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Addiction & Soul

IF YOU SUBSTITUTE ONE ADDICTION FOR ANOTHER, YOU HAVE NOT SOLVED THE REAL PROBLEM

Posted by: Michael

Reading time: 3 minutes

There are some very common delusions among addicts that think about getting sober or changing their lives. Here are a few examples:

  • “I’ve taken a break for a few months, so now it must be okay to have one.”
  • “Yes, I’m sober because I don’t drink anymore. I just smoke weed. It’s gonna be legal soon anyways.”
  • “I’m afraid to let go of the only thing that has always been there for me. You mean that if I get sober I can never use anything ever again for the rest of my life?”
  • “Okay, so I’m not using meth at all anymore, but my wife is upset because I’m watching porn every day.”

A major problem in these delusions is called substitution. You may be very successful at stopping the use of one type of addictive behavior. Maybe you were a drinker for 20 years and quit, or maybe you were wasting hours every day in complete preoccupation with social media, then deleted all of those apps from your phone. If you started using something else, like a different drug, or compulsive exercise, or distraction with sex, then you did not solve your problem with addiction. You traded one drug for another by substituting, and are still addicted.

The real problem of your addiction are the reasons and the beliefs and the feelings that are driving you to use. To actually break your addiction, you must resolve these reasons, and to identify those reasons, you will need a clear head. A period of abstinence from all addictive Chemicals and Processes is necessary in the beginning.

As you look into yourself, your life, and your story, the whole point of getting sober is to understand the needs you have that your addiction has distorted. Your needs will be different from another person’s needs, and you may call them by a different name. Whatever it may be that you need in life — security, understanding, attention, excitement, connection, knowledge — when you walk the Path of Reality, you will learn how addiction has distorted and neglected your needs, and how you can now meet them in healthy, building ways.

You will learn that addiction is false power, because although it convinced you it was meeting your needs, the effects wore off, and you always needed another hit, and the other parts of your life were disintegrating. And while it may be scary to leave it behind, if you keep one foot in addiction to come back later if you need to, it will never be fully broken. The Path of Reality may be new, and uncertain, but somewhere ahead of you is the option to meet your needs in deeper ways, real ways, where the effects do not wear off. Somewhere ahead of you — today, or tomorrow, or whichever moment you decide to begin — is the promise of real power.

Michael is the Lead Sobriety Coach and Head Blogger of Addiction Reality. 

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