It’s easier than most people think to become addicted to something. In fact, most people who end up becoming dependent on or addicted to something had no intention of doing so.
Perhaps you’ve fallen prey to addiction to alcohol or a certain drug. Or maybe it’s gambling, shopping, porn, sex, or something else.
You wonder, “How can I get free?”
That’s the hundred-million-dollar question, right?
“How in the world can I stop using this drug of choice? How can I lay it aside once and for all? How can I get rid of these triggers and cravings? I’ve tried rehab. I’ve sat through meetings. I’ve read through articles and books, made so many vows to “never again” to no avail.
So, tell me, how do I get free?”
This isn’t just another article to tell you that A + B = C. Addiction recovery is a unique, individual path that depends on various factors. However, we can point you in a new direction toward freedom from addiction with some encouragement, tools, and resources.
If you’re struggling with addiction, the underlying cause can be a variety of things – but the deepest root at the core?
According to Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, the core issue is spiritual. It’s forgetting the essence of who you really are outside of flesh and bones, creating this massive emptiness that you try to fill with people, places, and things like money, power, food, alcohol, material possessions, sex, gambling, drugs, and so on.
In fact, it was Carl Jung who said the craving for alcohol was “equivalent to a low level of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness”.
Yes, feeling broken is awful. That inner pain that just sits there lingering can be maddening, so much so that self-medicating seems to be the only way you get relief. That temporary numbing or escaping is appealing, but it also comes with the reality that you can (and perhaps have) become addicted to your drug of choice.
Yes, and no.
You can help your “self”. You’ve forgotten who you are after years of piling on pain and wearing a mask, so sure, learning how to get back in touch with “self” can be helpful.
But self-help might not take you as far as you’d like to go, which is why so many in the self-help niche are still struggling.
In addition to self-help, you may need more in terms of professional treatment, spiritual mentorship, support from safe and loving people, and so on.
Experiencing emotional pain is unavoidable while navigating this life journey.
Although we all feel pain at times, we do not have to suffer. Suffering means you give your power away; you feel powerless to do what needs to be done in order to process or heal the pain, or make changes that will result in less pain.
We all want to experience love and joy. This desire is the primary reason that we do the things we do. Society and the media try to tell us that the latest high-tech gadget, SUV, more money, booze, or exotic vacation will bring us the fulfillment that we seek, but this is not necessarily true.
These material things cannot completely fulfill or satisfy you. In seeking gratification in external objects, we tend to end up falling short and oftentimes experiencing pain.
Reaching “out there” to find peace and joy, or just to simply feel “good”, won’t doing the trick.
We easily place our faith in external things and people to bring us joy and then when things don’t go as we planned, we experience pain. Sadly, too many allow pain to immobilize them for years and years instead of inviting that pain to teach them a thing or two, heal, and help others when they are facing the same kinds of things.
Still, some of the most inspiring people in the world are those that have suffered a great deal of pain. Through that pain, they have discovered their greatest gifts that they use to add value to humanity.
Pain can be awful. Childhood trauma happens, loved ones die, break-ups occur, family members struggle with substance abuse, we struggle with addictions of all sorts, children are molested, dreams die, etc. We will hurt and sometimes feel like the pain is too great to bear. We may want to give up and isolate. We may want to numb the pain with alcohol and drugs. But we shouldn’t, because…
The pain you’re in right now, addicted to something and wanting to get free, THIS can be your springboard to a new journey.
Begin an inner journey where you give up your will and commit to following a path of Love.
Note that it takes effort. It takes a journey within. It takes you throwing your hands up and saying, “I can’t do this on my own. I need some help! Show me my path to healing and recovery!”
It’s alright to feel pain momentarily. Feel it. Really feel it in the guts of your belly. Talk about it. Offer it to the heavens in mounds of sobs.
Journal it. Poem it. Grab someone’s hand and ask them to help bear your load.
And then, learn from it. Process it. Talk to it. Let it know you’re not afraid anymore. Then, integrate it into your energetic being or ask your higher power to make it vanish into thin air, so that you can free up your emotional body to feel the more joyous and peaceful feelings.
That may sound easy, but it rarely is simple. It takes time, effort, patience, compassion, commitment, and more. But it’s worth it.
Are you hurting? Are you feeling like you’ve been immobilized for so long because your heart has been broken repeatedly? Have you experienced terrible things? Are you allowing pain to hold you back?
Are you stuck in an addiction? Alcohol? Drugs? Porn? Sex? Gambling? Food? Love?
This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where you must draw a line in the sand and say, “No more!” This is where you must stare down your pain, your trauma, your shattered heart, addictions, etc. and vow to go through them, rather than run. Rather than numb.
Because this is the path to true joy. The kind of joy that makes you laugh and dance for no reason other than you are breathing.
There are also various paths to freedom from pain and addictions. Here’s a list to get you started:
Find a great counselor and commit to a season of “doing the work”. Surely, there are things underneath the surface that you’ve never dealt with (childhood wounds, trauma, neglect, illness, divorce, other major stressors, etc.)
There are various types of therapy to consider too, such as:
Some people get free by attending a treatment or residential rehab centre. You can choose from inpatient or outpatient treatment for the length of time you need to get strong in your recovery. That could be 60 days, 90 days, or longer if you need.
Always do your homework before agreeing to go anywhere, as some treatment centres don’t have a great reputation.
For those who want to meet with others who are trying to get free or are free, try a 12 Step meeting. There’s:
For those who want to try online live meetings, go to In the Rooms.
SMART Recovery – This support group is not based on the 12 Steps, but offers a great support system to those wanting to break free from addiction. It’s not spiritually based, but still very good.
Take time daily to just get quiet with yourself. Quiet that mind down. We’re so used to going, going, going and when we’re not going, we’re glued to our technology devices. However, if you will cultivate daily quiet time, you will find yourself experiencing less stressed, less chaos, less cravings, and more peace, strength, acceptance, and joy.
We believe in you.
Let today be a day that you feel a shift toward freedom, doing what you feel led regarding reaching out for help. Choose your recovery path and start walking.