“I’m an Addict, HELP!
It is common knowledge that the twelve step program reinforces the belief that once an addict, always an addict, and that managing the addiction through the control cycle is the best course of action. They have their spiritual aspects, and I am definitely grateful for the awareness that they bring along with their compassionate desire for the addicts and their families, however, I also feel that it is time to move on to more effective ways of addressing addictions.
The typical response to addictive behaviors seems to be pushing the addicts into admitting they have a problem, and then getting them some sort of rehabilitation through a twelve step program or inpatient clinic. To me, this is akin to a fireman running into a house and opening all of the windows to rid the home of the smoke; this causes the fire to rage all the more. Instead, I choose to find the fire causing the smoke, and remove as much fuel for the fire—I have found this to be a quick and effective alternative to traditional methods.
I have spent many sessions with individuals who experience addictions that range from sex, heroin, marijuana, alcohol, and tobacco; and for the most part, we rarely speak or deal with the addiction itself, but instead search for the childhood roots of powerlessness and loneliness. According to the Feelings Wheel powerlessness is being in the state of anger, and loneliness is being in the state of sadness, the opposite of which is powerful and energetic. It’s interesting that the polar opposite of loneliness is energetic, as many addictions we turn to are an attempt to feel energized, such as overeating, exercise, and some stimulant drugs.
Also, we are pre-programmed by society and our parents to distract ourselves with things outside of our experience, instead of having healthy self-care modeled for us. When a baby cries, many parents will give their child food, a toy, or some other distractor to keep them quiet. The belief is, if the child is crying or upset, “I’m not a good parent”, therefore get the child to stop crying at any cost. Unfortunately, the cost is teaching the child to distract when they are uncomfortable—the seeds of addiction are planted.
Another contributor to the release and control addiction cycle is guilt, which I call the food of addiction. Guilt keeps us from seeing the real issues in our life and tricks us into believing we are good people if we hold onto it, because we believe that guilt will keep us from lapsing. Holding on to guilt blinds us though, that is why on the feelings wheel “awareness” is the healthy opposing feeling. Awareness of the core issues that underlies our addictions, starves out the addiction, while feeling guilty and ashamed of our behavior keeps fueling and feeding the whole cycle.
There are three things that can be done with any addiction:
- Let go of the need to feel guilty for being an addict and move into awareness.
- Tap on your feelings of powerlessness, loneliness, or fear that you are experiencing in the moment when you decide to turn to your addiction.
- Once you are done with the deed and the experience is over, when any guilt starts to flow, tap again to own your feelings and move into awareness.”
website freewitheft.com Nathan Martinsen
If you are looking for anonymous help, connect with me and we can work via phone or Skype.