Healing from any addiction, regardless the focus of the addiction; drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, relationships, work, smoking, so on and so on can be a very daunting task. First, there is the habit of the substance that is being abused, the behavioral addiction, as well as the lifestyle but at the core of any addiction is its foundation, fear. Fear is the father of all addictions.
No matter the focus of the addiction the story that is the driver is that ‘There is not enough.’ Not enough, dope, alcohol, sex, etc. The lie the addict buys is, ‘One more time, will do it.’ In the Narcotics Anonymous Basic Text, it states, “One is too many and a thousand is not enough.” The story goes on, “One more house and I can breathe, one more line of coke and I can quit, another girlfriend will be the right one.”
We live by these lies and let ourselves believe them and live our life of self-destruction to the end. We chase the elusive goal sometimes to the death, we lose our homes, our jobs, our families, and even our children may stop talking to us. We become our own worst enemy. Repeatedly, we tell ourselves, “This is the last time.” The insanity is that we believe it. We try the same thing over and over expecting a different result.
In the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, it says, alcoholism is cunning, baffling and powerful. This is true. It is often said that the disease of addiction is the only disease that will tell you it is not a disease. It seems there is a part of the addict’s mind that is itself out to get them. It is with us all the time, it is relentless and it is determined.
How then can we heal from this thing called addiction?
I believe that addiction is in the mind. It is the story within our minds that tells us we need to… fill in the blank with whatever your addiction of choice may be. The habit of thinking self-destructive thoughts must be looked at clearly. If we are having thoughts that are taking us back to the thing that is destroying us then ‘Why do we continue to think them?’
Any Twelve Step program is designed to help with an addiction. One of the first things that is taught is to ‘Think it through.’ Think the drink through, the drug through, the poker game or whatever it may be. The addictive mind tends to be in auto response. Typically, there is no thought process before the action.
To recover, from an addiction, especially if it is a physical addiction there must be a time of abstinence. Getting beyond the physicality of the addiction is vital. Trying to change your thinking while your body seems to be screaming for more of whatever the addiction is can almost seem impossible. The physical addiction of drugs, alcohol, or food needs help. One of the best ways to conquer the physical part is to surround ourselves with others trying to do the same thing.
Healing the mind and the heart and learning to forgive ourselves as well as others is where we begin to find peace. This is a lifelong process. A journey well worth taking.