicted is for you. I want my book to help people find the courage to finally quit their addictive habits. I wrote this book to help anyone and everyone that wants the help. The people it’s for know who they are. The people living their “functional” day to day lives are successful on some level in business and life but hide how much they actually drink or they don’t hide it at all and just don’t know how to stop. Or they are popping pills, always chasing that buzz you can never quite get to. Maybe it’s a combo of the two or any other variation of things you continue to do even though you don’t want to anymore. 

People with families that have no idea you have an issue. Or maybe they do know you have an issue and feel helpless because you continue to deny it or refuse to change. But deep down inside you know you have a problem. Maybe you have no family and you’re all alone. Whatever your situation I hope Unaddicted helps you. I know how bad it sucks to be in a position where you feel stuck; wanting to stop but not knowing how or where to even start. 

Now it’s my mission to help as many people as I can become Unaddicted. Unaddicted to alcohol, prescription drugs, sugar, junk food, pop/soda, nicotine, marijuana, internet, social media, or whatever you want to quit but can’t. The things that you feel are holding you back from accomplishing your dreams and goals. 

From living life to its fullest!

I want to inspire people to finally lose that weight and keep it off. To help people reignite the fire in their romantic relationships, help people repair relationships with family and friends that these addictions have put a strain on. It is all possible as long as you want it bad enough and are committed to making a change. 

“If you want it bad enough, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find and excuse” – Jim Rohn 

I honestly haven’t been this excited about something before in my life. Well to clarify, that’s this excited without also being extremely nervous too (i.e. first kiss, wedding, kids, new business ventures…). 

For the first time in my life I am excited, unnerved and feel a passion like never before. I guess my man TR was right: the secret to living truly is giving. 

People that know me would describe me as intense, often passionate, brutally honest (sometimes to a fault), a.k.a extremely direct and, most important to me, a man of my word. My father taught me that a handshake agreement means something and to me it still does and always will. Sadly this is something I have found means “probably” or “if it’s convenient and works for me” to many people these days. 

Plain and simple I tell it like it is. Why beat around the bush when I can tell you exactly what I want or you need to hear in a fraction of the time? Why am I going to take 30 minutes to tell you what I can in 10? For good or bad that is just how my brain operates.

I know the feeling all too well, wanting to quit an addictive habit but continuing to do it. Not knowing how to quit, it’s frustrating. You just keep doing it over and over again even though you don’t want to. It’s embarrassing- at least it was for me. 

Now that I have the knowledge, ability and power I want to use it to help people improve their lives. This is what I plan to do for the rest of my life. It’s exciting to say that out loud. 

Right now, I am working one on one with higher level entrepreneur and CEO types that want to quit alcohol or drugs but can’t seem to. These are the kind of people that want their situation kept completely out of the public eye and aren’t interested in going to a private rehab facility. There is no doubt what I am doing is going to evolve along the way since I am always growing and always learning. I hope to see you on my journey and if my book helped you please share your story with me.

Never stop growing. Ever. 

JH

2 responses to “Why I Wrote Unaddicted”

  1. Jim’s passionate heart and visionary spirit engages life lived and now very well lived and living!
    It’s an honor to call him friend!
    Fr. Jim Swarthout

  2. Jim says:

    Means a lot coming from one of my favorite people on earth, Thanks, Father Jim!

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