Addiction is any behavior that you continue to do uncontrollably despite negative consequences. Addictions are typically progressive, moving you toward your worst self and eventually disrupting your life in all areas. Addiction begins as an enchantment with its allure of instant gratification- it offers many benefits, especially in the beginning, such as relief, pleasure, a sense of peace and stability, confidence, social connection, energy, rest, and so on.
Addictions invite you in with a promise to make you feel better, to make things easier, and to improve your life. You don’t know you’ve been had until the addiction has fully set in. The addictive energy overrides your mindset from the get go, changing the way you see your needs and goals. What is important to you changes. How you approach life changes. How you get things done changes. How you connect with others and find meaning in the world changes. You think things are going well, that you’re moving up, and that you’re getting ahead.
You notice your need for this behavior or substance increasing, but with it so do the risks. So you develop a story of rationality of how the benefits overweigh the risks. Anytime your intuition speaks up, or someone close to you makes a comment, or life comes down on you, you have a defense and story ready to go. But over time, the consequences become undeniable. The costs overweigh the benefits. Your ability to function in the same way without the addiction is not possible. And this is because the addictive energy created a whole new approach to life for you that depends on the addiction to run things.
You realize change is important, and try to quit; but you cannot quit for long. After a period of trying, you realize breaking the cycle of addiction is hard. When the consequences get bad enough, you reach out of for help, maybe pay for professional help, but still you find yourself being pulled back to your addiction. Your addiction story evolves as you try to preserve a sense of control in your life, and find endless things to blame outside of you. After many failed attempts, personally and professionally, you fall into despair and question if you can ever get out.
The Fork in the Road
From here you hit a fork in the road. You can continue to add to your addiction story rationalizing why things are the way they are, and why change is not necessary or possible. Or you can surrender to the teachings of addiction. And this is where transformational recovery begins. The moment you realize that addiction is not just an unfortunate circumstance that you happened to fall into, or a disease or bad luck, but rather an opportunity to discover your true self in this life.
Without addiction, an average undiscovered life is too easy. Addiction pulls you so far from your true self, that you’ll have to embark upon a journey back into remembrance of who you are. Transformational recovery walks you through every layer of fear, falsity, pain, blocks, and burdens, so you can discover the truth, beauty, strength, capability, joy, and purpose that exists within you. Every part of you that is blocked, once uncovered, opens another part of who you are.
Addiction invites you on a journey, one that you’d never agree to go on willingly. So it fools you into walking into your own shadow, so you can heal and resolve, mend and complete, and discover the truth about your human experience. Transformational recovery facilitates the process of awakening, coming back into goodness, finding your unique expression in this world, and discovering what your life is all about, or what it can become.
Freedom from addiction happens when you are ready to embrace responsibility and see the higher purpose and opportunity that such an intense journey can teach you about your true self. Everything you need shows up when you’re ready to receive it. Everything you need is waiting for you; it is up to you what information, recovery supports, resources, and activities will be a part of your journey. You’ll need a well-thought out strategy with strong support, structure, and accountability.
Beating Addiction on Your Terms
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