Are you or someone you love battling addiction? Battling addiction is challenging, both for the person who’s addicted and the people who love them. In this article, we’ll explore the first steps to overcoming addiction.
The number of people battling addiction is on the rise
The number of people struggling with addiction is on the rise. Addiction is a source of pain not only for the person who is addicted, but for their partner, their children, their families, their friends, etc. Society as a whole is affected by addiction and the consequences it has on health, work, the economy, relationships, spirituality, and the overall suffering of humanity. It’s time we start truly helping people who are battling addiction and their loved ones find permanent ways out of pain. If you’re addicted, or know a loved one who’s addicted, and you feel the pain of addiction, its detrimental effects, and are looking for a way out of addiction, this article can help you.
So many different people, so many different addictions, one pain
People struggle with many kinds of addictions:
*drug addiction (including to opioids)
*video game addiction
*people addiction (obsession)
*addiction to pain
*and many more…
One way or another, we’re all battling addiction
In a way we’re all addicted to something. Some addictions are more blatant than others. Some are less destructive than others. Some are more socially acceptable than others. Some are more easily hidden than others. There is a spectrum of addiction too. Some people are 99% – ‘full on’ – into their addiction, while others are more balanced in their approach, or only suffer from a mild addiction. No matter where you are on the spectrum of addiction, you feel pain. If there was no pain, there would be no addiction. It’s that simple!
Battling addiction creates imbalances in all aspects of relationships and life
No matter what you, your partner, or someone you love are addicted to, any form of addiction is going to create an imbalance in your relationships and life. Very simply put, an addiction is something we can’t do without. Something that we believe we NEED in order to FEEL a certain way about ourselves. If we feel we need something to feel a certain way, and therefore to participate in social interactions, we’re going to prioritize that ‘thing’ over all other things. Inevitably, the addiction will compete with other things in your life that are necessary for you to remain in balance: healthy eating, exercise, harmonious relationships, balanced workload, leisure, relaxation, etc. Thus, imbalances, internal and external conflicts, stress, and anxiety will arise.
Pain triggers us to seek out addiction
Some of the reasons why people seek out an addiction include:
*not feeling good enough, not intelligent enough, not rich enough, not attractive enough, not enough…
*feeling blamed, shame, or guilt for something they did or didn’t do
*feeling unloved, unappreciated, misunderstood
*feeling stressed, anxious, worried, fearful
*feeling lonely, bored, depressed, desperate, dejected, rejected, lost
Battling addiction is the process of trying to get out of pain reaction
Do you see how all addictions are a result of pain reaction? When we feel pain, we tend to believe that we can resolve it externally. Through this inaccurate belief, we then create an attachment to something external to us that will supposedly take away our pain. Anything we feel we need inevitably creates an attachment. We have now – mentally – created a reality where, without what we have come to believe we need, we are no longer safe. If we need it, and we don’t have it, we now have a problem, and we must resolve it by having it again and again and again. Of course, we need to have it over and over again because the pain is not resolved through addiction, it is just temporarily suppressed, giving us a sense of relief until the effect of the addiction starts to fade away, and we must have it again…
Without identifying the root cause of the pain, addiction can never be truly resolved
Ultimately, it’s important to understand that people who are in addictive behaviors are in pain. Because they’re in pain, and have not been able to identify the root cause of their pain, they keep looking outwardly for something external to themselves that will enable them to mask, avoid, suppress, or repress their pain. An addiction does exactly that. It moves the focus away from the pain, which makes it impossible to resolve the pain. Now all the attention is on the object of suppression of the pain: the addiction. Thus the never ending cycle of addiction that continues until the underlying pain is address.
Holding limiting beliefs about people battling addiction keeps them stuck in addiction
As you can see, nowhere in this article, have we used the term ‘addict.’ The reason for this is that there is in all objectivity, there is no such thing as an ‘addict.’ That’s just a word and a label – i.e. an oversimplification of person with many parts of themselves that are involved in many other processes other than addiction. Someone who is in a process of addiction is someone in pain who is using a system of suppression and avoidance of their pain, i.e. a coping mechanism. If we were to say that someone is an ‘addict’, we would be overtly focused on a part of them that is engaged in a particular behavior, and create a static and limiting belief about them. Holding that belief would then keep them stuck in a specific state of being (addiction), with all of the pain associated with their behavior. If you understand this at a fundamental level, you’ll never use the word again. It’s not helpful for them or for you.
Judgment, criticism, and punishment of addictive behaviors is what keeps people battling addiction
‘Labeling’ is a judgment and judgment doesn’t help. The reason why judgment doesn’t help – whether that applies to helping someone who is in the process of an addiction, or who is in the midst of using any form of coping mechanism that leads to the suppression of their emotions – is that the judgment comes from fear and thus is inevitably incomplete and biased. When helping anyone who is addicted to something, the first and most important part of the healing process, and the permanent resolution of the addiction, is to release all judgment.
Now, of course, that’s not easy. The primary reason why it’s not easy is because the addiction creates a lot of pain for everybody and nobody wants this pain. And so people are quick to judge, criticize, blame, and desirous to punish someone who’s addicted in order to control them out of their addiction, and thus out of their own personal pain in regards to the addiction.
Addiction triggers many fears in all of us, whether we are addicted or not
Addiction triggers many fears in us:
*fears of abandonment
* fears of being rejected and punished
*fears that we’ll always be in pain
*fears of being judged by others
*fears of it being our fault
*fears of not being good enough
*and many more…
Battling addiction successfully starts by releasing fear and replacing it with acceptance and love
Ultimately, if we want to either come out of an addiction, or support someone who’s battling addiction, and start the process of healing from an addiction, then releasing all fears that create a judgment of the addiction is the very first step we must take. It can’t be otherwise. The judgment of the addiction inevitably moves our attention away from the ‘real’ problem.
If someone ‘shouldn’t’ do something and they are doing it, now they are worried (in fear) about being judged, criticized, and abandoned by others for doing what they’re doing. That pressure – in an already stressed and anxious situation – does not help them grow in self awareness, or self love, which is actually what they need the most in order to support them in their self healing process. That pressure now leads to self-judgment, shame, guilt, self-punishment, and even self-hatred when they can’t seem to overcome their addiction. Since the addiction was already a result of all the above, the pressure now leads them to judge themselves more, feel more shame, more guilt, punish themselves even more, and essentially hate themselves. This actually continues to feed and further reinforce the cycle of addiction.
You can stop battling addiction, and reclaim your joy, health, and life
When we release any and all judgments and fears around the addiction, we can actually start looking at it consciously, wisely, discerningly. We can step into our pain, or step into their pain with them, and look for optimal ways to resolve the pain at the root. This process requires a lot of faith, patience, acceptance, unconditional love, determination, conscious wisdom, discernment, and personal will. And this process is not always possible for everybody at all times. There are times when someone who’s in pain has turned to physical abuse, stealing, manipulation, and other forms of extremely destructive actions and behaviors that threaten themselves, their families, their friends, and society as a whole. In those cases, the first step is to provide physical safety for yourself and your family and pray that your partner or loved one receives divine guidance and help in their process of healing and overcoming their addiction. ‘You can take a horse to water, and you can’t force it to drink.’ So, use your conscious wisdom and discernment in assessing where you or your loved one is, and the kind of help that is required until there is a constructive breakthrough. Your personal safety and that of your children always comes first.
Stop battling addiction, and start releasing the pain that’s causing
We invite you to ask for our help and guidance if you, or a loved one, is in a process of addiction. We understand the process addiction at the root, and have developed an in-depth system to help anyone who is in an addictive process. You don’t have to live in pain anymore. There’s a way out of pain and towards experiencing more love, more joy, more happiness, and greatness in your relationships and life. You can work with us on overcoming your addiction, or supporting a loved one who’s battling addiction, either one-on-one in individual sessions or group programs. We’re happy to help and support you in any way we can. Check out how we can start helping you overcome addiction right now: services