When You’re An Addict

And Want To Get Free

 

Hey there.  I’m so glad you’re here.  Really. God and the universe has aligned so much for you and I to meet right here in this sacred space.

You’re addicted to something and you want to get “un-addicted”.  I understand.  Been there and done that a few times. 

Maybe our addictions are different, but the ins and outs of addictions run similar, and underneath most addictions is a whole lot of pain.

 

addiction codependency recovery


HOW CAN I GET FREE?

That’s the hundred-million-dollar question, right?

How in the world can I stop using this drug of choice? How can I lay it aside once and for all?  How can I get rid of these triggers and cravings? I’ve tried rehab. I’ve sat through meetings. I’ve read through articles and books, made so many vows to “never again” to no avail.

So, tell me, how do I get free?

A UNIQUE JOURNEY

This isn’t just another article to tell you that A + B = C.  I can’t promise you a rose garden, my friend.  I wish I could, but that’s beyond my control.

What I can do (and what I do on a daily basis to those who write in at the two online recovery forums that I moderate: Recovery.org and DrugAbuse.com) is point you in perhaps a new direction with some new tools and resources.

HELL ON EARTH

I’m not so sure I believe in a literal hell as described in the Bible, but I do believe in something like hell as feeling separate from God.  Hell as walking in inner misery and darkness on this ball spinning in the universe, oblivious to the LIGHT that can bring a good dose of peace and joy along the journey.

If you’re struggling with addiction, I’ve come to believe that the root cause can be a variety of things, but the very root?

It’s spiritual.  It’s the forgetting of who we really are spiritually, creating this massive void that we try to fill with people, places, and things.

Things like money, power, food, alcohol, material possessions, sex, gambling, drugs, and so on.

It was Carl Jung who said the craving for alcohol was “equivalent to a low level of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness”.

Yeah, that brokenness we feel that really stinks… that inner pain that just won’t go away… so we self-medicate with something that will numb us or allow us to escape momentarily, until we’re hooked at battling withdrawal symptoms so badly we cannot go long without our dear drug of choice.

IS SELF-HELP THE SAME AS RECOVERY?

Yes, and no.

You can help your “self”.  You’ve forgotten who you are after years of piling on pain and wearing a mask, so sure, learning how to get back in touch with “self” can be helpful.  Learning about addiction and the path to recovery can indeed be beneficial.

But self-help might not take you as far as you’d like to go, which is why I see many in the self-help & spiritual niches still struggling.

You need something more, which is what I call grace from God, or Sacred Recovery. 

Admitting that you need some help from the God (or whatever it is you call the thing that created all things – Source/Life Force/Great Spirit/Nature/Energy/Universal Wisdom/Yahweh – this is a great step toward getting FREE from addiction!

PAIN AS A PATHWAY TO FREEDOM AND JOY

If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, God will help you catch your breath. Psalm 34:18

Experiencing emotional pain is unavoidable while navigating this life journey. I know that’s not ideal, but it’s the truth.

Now, although we all feel pain at times, we do not have to suffer.  Suffering means you give your power away; you feel powerless to do what needs to be done in order to process or heal the pain, or make changes that will result in less pain.

In my almost 50 years of living on this planet, I’ve experienced my share of pain and witnessed many others shoulder it too. 

And, my conclusion is that humanity needs help. 

Masses are drowning in emotional pain, and they don’t know how to truly swim safely to shore.

Granted, I may not have all the answers, but I do have my experiences, strength, and hope to share.  I’ve managed to recycle intense pain (and an emotional breakdown) into passion and purpose.  Not for me, but for the greater good of all.

EMOTIONAL PAIN AS A PATHWAY TO JOY

We all want to experience love and joy.  This desire is the primary reason that we do the things we do.  Society and the media try to tell us that the latest high-tech gadget, SUV, more money, booze, or exotic vacation will bring us the fulfillment that we seek, but this is not necessarily true.

And hey, I like technology, vehicles, and vacations, but I understand that these material things cannot completely fulfill or satisfy me.  I spent years and years seeking objects and people for fulfillment, when I really needed to be seeking peace from within;

Peace from God.

Of course, in my seeking gratification in external objects, I ended up falling short and oftentimes experiencing pain.  I had dreams and they were shattered. I put my faith in things that let me down. I expected too much from others. I made mistakes. I got addicted to things. I lost people I loved.  And so on.

Looking back, I see how God allowed my dreams to shatter, so that I might learn valuable spiritual lessons.  My will is not necessarily Love’s will. Even my journey to discover my “self” oftentimes led me to find my “selfish” self (ego), thinking it was my divine nature.

Boy, was I wrong.

So, just as many people rolling along in life, there I was sitting in a puddle of tears, (more than once) and emotionally broken. No amount of money, career, lover, kids, etc. brought me my true desire to feel peace, joy, and the God-kind of love.

I literally felt like Isaiah records in the Bible:

    Is there any hope for us? Can we be saved?
We’re all sin (ego)-infected, sin (ego)-contaminated.
    Our best efforts are grease-stained rags.
We dry up like autumn leaves—
    sin-dried, we’re blown off by the wind.

MY MY, WHAT TO DO?

Well, reaching “out there” to find peace and joy, or just to simply feel “good”, wasn’t doing the trick. My will was not necessarily God’s will, and I find that God or Infinite Wisdom allowed “my” world to shatter, so that I would not equate peace and joy with external things.

We easily place our faith in external things and people to bring us joy and then when things don’t go as we planned, we experience pain.  Sadly, too many allow pain to immobilize them for years and years instead of inviting that pain to teach them a thing or two, heal, and help others when they are facing the same kinds of things.

Shattered dreams come. Pain is experienced in life for a variety of reasons.  We’ve got wounded people raising children, and wounded lovers trying to fix each other. (Just look at how codependency has infiltrated so many relationships). We lose people to addiction, anger, lies, death, etc. We grieve loss after loss.

Still, some of the most inspiring people in this world are those that have suffered a great deal of pain.  Through that pain they have discovered not only a spiritual connection with their Creator, but also their greatest gifts that they offer to add value to humanity.

Pain can be awful. I get it.  Childhood trauma happens, loved ones die, break-ups occur, family members struggle with substance abuse, we struggle with addictions of all sorts, children are molested, dreams die, etc.  We will hurt and sometimes feel like the pain is too great to bear.  We may want to give up and isolate.  We may want to numb the pain with alcohol and drugs.

With the stats that about 3,000 people commit suicide each day globally because they’d rather die than bear one more day feeling extreme pain, there’s no doubt we need more good news. We need some serious messengers of healing and love. 

Listen, sacred soul.

Pain can be an agent of change.

The pain you’re in right now, addicted to something and wanting to get free, THIS can be your springboard to a new sacred journey.

An inner journey where you give up your will and commit to learning God’s will. Not the Christian God, not the Islam God, not the Hinduism God – but YOUR GOD. The God of YOUR understanding.

But it takes effort. It takes a journey within. It takes you throwing your hands up and saying, “My God, I can’t do this on my own. I need some help! Show me my sacred path to healing and recovery!”

It’s alright to feel pain momentarily. Feel it. Really feel it in the guts of your belly. Talk about it. Offer it to the heavens in mounds of sobs.

Journal it. Poem it. Grab someone’s hand and ask them to help bear your load.

And then, learn from it. Process it. Talk to it. Let it know you’re not afraid anymore. Then, integrate it into your energetic being or ask God to make it vanish into thin air, so that you can free up your emotional body to feel the more joyous and peaceful feelings.

That may sound easy, but it rarely is simple. It takes time, effort, patience, compassion, commitment, and more. But it’s worth it, dear one.

 Listen to this quote:

“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.”  Kenji Miyazawa

Yes, allow the pain to be recycled so you can go on to help others in some form or fashion, even if it’s just to sit beside someone and say,

“Wow, I don’t really know what to say, but I’ve felt this way too, and I thank you so much for sharing this with me.”

Are you hurting? Are you feeling like you’ve been immobilized for so long because your heart has been broken repeatedly? Have you experienced terrible things?  Are you allowing pain to hold you back?

Are you stuck in an addiction? Alcohol? Drugs? Porn? Sex? Gambling? Food? Love?

This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where you must draw a line in the sand and say, “No effin’ more!” This is where you must stare down your pain, your trauma, your shattered heart, addictions, etc. and vow to go through them, rather than run. Rather than numb.

Why?

Because this is the sacred path to true joy. The kind of joy that makes you laugh and dance for no reason other than you are breathing.

You are not your pain. Pain is an emotion and you are not your emotions. You are a divine, sacred spirit and you have a divine Creator who wants you to reflect light and love on this earth, no matter what you have been through.

Will you never feel pain again? Will life always be grand? No, silly. Life is about experiencing the whole gamut of emotions, but not getting stuck in the negative ones. 

If you simply cannot get past your pain, please seek help. There are plenty of people who have been through what you are going through that are willing to help.

There are also various paths to freedom from pain and addictions. Here’s a list to get you started:

ADDICTION HELP

  • Therapy – I firmly believe everyone ought to find themselves a great counselor and commit to a season of “doing the work”. Choose secular of spiritual counseling; just go.  Surely, there are things underneath the surface that you’ve never dealt with (childhood wounds, trauma, neglect, illness, divorce, other major stressors, etc.) So many people say they can’t afford it, but you can’t afford NOT to.  I could have saved myself years of inner misery had I worked out some things with a qualified counselor.

There’s various types of therapy to consider too, such as:

  • Individual therapy {CBT, Cognitive Restructuring, Skill Building, etc.}
  • Psychiatric Assessments
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Recovery-oriented challenge therapy
  • Trauma therapy {Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)}
  • Treatment Center – Some people get free by attending a treatment center. Not everyone does, and some go repeatedly and still struggle, but the reality is that SOME DO GET FREE by attending and working their program. Always do your homework before agreeing to go anywhere, as some treatment centers don’t have a great reputation.
  • 12 Step Support Groups – For those who want to meet with others who are trying to get free or are free, try a 12 Step meeting.  There’s:
  • Alcoholics Anonymous for those struggling with alcohol addiction.
  • Narcotics Anonymous for those struggling with drug addiction.
  • Codependents Anonymous for those who are addicted to people pleasing/caretaking.
  • Sex Anonymous
  • Gambling Anonymous
  • Plenty more.

Support groups aren’t for everyone; I get that.  If you’re not into it, no problem, but some people have gone on to get free from addiction and lead better lives by attending.

For those who want to try online live meetings, go to In the Rooms.

  • SMART Recovery – This support group is not based on the 12 Steps, but offers a great support system to those wanting to break free from addiction. It’s not spiritually based, but still very good.
  • Meditation + Prayer + Yoga – Take time daily to just get quiet with yourself and God. It’s not easy, I know. We’re so used to going, going, going and when we’re not going, we’re glued to our technology devices, but if you will cultivate this sacred time with God and your spiritual nature, you will find yourself less stress, less chaos, less cravings, and more peace, strength, acceptance, and joy.

Interested in alternative forms of addiction treatment?