Sometimes it just feels like the pain in the world and in our lives is too much and there is no way out and no hope for life to get better. One looks for any way to escape, to hide from the demands of life. So you turn to drugs or you drink to avoid deep feelings of despair. You might have an orgy with food, numbing those unwanted feelings. Or you immerse yourself in porn and let the adrenaline rush get you through another moment or another day.
At some point you may admit to yourself that you are addicted, but you don’t care, because the high is the only comfort that life has to offer. Or some part of you does care, but the addiction has it’s tentacles around you and it is so much stronger than that small voice that realizes life has become out of control.
When one is in the throes of an addiction control over one’s life has been surrendered to the addict. The addict will stop at nothing to get it’s “fix”. All areas of life are affected, including family life, work and leisure activities.
Addictions, including compulsive overeating, almost always have a genetic component. The addictive brain shows up in families, sometimes skipping a generation. However, this predisposition for an addiction does not necessarily result in an addiction, nor does it prevent one from becoming, sober.
The struggle to overcome an addiction is often the hardest challenge one will face in a lifetime. Whether or not one is involved in a 12 step program, which I strongly recommend, therapy is an important part of the process of recovery. As most addicts know, the process of healing from an addiction is rarely linear. Almost inevitably there are setbacks, which hopefully occur less frequently and for a shorter duration as healing progresses.
As we work together in therapy to heal from an addiction we attempt to identify the emotional triggers which are likely to fuel addictive behavior. We also look with ongoing vigilance at what cons the addict uses to persuade his healthy counterpart to give in to it’s demands. In addition, healing from these destructive patterns may include inner child work, learning to set healthy boundaries, finding meaningful ways of getting one’s needs met, examining core beliefs and mindfulness .By thus supporting and strengthening the healthy part of the person, the addict gradually loses it’s grip.
Addicts who have become firmly grounded in their sobriety generally experience a sense of clarity and wellbeing that is very gratifying. Life becomes manageable and new options are available to them. One has a sense of worthiness that has never before been experienced.
The struggle to overcome an addiction is often the hardest challenge one will face in a lifetime.