So what is addiction really? Might sound straight forward? Not really. People say it’s a disease. Some say it can be stopped for a while but is not quite treatable. Some say it is treatable, but not curable. Others say it’s a state of mind. It is a state of repeating a certain type of behavior even though we know there will be adverse consequences for self or others. Then of course say say it is in the genealogy. Something passed down from parents, or parents of parents. Regardless, there is truth in much of it, but a definite scientific certainty, or stand alone conclusion as an answer is in absolutely none of it! Yet.
Addiction is something that can be pleasurable at first, but the continued use/act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work, relationships, or health. So we as people pursue something to try and find pleasure, comfort and happiness which is what the substance of choice may look like at first. However what we really find in this fruitless pursuit is not pleasure but pain. Pleasure is already there. However if you’re addicted, you’re numbing the true pleasures of life. Guaranteed! You cannot selectively numb good or bad, or only bad. If you numb, you numb all feelings. Joy, peace, balance and connection all come from within. So when they are missing this is where we need to look for them. Numbing the feelings that cause the connection to these things to be absent, inevitably wastes time and makes it worse.
So what is addiction and what do we know for sure? That there are environmental, psychological, social and mental or genetic aspects to being an addict. The exact influence of percentages we do not know. The body itself can become addicted. So can the mind. The symptoms of this addiction regardless of where it may be located is usually chaos. Chaos surrounded by highs and lows. By cravings and obsession. By anger, irrationality, tremors and cold sweats. By depression and death or confinement of some sort. By broken hearts and dreams. Drugs, substances, food and sex or whatever it might be that fuels the addiction, or the clinically significant disorder if you prefer. What is addiction? It is staying in disorder. Staying addicted to our own fruitless ways of thinking, doing and being.
We know about addiction is that it is progressive and often chronic. We know it affects our work, our relationships and how we think, feel and act. We know it harms and kills and we know there is no cure for it. But it is treatable. Some say they are born with it. Saying that the disease of addiction was in their genes, their personalities or their DNA. Others believe they developed it through circumstance or over time. Whether biological, environmental, psychological, social, even spiritual or all of these and perhaps more – we do not know for sure.
So why do we do addiction? Why abuse substances? Is it the novelty of it, the assumed fun of it, or doing what everyone else seems to be doing at a certain age or time, or is it because we are in pain and want to avoid that pain? Or do we feel like we deserve it; the reward of it, the freedom of it…or even the pain of it.
All you really need to make sure you know is that no one knows for sure. Don’t be too quick to stereotype the origins of addiction and put it into a neat little box, as comforting as that may be. You also need to know that treating addiction is also riddled with the unknown. It is cloaked in controversy and authoritarian opinion. Some swear by the 12 steps. Others think it worthless. There are different spiritual and non-spiritual alternatives, there are in fact hundreds of different and supposed treatments for addiction, which we are not going to get into here. It is probable that you, who are studying this course already have your own preconceived ideas about what works and what doesn’t.
Whatever your beliefs may be, this course is not here to change any of them. It is here rather only to add to them, serving as a way to push past the complexity of addiction into recovery. It is here to introduce the simple principles of a kind of meta-recovery. It is here to help you think out of the box and to help you try new things and explore new avenues. Addiction is complex but treatable. Once treated it often brings about a profound new life experience. One that offers more hope and scope. Better relationships and life experiences. Recovery offers an improved quality of live. It offers love instead of fear, peace as opposed to pandemonium and opportunity rather than dead ends. This course in recovery is a part of that opportunity. It is yours for the taking. Don’t let opportunities pass you by!
If you or someone you know is suffering from an addiction treatment is always a viable option to look at. Sooner, rather than later. Being progressive as an illness, things generally get worse not better. Get in touch with us today and talk about it, get help, find a way forward.
For more information on what is addiction please get in touch. We are here to help wherever we can.