Our society has a funny way of viewing addiction. Most often we blame the substance. Drugs are outlawed out of fear that they are the cause of so much pain. Because of their addictive qualities they actually are the cause of addiction. But I call bullshit. I believe that the war on drugs is a cop-out and that drugs are just a way to express or deal with an underlying and much deeper issue.
I’m no stranger to addiction, I have been addicted to pretty much anything you can be addicted to. I have what you might call an “addictive personality”. I’m not entirely sure what that means but apparently its a thing.
For more on my story of addiction watch my interview on the “Mend Yourself Well TeleSummit” CLICK HERE TO WATCH!
Because I’ve struggled with addictive behavior since I was a teenager I have learned quite a few things about overcoming addiction. I realized that substances aren’t the problem. You can literally be addicted to anything! The root cause is what we should be focusing on. So I turned my attention inward and over the years I’ve discovered a few key things which I will share with you here:
Little Lessons I’ve Learned about overcoming Addiction
Substances aren’t the issue
By placing our focus on alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, etc. we take away from the root cause of what addiction truly is. Addictive behavior always comes from a lack of connection inside ourselves. We may be trying to cover up pain, avoid emotions, feel free, etc. These are the reason we turn to substances or toward addictive behavior in any capacity.
Most all of us have experienced addiction in some form or another.
Someone who is a workaholic can be hurting themselves and others with their addiction just as badly as someone who is addicted to alcohol. Why, as a society do we look down on one and glorify the other? A mindset change on what addiction truly is and where it comes from is desperately needed. We need to be asking – What is the cause? Even social media, shopping, taking supplements and more can easily become an addiction. At a certain point the imbalance this creates in our lives can start to take over causing our lives to turn upside down.
The ROOT of all addiction will always come down to a lack of connection
We all want to feel connected, like our lives mean something and we are worthy. We are social beings and we must feel connected both to ourselves and to others in order to live fulfilled lives. When we don’t feel this way we end up feeling pain and to fill the void we turn to outside sources of comfort. This could look like shopping, eating, drugs, working, or any number of other things that make us feel better about ourselves.
(For some fun science on addiction and connection CLICK HERE to read a post from Psychology Today!)
Just because we quit our “drug of choice” doesn’t mean the addiction goes away.
I quit meth as a teen and never looked back. I didn’t think of myself as still a meth-head that was all behind me but I still looked for things to fill the void, so while I was no longer addicted to that drug I still needed something, anything, to make me feel less empty.
It’s our inside beliefs about who we are at the core that create addiction.
Our beliefs about ourselves create who we are. From there we act. Our actions are always in alignment with what we believe about ourselves. So if we believe we are unworthy, bad, or terrible, we will always act out from this place. Meaning that we will avoid connection, self-sabotage, or even enter into abusive relationships.
Creating Sacred Space can heal addiction
I believe that we are all energy, energy that cannot be created or destroyed – it just is. This energy is the element of Space – Whole Space. When we tap into our own space both inside and outside we can actually create an environment for ourselves that allows us to connect and heal simultaneously. We can do this through creating an environment that supports us and how we want to feel as well as taking time to find stillness in our lives through meditation and prayer.
Our homes are a catalyst for connection – the first place I recommend anyone in recovery start is by creating a home that supports you and that you feel connected to.
This is the practice that I call Creating Sacred Space. For more on this CLICK HERE
(For guidance on getting this process started contact me HERE.)
Overcoming addiction, healing that void inside is a journey.
It takes time and decisive behavior. It doesn’t happen overnight. I have spent more than half my life living with addiction after addiction and discovering more of myself through these experiences. It can be a beautiful and painful process but the more we connect with who we are the easier it gets!
I believe to some degree or another we all experience addiction, just like we all experience shame. Its human.
It is possible to completely heal addiction – I truly believe that. We don’t have to be in recovery the rest of our lives. Or fight “temptation”. Let’s simply recognize this for what it is; not the big scary thing its become in the eyes of society. We can shine the light on what is dark and see that its all very simple. And I believe that connection is the key.
The more connected to ourselves we are, the more connected we feel and that leads to a sense of worthiness and fulfillment that comes from the inside and is expressed out into the world.
What do you think or believe about this issue? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!