Eight critical barriers to the healing of addiction
Society tells those struggling with addiction too, “Just quit it.”
It sounds so logical and so simple to those uttering the words — and every addict agrees with the plan and even pulls it off for short periods of time.
Then religion comes alongside and delivers what we believe is a more compassionate message: “With the help of Christ (And a little guilt — er, accountability — from your Promise Keepers group) just quit it.”
And, again, all of those who struggle with addiction within the walls of their faith community also agree.
But, if you struggle with addiction, those (usually well-intentioned) words represent a complete failure to even begin to grasp the problem that is addiction. It’s like telling a person to charge in and reclaim a birthright — now stored in a fortress guarded by eight separate towers — without even offering them a sword.
Let’s look at those towers that guard your birthright:
To begin with, the addicted person simply doesn’t know how to feel – and has lived out of touch with his or her heart for decades.
And, even if the person could feel, they don’t trust those feelings – having been raised not to do so.
And, even if that were not true, the person never learned to connect emotion to longings.
And, even if longings could be identified via emotion, the person never learned to get those longings met.
And even if that were not an issue, those longings require other people to meet them – and people let them down before and can’t be trusted.
And, even if they could be trusted, they never learned the skills to engage others such that those needs would be met.
And, even if the person had the skills, their current existences have not been lived connecting with others such that their lives are not exactly filled with people that they can go to anyway.
And, for those people who are available, by this point, the addicted person feels so unworthy, guilty and shameful they believe they don’t deserve to request such from them anyway.
While the addictive behaviour is bright, flashy and demands lots of attention, it’s nothing more than a distraction that keeps everyone involved from going to work on the real problem. Focusing on the addictive behaviour completely ignores that addicted people can switch addictions over lunch hour — and usually have several on the go anyway.
While addiction usually needs to be suspended to get at the real problem, fixing it has little to do with stopping the acting out. The real problem has much more to do with changing dysfunctional thinking patterns and addressing negative beliefs about love and relationship.
While those towers seem overwhelming and insurmountable, they really are not. We don’t believe in tolerable recovery – we help our clients learn the skills to create real freedom from addiction for themselves!
Contact us and start seeing change today!