Understanding Addiction and the Simplicity of Cure

April 5th, 2021 by dayat No comments »

First let me explain what addiction is. Addiction is frequently being compelled to indulge in a behaviour that offers short-term relief, but long term damage in any area of your life (heath, relationships, finance and work to name just a few areas). The important word here is compelled.

Addiction is a difficult challenge to overcome. Not because the addictive behaviour is hard to break once the addict realises they have an addiction, but because addiction is shrouded in denial, preventing the addict from seeing their behaviour with clarity.

Denial is created by the addict in a bid to protect them from the loss they perceive they will endure if they give up the addictive behaviour or substance. Perceive is a very important word here because the addict actually does not gain anything from their addiction at all. Their addiction gradually and systematically destroys every area of the addicts life until all that is left is the addiction. As each area of the addicts life is slowly destroyed, the addict clings more and more to the addiction because the addiction is perceived to be a pleasure. The key to breaking any addiction is to break the cycle of faulty thinking that keeps the addict enmeshed in this cycle. So the good news is, addiction can be overcome a lot easier than we all think possible.

First let us explore addiction itself. All addiction has exactly the same roots regardless of the substance or behaviour that makes up the addiction. So addiction could be to substances such as alcohol, drugs or food, or it could be to behaviours such as gambling or shopping. All addictions are there to serve the same purpose, which is to change the way the addict feels. All addiction is masking unresolved pain.

This is how it works. The addict has a feeling. Now the feeling could be good or bad. A good feeling will lead the addict to celebrate. If they are addicted to food, they will celebrate by eating. An alcoholic will have a drink. A gambler will treat himself to a little flutter. If the addict has a bad feeling, they will indulge in the addictive behaviour to try and make themselves feel better. This is the paradox of addiction. One cure for all feelings! So, as the addictive behaviour continues it naturally gathers momentum (I will explain why in a moment) and becomes a bigger and bigger part of the addicts life. In extreme cases, if allowed to continue, it becomes the only thing in the addicts life.

Addictions naturally gather momentum for numerous reasons. The first reason is that the addict perceives that they gain some kind of reward from their addiction. This is never the case. If you enjoy something, you can take part in the activity and feel better for having done it afterwards. An addict usually feels worse following the addictive behaviour. A drinker will have a hangover, a shopper will feel guilt about the bills they now have to pay, an emotional eater will feel guilt about their latest binge etc. As discussed earlier, addicts indulge in their addictive behaviour to change their emotional state. Once the bad feelings surface after their latest indulgence, what is the first thing you think they will want to do? Yes! They will indulge once again in their addictive behaviour in order to get rid of their unwanted feelings. This is obviously a downward spiral.

The second reason why addictive behaviour gathers momentum is because it is used as a coping mechanism but in addition is used as a celebration (initially anyway. Once the addiction really takes a grip there is no longer the desire for celebration). Usually, if we are healthy and balanced, we have a number of ways to alter our emotional state. A few examples are, take a hot bath, meditate, read, relax and watch a movie, chat with friends etc etc. The addict stops looking for new ways to resolve challenges and ease stress. They use their addiction for immediate gratification. This gives the addict fewer and fewer coping mechanisms, as the addiction becomes a bigger and bigger part of their lives.

The third reason addiction gathers momentum is if the addiction is to a substance rather than a behaviour. If the substance is physically addictive, this causes further complications in the cycle of addiction as the body starts to crave the substance and will react (withdrawal symptoms) when the substance in question leaves the body.

The forth reason addiction gathers momentum is tolerance. Our bodies are amazing and intricate machines. If you are addicted to nicotine or alcohol, try and think back to the first time you smoked or drank. The taste was disgusting! You felt sick and dizzy and your body produced all kinds of unpleasant feelings. It did this because you were poisoning it! It was a warning. Now nature is very clever. Your body assumes over time, that if you are constantly poisoning it, you are doing so because you have no other option. So in order to make you more comfortable, it stops producing warning signs. This means that in order to get any ‘benefit’ from the drug of your choice, you have to take more of it. Your body then once again reacts to warn you. You ignore the warning, so your body decides to stop warning you because it assumes you have no other option than to poison yourself so you have to increase the dose. This is called tolerance. Obviously, with each increase in dosage, the body comes under more stress as it tries to cope. As the body comes under more and more stress our health and well-being becomes more and more compromised. Again, a very painful downward spiral.

So we now come to the point where we can explore how to overcome an addiction. As previously stated, it is not the addiction that is the difficulty; it is the addicts perception of their addiction that is the challenge. If the addicts perception changed, the addiction could be overcome with relative ease. The addict feels helpless to overcome their addiction because they perceive their addictive behaviour as being precious to them. This is denial. It is this denial that needs to be addressed and then the addiction can be resolved because the addict can see clearly that the addiction is not serving them. It is in fact doing the opposite. It is destroying them. The strongest addiction is actually psychological addiction rather than physical addiction. Physical addiction can usually be resolved after a few days of detoxification. If physical addiction were the strongest element of addiction, then it would follow that after a few days of detoxification, you would be free. As we all know, this is not the case. Psychological addiction is the root and is caused by faulty thinking and denial. Change the thinking and the addiction no longer exists because it is no longer ‘needed’.

If you think you have a physical addiction, please seek help because you may need a supervised detoxification programme. For addictive behaviours, your first step is to admit you have a problem. You do not have to hit rock bottom to overcome an addiction. People hit rock bottom because they fear their life without their addictive behaviour so much that they continue with the behaviour until they have nothing left. I promise you. Life without addiction is wonderful. It is faulty thinking that is telling you otherwise!

Beneath addiction is often unresolved emotional pain. If you have suffered any type of trauma in your past, please go and seek help now to resolve it. Avoiding emotional pain will not help you. You have to learn to walk through emotional pain. Don’t allow your past to dictate your future.

Addiction often also masks a feeling of lack of purpose. Addiction can allow someone to ‘opt out’ of life and sit on the fence just observing from a distance. We all have skills and gifts to share with the world. You are no exception (although you may feel as if you are). Trust me, you have a purpose. Decide today that you are going to commit to finding and living that purpose.

As I said before, addiction often masks emotional pain. If you have suffered trauma in the past, get help today to resolve that trauma, and then resolve to make meaning out of your suffering. There are probably thousands of people who have suffered a similar trauma who could really benefit from your help even if it is just hearing your story.

Addiction also exacerbates emotional pain. As you try to navigate life through the eyes of your addiction, you create more challenges for yourself. Your behaviour creates feelings of helplessness and guilt. This has a prolific effect on your self-esteem, which then needs to be medicated further with your addiction of choice. Be kind to yourself. Try and think back to things that used to give you pleasure. Slowly introduce those things back into your life. And don’t beat yourself up if you try to quite and then relapse, doing that will only make the journey more difficult.

And finally, as a Homeopath, I have dealt with many clients with addictive behaviours. I have listed below a few remedies that may help with your addiction. Remedies should be 30c potency and should be taken 3 times a day until you start feeling better. Once you start feeling better, only take another remedy when you start feeling worse.

Nux Vomica

Take this remedy if you work hard. You may worry about work, eat unhealthy food and drink alcohol to cope. You may be bad tempered and stressed.

Arsenicum Album

Take this remedy if you feel anxious and restless. You may be off your food or you may have a large appetite. You may feel sick at the sight or smell of food. You are exhausted but will still get things done. You like everything in its place.

Carcinocin

Take this remedy if you like to be perfect. You may have had abusive or strict parents when growing up. You may have had to take on adult responsibility as a child. You need to be a ‘good girl’ ‘good boy’.

Natrum muriaticum

Take this if you find it hard to share your problems with people. You like to cry alone. You don’t like people to get too close. You may like salt. You dwell on past disagreements or negative situations. You find it hard to forgive. This is also good for past unresolved grief/loss.

Pulsatilla

Take this if you feel you bend and sway to gain peoples love and approval. You can be needy and clingy. You may weep a lot. You don’t like being on your own.

Sulphur

Take this if you have a philosophical approach. You may think more than you ‘do’. It is also good to restore energy where energy is depleted due to toxic liver.

Avena sativa

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Overcoming Addiction – Addiction + Denial = Out of Control

January 5th, 2021 by dayat No comments »

My addiction used to control me. It overwhelmed the person inside of me, and I became a stranger to my family, and to myself. All I cared about was having another drink. All I thought about was where and when I was going to get my next drink. My mind was totally and completely absorbed within my addiction, and I didn’t even know it. I was proud, haughty and selfish. I was an alcoholic.

Do you have an addiction? Some of us overeat, over drink, smoke, look at porn, gamble, do drugs, or become abusive. We can even be addicted to our feelings. When we let our negative thoughts control us to do wrong, we are under the power of our thoughts and feelings. Addiction controls several aspects of our character that keep us from coming to our full potential. I know these things first hand; I have been there and done that.

Mentally the addiction affects the way we think and feel, and how we live our life. The addiction will literally stunt the growth process, and the addict will remain childish, selfish and insensitive to the needs of others. Psychologically the addict remains in denial, and will do just about anything to justify bad behavior to others while under the control of their addiction. Addicts are basically selfish people who only care about themselves even though they are real good at manipulating others into believing otherwise.

Emotionally the addiction makes the addict become overly defensive to anyone who tries to take away what he or she so desires. Addicts have a difficult time suppressing their negative emotions and are immature and childish. If they become too dependent on the addiction, they will justify reasons of why they think they are better people when abusing their substance of choice. Their low self-esteem keeps them very sensitive to how others feel about them. They are prone to finding faults in others to get any attention off of them.

Spiritually the addict is at a loss. He is desensitized to the spiritual self within him. The addiction keeps the addict from becoming the whole and complete person that God intended him to be. True potential is stunted. The addict does and says things that he normally wouldn’t if he were living his life without the neediness of addiction. The addict is missing out on so much in his life that he “wants and needs” too much, making him unable to give of himself.

In the days of my disease, I reveled in my negative feelings, denying my weakness and sins. My feelings literally fed my constant unhappiness. If I accepted the fact that God was my source for REAL happiness, I would have to admit my failings, something that a spiritually bankrupt person is unable to do. In essence, the addict desperately needs to have trust enough in God first to quit their addiction and then begin to grow out from the selfish aspect of their rebellious personality.

Alcohol and drug addiction affects the whole family. Family members are affected in different ways, especially the person who loves the addict and enables the addiction. This person is called the enabler because they sweep things under the rug, so to speak, pretending there isn’t a problem. Unfortunately, the enabler usually gets the brunt of the abuse from the addict because the addict expects so much from them. If the enabler doesn’t come through with the addict’s neediness and constant requests for things, the enabler had better watch out! The enabler is just as sick mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as the abuser. They both need help.

The enabler is the rescuer of the addicted person. As long as the problem is continually swept under the carpet by the enabler, the addiction will continue to progress further because no one believes there is a problem! Denying the problem exists runs rampant in homes where addiction is fed. The longer the addict continues to use, the worse it will be for everyone involved.

What happens to the person who is controlled by addiction? Many things take place, but some of the things that control the addict are not always apparent to anyone else. Usually what we notice first in the addict is the emotional imbalance of the mental and spiritual capacity, and the decline of health. But what isn’t apparent about addiction is actually the most important element of who a person really is. And that is the lack of spiritual realism in the addicted person. He or she through their addiction denies the spiritual Christ to intervene within the framework of who they are. As long as the addicted person remains unspiritual they will remain a slave to their addiction. Unfortunately, it usually takes something very drastic and horrific to happen to the addict before they actually give up their addiction and ask God for forgiveness and help. This is called the “end of the addicts ropes”, or “bottom out effect.”

On the outside some addicts look like everyone else. They go to church, acknowledge God, raise families and have careers. But through all of this, they still lack the spiritual maturity and godly wisdom to realize the impact, and the consequences of their addiction. These things aren’t ‘t important to the addict. For the addict just being able to continue on with their lives without anyone realizing they have a problem gives the addict more justification and credibility for remaining in their addiction. They themselves remain in denial, talking them selves out of having a problem. They must bottom out! The setback with that is, the enabler keeps rescuing the addict’s behavior and so they never bottom out!

The addict one way or another must come to grips with his REAL source of who he is and with the potential of his existence. But if the addict is in denial, this is going to be difficult for him to do. The addict is usually a selfish and arrogant individual who hasn’t come to grips with who he or she is and so how can they know, understand, accept, and believe in their creator for guidance?

Enablers can do something to help the addict, but they’re afraid that it will somehow change the addict, or that the addict won’t love them anymore. In essence, the enabler needs to get help first, so he can then help the addict.
The three main reasons the enabler keeps saving the addict is below. The three main reasons the addict can’t stop using are below.

(1)Fear = panic, trepidation, apprehension, terror, afraid of the unknown, etc
(2)Denial = mentally refuse to believe, and emotionally refute, disclaimer,
(3)Spiritual loss = proud, haughty, unbeliever, rebellious, arrogant, self-righteous,

The addiction takes hold of the mind with such force the addict is afraid to even think of living without the addiction. Addicts try to stop, but their bodies and mind tell them they can’t. They are filled with fear and terror at the thought of not getting their next fix, afraid they will not be able to cope in life, but this just isn’t so!

At first abstaining from an addiction that has controlled the mind, body, and soul for so long does make us feel insecure and self doubting, but the addict can endure and overcome those fears through the help of God. But first before any of this will have any real impact on the addict he must WANT TO QUIT THE ADDICTION!!

By trusting in what God says is true, you can believe in the power of Gods words to help guide you away from your fears and into God’s truth and love. God’s words are the addicts comfort and refuge. Gods breath-filled words, and spiritual presence over-powers evil and reveals the truth in the addict. The evil is the addiction, and God’s loving kindness is stronger and more powerful than any addiction.

Alcoholics Anonymous teaches to believe in a higher power because addicts are powerless to change on their own. This statement is very true. Why do you think addicts quit for a while only to go back to it again? They thought they had enough strength and will power to quit on their own.

All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”
2 Timothy 3:15-16

When the addict feels scared, fearful, and insecure, or just plain weird in their body, they need to go to the scriptures. If they are tempted to go back to the addiction, they need to go to the scriptures, and ask for the Spirit of Jesus Christ to intervene for them in their temptation. They must trust in God with all their heart, mind and soul, and He WILL deliver them from the evils of addiction!

I know that God delivers people away from their addictions and sins, it happened to me! I prayed to God with all my heart and mind to guide me out of my addiction to alcohol. I also prayed that the craving for alcohol be taken from me for good. I have been sober for over twelve-years now, and I have not ONCE craved the desire to drink. As a matter of fact, when I see others abusing alcohol I feel so unpleasant inside, and deep sorrow for them because I know exactly how they are feeling, and what they are going through. It’s not good.

The addict has got to really want to stop his addiction before God will intervene. God wants to know that you are for Him and not against Him. When we abuse our minds day in and day out, we have no spiritual awareness to even acknowledge the existence of Him who created us! God wants you to acknowledge Him, and ask Him to help you overcome your addiction.

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” Romans 1:16

Addicts are powerless without God! The Spirit of Christ is the stronghold to your future. It is the foundation for your life! Do you want to stop beating yourself up? Humble down your proud and arrogant ways. Let go of the old sinful selfish person to God. Let go of those heavy burdens. Believe in yourself and know what a better person you can become serving God without the weight of addiction upon your shoulders!

Come to Jesus Christ! “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13

“For God did not give us a Spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Jesus Christ is the power that overcomes all things that hold us in bondage. The foundation of truth, wisdom, and love is our stronghold! Take a hold of it now and let addiction go for good!