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How can you save yourself from an addiction to drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography, shopping or any other destructive behaviour? How can you pull yourself out of complete depression and desperation, when you are so miserable that the only thing that appeals to you any longer is to self-medicate with your drug of choice?
Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviours.
This very desperation that is making you so miserable is, in fact, the key to your new life in recovery. What you must do is to embrace the misery, embrace the chaos of your addiction, and accept it fully. Denial is when we try to cover it up, try to mask the misery, try to deny that our addiction is ruining our life, all while trying to minimise the negative effects of our disease. We try to justify anything and everything to ourselves to save face, to appear “normal,” to convince ourselves that we are not really that messed up. We lie to others, but mainly we lie to ourselves. “I’ll only have two drinks”, “I’ll only watch one more porn movie”…on and on we can go for years until our lives and those around us are destroyed because of our destructive behaviour.
This is denial. The more we try to mask our disease, the deeper in we get. Our addiction spirals more and more out of control as the negative consequences continue to pile up on us. We become even more miserable, and therefore have even more excuses to self-medicate.
What one needs do is surrender – as odd as that sounds. Can an addict simply decide that it is time to surrender to their disease? I think that surrender is a process that has to be worked through. We pay for our desperation with misery and chaos.
You haven’t had enough misery until you have had enough misery. When you are in enough pain, you want out and then you can surrender to the disease and seek help. Unfortunately, for many, this is often too late.
Realise your addiction now and save yourself – let me help you. Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 084 779 4889. Visit my website on www.nadinetherapy.co.za.
Credit: Ocean Breeze Recovery; Spiritual River.