Addiction is self-punishment. It is harmful, it is painful, and great news it is healable! But, we have to get to the heart of the addiction first. Addiction can mean so many things to so many people. I’ll go as far as to say that 100% of people are addicted to something and for most of us, many things and only 25% are aware that they are addicted at all. Out of that 25% of addicts, only 5% are strong enough, brave enough or feel that they or their family are worth breaking the addictions and getting well again. When we think of addicts we think of drugs or alcohol, but there are far more addictions in the world and unfortunately, some are equally dangerous.
Nothing we ever do only affects us.
Addictions could be named in various ways, we will simplify and categorize them. We can be addicted to numbness, hiding, attention, drama, men, women, porn, cigarettes, abuse, self-harm, food, self-sabotaging, sex, affection, things, sadness, anger, uppers, downers, phones, social media, people, our self. If we really look at the source of the addiction it is the feeling we are addicted to. Either the high, the low or numbing it all together. But…
We can not just numb one area of our lives.
We numb them all.
Numbing our life is numbing ourselves against living, feeling, loving, happiness. Being alive means feeling…. EVERYTHING. The highs as well as the lows, the goods with the bads, the pain with the love. It’s all part of it. Each part makes the other one beautiful. The Ying and Yang of life.
Addictions are acts of self-punishment.
Some may say that there are good addictions, but I would like to think of them more as good habits. It’s a dangerous line to cross. When something becomes an addiction, it is no longer good. Some people may use good addictions to replace bad ones, but it still gets into dangerous territory when it becomes an addiction. Let me explain. If we have replaced a bad relationship where we became addicted to abuse, anger, jealousy, and turned to numbing, and became addicted to drugs or alcohol to cope with the first and finally get enough courage to end it. We end the relationship, we end the drug abuse and find someone clean, sober and great. That sounds awesome, right? There is a big difference when someone wants to spend time with someone and becoming addicted to them. Addictions become dangerous and create their own problems. If we were addicted to someone, we suddenly need to know where they are every second of every day, we need to know what they are thinking, we need them to be what we need them to be instead of loving them for who they are.
Addiction turns wants into NEEDS.
The difference between an addict and a nonaddict is the NEED for something. An alcoholic will NEED a drink, the casual drinker will want one. The healthy person will want to work out for their health, the addict will NEED it. When we are addicted to something we decide ahead of time that if we don’t have or do “the thing” that we will be angry, or our life will be over. A huge addition that has come about is cell phones. Look around at all the people missing life because they are glued to their phones. I am one of the people who justify being on my phone a lot as I work in the digital world. When I get a message on my heart to write about, I have to write about it RIGHT then or it’s gone. My friends and family are used to it by now but some people don’t understand that I won’t remember it later. If I try to write it later then it won’t be from my heart, it will be from my memory and it’s just not the same. I made a promise to myself and owe it to you all that everything would come from my heart. I allow these messages to flow through me. Just like today, I feel that there are many addicts that just need love to help them break the addictions.
So how do we break addictions?
We get to the heart of them.
How do we do this? We ask ourselves WHY, why everything. Why are we numbing, why are we doing what we are doing? What feeling are we after here? What healthy habits can give us this same feeling? And I say habits (plural) because if there is more than one source to provide that feeling then it’s less likely we will get fixated on one thing and trade one addiction into another. We need to break down one addiction at a time and peel back the layers to the source.
The source of all addiction is self-worth.
We either base our self-worth on what others think of us, or what we think of our self. We should base our self-worth on what God thinks of us, and see ourselves through His eyes. But, if you are not there yet let’s break it down to a level you can start with.
If we are addicted to what others think of us…
We are not living our own lives or owning our own power.
Those of us who value our selves, our beauty, our worth by how many likes we get from our latest selfie, or how many friends show up to our party. Are missing out on the beauty that is within. Those people do not love us. That is not love. Love comes from within. We should (no matter what we look like) be able to look in the mirror with pure, unjudgemental, appreciation, love and gratitude. Now, this is not speaking to a narcissist behavior or attitude. They also have a self-worth problem. They don’t allow anyone in to love on them. So they force the love on themselves. Also an addiction. Also self-abuse and self-punishment. They don’t believe they are worthy of love so they fill the need themselves.
Our value can not be given by another.
It comes from within.
No one can give it
No one can take it away.
Others can only value us to the extent that we value ourselves. Others will treat us how we treat ourselves.
We will only allow on the outside what we allow on the inside. If we self-abuse, we allow self-abuse. If we are at peace inside others will be at peace with us. If we are turmoil inside, we will bring turmoil outside. Choose whats inside.
When we get all up in our head knocking ourselves down, it’s a dangerous place to live. We should only pour good thoughts, feelings, and words into ourselves. “In our head we are dead, In our heart is where to start.” This was a quote that was repeated non-stop at a personal development conference I attended last year. It was talking about all the wars inside our heads that we allow to continue for years. Repeating things that someone said about us 22 days or 22 years ago that hurt us. Self-punishing and becoming addicted to that pain. We have the same choice to repeat all the compliments that people have said more than the insults, but most likely we don’t. Why? Because we didn’t believe them inside and there for put it in the “lie bank” and brushed it aside. And instead, repeat the bad ones. WHY! Because we were heartbroken inside. We became addicted to the pain that one person said one time and put it on repeat self-abusing, then self-punishing for self-abusing. It is a vicious cycle that has to end.
The words we say after I am, make or break us.
Choose. Them. Wisely.
We must get to the heart of the addictions. We must always be aware of what addictions we are battling and start changing them one by one. Changing each of our bad addictions into good habits and our “needs” into wants. By taking away the power we are giving them we can decide if it’s something we really want at all? What is at the heart of your addiction? What feeling are you associating with it, or what need are we trying to fulfill? Is it the real result you want? What pain are we trying to numb? What forgiveness are you needing to give? Who do you need to forgive that hurt you?
“Holding a grudge is like taking poison and expecting someone else to die.”
I’m sure you have heard that quote before but it is so true. But let’s go deeper in saying that by replaying the event in our head we are taking that same poison over and over again. We are poisoning our self a million times over with the same event that happened once! Buddha said it this way… “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” And God said, “Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”
Forgiveness is our freedom.
We must not only forgive the ones who hurt us but forgive ourselves for doing FAR WORSE damage than they ever did by playing the rerun over and over in our head and poisoning our hearts, lives, and health with it. This is 99.9% the heart of all addictions. If we could take care of this one thing, then it would take care of most everything else! If someone were to hurt us to swing a punch at us every time we saw them, don’t you think by instinct we would learn to dodge, fight back, or avoid them? Would we just submit and allow them to always punch us in the face? NO! Stop hurting yourself! You deserve better. We all do. The people who care about us deserve better from us as well. They need us to heal.
If we don’t take care of our self,
no one else will either.
Nor can we take care of others.
I hope this helps everyone who is struggling with addictions to break free from them by getting to the heart of them. We can’t enjoy things when we live in a state of need and state of lack. Living in a state of lack brings more lack. Everything we do is amplified and multiplied. It is why we “need” more and more. Just like why we can’t just stop at one tater chip;). But seriously, if anyone is struggling with addiction please seek help, and get to the heart of it. If I can help in any way please let me. If you are ready to break it, I will help you get to the heart of it. It will require bravery and honesty with yourself and with me. But you will break free. If you are ready please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – Love you all.
Addiction is something near and dear to my heart. I have lost many friends and family due to addictions. Some have died inside, and others outside. And everyone around them has been hurt by it. Please take the advice here, be brave, take the steps and break the chains and shackles of addiction and live a life of freedom. <3