This article helps you understand why you feel you need to undertake your addictive act. Once you understand the reasons why you keep going back to your addition, you will be better able to deal with them. No article or book on the planet can cure you of your addiction, but at least if you understand your addiction, you know what you are up against.

Contents

Drug Addiction Cure And Recovery
People With Addictions Are Not Morally Derelict
Addiction Is Not About Having Willpower
Addiction Is Not About Being Self-indulgent
Rename Addiction And People Will Accept It More Readily
There Is A Reason For Your Addiction
 - When Harry Lost His Father
 - Jenny Hates Her Job
Addictive Substances Do Not Cause Addictions
How Are People Able To Switch Addictions?
How Are People Able To Drop Addictions Cold Turkey?
Do Not Underestimate Withdrawal Symptoms
What Is Causing Your Feeling Of Helplessness?
The Shocking Truth Behind What Makes You Feel Better And Why
You Do Not Have To Distract Yourself
Step 1 - Understand Your Feelings Of Helplessness
Step 2 - Understand Your Own Triggers
Step 3 - Understand That You May Trigger Yourself On Purpose
Step 4 - Fill Your Mind With Positive And Do Not Try To Remove The Negative
Step 5 - Be Upset For A While, But Then Decide To Make Plans
Step 6 - Understand That Sometimes Cold Turkey Is Too Difficult
Step 7 - You Are Only Free From Addiction When You Can Walk Away Forever
You Are Supposed To Enjoy Addiction, But Doing It Is Ruining You

Drug addiction and recovery is highly misunderstood by a lot of people, including a lot of therapists and people in “Help” programs. People that are addicts or were addicts are also no better qualified. If they were, then it stands to reason that all men that have had girlfriends are therefore pickup artists, or that every woman that has had a child is therefore a qualified midwife.

The first thing you need to do is understand what your addiction actually is, and the first step to this understanding is to tear down your own misconceptions and misunderstandings. Do not worry about other people having misunderstandings about addiction--just leave them to it. If you want to recover, it is important that “You” understand addiction and that “You” remove your misunderstandings and misconceptions about addiction.

People With Addictions Are Not Morally Derelict

This is the first misconception and it is a common one because some people are so gripped by addiction that they do morally derelict things. Saying that all addicts are immoral by nature, that they are bad people, or that they are morally derelict is like saying all Muslim people are terrorists. Yet, you mention the word Muslim and people think “Terrorist” for the same reason that you mention “Addict” and people think “Bad person.”

The truth is that highly moral people, religious people, government leaders, and even your neighbors may have crippling addictions and yet are still morally upstanding and good. You may never know of their struggling with addiction, and there are many times when famous people have addictions for decades and it only comes out in public when they lose their lives or are caught.

If you are an addict in any shape or form, then you are not a bad person. But, understand that there is a higher chance you will do bad things in order to feed your addiction. You are not a bad person, but you are more likely to do bad things as your addiction takes a tighter grip on you.

Addiction Is Not About Having Willpower

This has to be one of the most misleading misconceptions about addicts. People that are addicts may have fantastic willpower. Being addicted to something has nothing to do with willpower. Being on a diet and choosing to eat cake is about willpower, being addict and choosing to indulge is not about willpower. As you read this e-book, you will understand why it is not about will power; suffice it to say that you should drop this misconception right now. No amount of willpower will stop you from becoming an addict, and no amount of willpower will keep you away from your addiction.

Addiction Is Not About Being Self-indulgent

This misconception was built as a label for addicts. People choose their addiction over their health, their future, their kids, spouses, pets, money, etc. They make what appear to be terrible and horrible choices because they want to indulge in their addiction. However, this does not make that person self-indulgent.

On the contrary, people that become addicts are often the least self-indulgent people in their community. Addicts are usually the types of people that do not treat themselves to things, and do not indulge in honest pleasures. Understand that when somebody uses (i.e. indulges in their addiction), they are not being self-indulgent. Sometimes they are purposefully self-harming, sometimes they feel immense guilt, and usually they are doing it because they feel it is their only option. Would you say that somebody undertaking an action because it is his or her last option is somebody being self-indulgent?

Rename Addiction And People Will Accept It More Readily

This is another puzzling little feature of addiction and public opinion. You accuse somebody of being an alcoholic, and they will make excuses, or say you are just plain wrong. You tell somebody you think they are alcohol-dependant, and they may concede and say, “Yeah, maybe a little.”

Call somebody a smack head or junkie and he or she won’t like it. Call him or her a Heroin addict in a nice way and you will still feel resistance, yet if you tell that person you think he or she is using Heroin as a crutch or to self-medicate, then many times that person will agree with you. Why is it that people will accept one label and not another?

Part of the reason is public perception. Most addiction labels have negative attachments. The other reason is because addicts do not tend to see themselves as bad people, even if they acknowledge that they do bad things, so they do not want to attach themselves to negative labels. Most addicts do not understand their addiction and so will make excuses in their own mind. They often make themselves feel like a victim of bad luck, bad times or a bad upbringing. They will use these excuses, along with a “Woe is me” attitude because they do not “understand” their addiction--so they hide behind excuses, cover up their actions or live in denial.

It is sad and annoying when addicts hide behind excuses, and there are some arseholes in this world that will hide behind excuses all their lives. But, you can give some addicts the benefit of the doubt. They may hide behind excuses because they do not fully understand their addiction yet. This e-book will help you and them understand addiction a little better.

There Is A Reason For Your Addiction

The reason is a feeling of helplessness. The biggest and most prominent reason for your addiction is because you feel helpless about something, and when you feel helpless your mind searches for a way to resolve that problem. In the mind of an addict, one option is to undertake an addictive act.

In other words, a person seeks out different options and choices for his or her next move when he or she feels helpless. A person may figure there are six or seven courses of action that may help resolve a problem. An addict may have six or seven options too, but also have an eight option and that option is an addictive act. In the addict’s mind, option number eight (in this hypothetical example) is a viable course of action and some may feel it is their only “Real” choice.

This may not be as mind-blowing as you had hoped, but let’s explore two examples:

     When Harry Lost His Father

Harry loses his father at the age of 23yrs old. Many people say he turned to drink, and after a while, he starts to admit that maybe his drinking has gotten out of control. The truth is that Harry feels helpless around a few issues and if is understands those issues and those feelings, he may be able to free himself from his addiction.

He feels helpless because he feels his father died too soon. He feels helpless because the rest of his family and friends could die in an untimely manner and there is nothing he can do about it. He also feels helpless because it is forcing him to look at his own mortality and that unnerves him. Finally, he also feels helpless because he is trying to suppress his sad feelings about his father rather than letting himself cry and be sad about it. When he struggles to keep his feelings suppressed, he turns to alcohol.

All of these feelings of helplessness are what cause his addiction. In his mind he tries to fix these feelings of helplessness in the same way he may claw his way out of a hole in the ice. In the mind of an addict, one option or one course of action is to undertake an addictive act. After a while, the addictive act is the default course of action. If he dealt with his feelings of helplessness in a different way, then he would not need to drink.

+ He should work to come to terms with the fact that anybody can die at any time and that we all have to enjoy what little time we spend with the people we love.

+ He should work to understand that he cannot control what happens to other people and that the nature of the world ensures that a lack of control works for us as well as against us.

+ He should introspectively examine his own mortality and understand that he is going to die. He should face that fear head on and learn to live with it without the fear dominating his life or thoughts.

+ He should allow himself to cry, grieve, mourn, and be sad about his dads passing. He shouldn’t bottle up his feelings, and certainly shouldn’t use drinking as an excuse to let those feelings out. He needs to let them out without being drunk or else drinking will become a crutch.

     Jenny Hates Her Job

For many years, Jenny has hated her job because it is repetitive and because other people do less work and get more of a reward than her. She feels that she does most of the work and that her boss and coworkers abuse her good nature. Jenny fakes having back trouble so her doctor will give her Tramadol pain medication.

She used to use this medication because it was difficult to be in a bad mood after popping two of the pills. She used to call them mood elevators. However, these days she takes them just to feel “Normal” and finds she has to overdose to get the warm feeling she used to get.

Jenny is an addict, but the reasons she is an addict are a little more complex than the fact she hates her job. She feels helpless because she is afraid to leave her job for fear of getting a worse job or no job at all. She feels helpless because she feels trapped. She also feels helpless because she feels she cannot show the people at work how much she does. She also feels helpless because she feels she cannot expose the other people at work for their lack of effort.

Jenny is able to go on holidays abroad with her on/off boyfriend and not undertake an addictive act at all. She is also able to avoid and forget her addiction when she is ill from work and lying in bed. Yet, there are some days when she feels almost like killing herself if she cannot get Tramadol pain medication. So, why is she so addicted sometimes and not others?

She has certain triggers that remind her how helpless she feels. There are days when she has to work overtime to cover the lack of work the other staff have done, and when she gets home, she really needs to undertake her addictive act. There are other times when she works very hard and her boss ignores her. These are triggers and they are harsh reminders of her feelings of helplessness. In her mind as an addict, the only thing she feels she can do is to undertake her addictive act. She doesn’t consider the sensible or practical things she can do to fix her problem; she defaults to the addictive act.

+ Instead of feeling helpless, she should look for and apply for numerous other jobs. This will help her understand that she can leave for a better job.

+ She should confront the coworkers that do not do their job correctly, or she should refuse to pick up the slack and leave work at the correct time.

+ She should also try facing her fear by doing as much work as the other people in the office and letting some deadlines fail. If her boss confronts her about it, she can explain herself. If he bullies her or threatens her, she can leave her job and start looking for another whilst safe in the knowledge that what she did was scary but right.

Addictive Substances Do Not Cause Addictions

Addictions are all in the mind. The only problem is that some addictions have a chemical element that makes a person’s body dependant upon them. There have been plenty of studies showing how people have tried heroin and not become addicted, or even in Vietnam where thousands of US soldiers did lots of Heroin, but then never touched it again when they got home.

Chemical addictions simply make it more difficult to stop being an addict. They prompt your body and your mind to remind you of the substance you crave. Addictive chemicals such as narcotics, legal and illegal, make stopping your addiction a little harder.

How Are People Able To Switch Addictions?

There are plenty of people reading this that will say getting off of hard drugs is harder than getting off of a food addiction, sex addition, gambling addiction, etc. They will say that getting off a drug has withdrawal symptoms and such, and that it is much harder. But, the fact is that all addictions can have physical withdrawal symptoms.

People that were addicted to Star Trek have had physical and life threatening withdrawal symptoms. A woman that was addicted to water had the most uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms based on the fact that she still had to drink water to live. Some people come off hard drugs and do not have withdrawal symptoms.

So, what does this have to do with switching addictions? The point is that people can jump from chemical addictions to non-chemical addiction very easily because it is all about what is going on in their mind and not the chemical itself. People can move from coke to gambling very easily, and people can move from alcohol to sex, or smoking to over-eating. People switch addictions so easily because the problem is psychological and not chemical.

How Are People Able To Drop Addictions Cold Turkey?

Sometimes the feeling of being helpless drops away very quickly, and it is usually because the underlying issues were resolved. For example, the veterans that came back from Vietnam were able to drop Heroin and never gave it a second thought. During the war they felt helpless for a number of reasons, such as the threat of death, being out of control, missing loved ones, dealing with their own mortality, etc. Those issues went away when they got home and so their addictive need for Heroin went away.

A lot of younger people take up eating addictions, smoking, drinking, sex or drug addictions because they are having trouble dealing with their sexuality. When they finally come out, you often see their addictions fall away very quickly. Over-eaters tend to start eating normally and return to a healthy weight (more for men than women). Drug taking and having promiscuous sex often stops too as the person’s feeling of helplessness dies away.

Do Not Underestimate Withdrawal Symptoms

They are dangerous. Withdrawal symptoms are dangerous! This point cannot be stressed enough. Withdrawal is dangerous, and it can happen for non-chemical addictions. People can experience very strong and life threatening withdrawal symptoms from things as innocent as porn addiction or even cigarette addiction.

If you feel you cannot withstand your withdrawal symptoms, or you are having the sweats, sleepless nights, panic attacks, palpitations, etc, then you must consult a doctor. They can often find ways of lessening your withdrawal symptoms, even if it is with tranquilizers.

What Is Causing Your Feeling Of Helplessness?

You feel helpless and your mind searches for a solution. An addict will search for solutions in his or her mind and may choose an addictive act. Over time an addict teaches him or herself to pick an addictive act by default without fully understanding why. You need to find what it is that makes you feel helpless and then deal with that. You then need to understand what triggers your feelings of helplessness.

If your feelings of helplessness involve things that have happened in the past, then you cannot go back and change them, but you can make reparations. You can also deal with your feelings about it head-on so that you no longer feel helpless and therefore do not have to medicate yourself with your addiction. Take the easier road and deal with your problems, and stop taking the hard road and using drugs or your addictive act. You may be deciding to take your drug because you like punishing yourself and you like feeling miserable, and you need to take the easier road and deal with your issues and the feelings you have that surround them.

The Shocking Truth Behind What Makes You Feel Better And Why

You feel better when you decide to abuse your addiction. If you are having a terrible day at work, and feel a massive craving for your addiction, have you noticed that you feel better just after you have decided to use?

You may have decided to go for a drink, buy a packet of cigarettes, or have sent a text to your drug dealer. Whatever your addiction, the fact is that you feel a lot better once you decide to abuse your addiction.

It is one of the reasons why smokers feel a lot better whilst quitting if they have cigarettes in the house. It is far harder to quit smoking if you do not have cigarettes in the house. Some people buy them and put them in their house and do not smoke them. They buy them with the intention of smoking but then do not. The reason they feel better with them in the house is because they know they “Can” smoke if they want to. They know they have the option, and the same is true for any addiction.

If you are trying to quit a drug, then do not keep it in your house and do not contact your dealer. Simply understand that it is the “thought” that relieves your craving and not the substance itself. If you have decided to abuse, and know you are going to, then you feel instantly better. That is no coincidence. Your cravings haven’t just vanished, it was all in your head, which means you can deal with it in your head.

You Do Not Have To Distract Yourself

Just before starting the list of steps to recovery, let’s nail one thing. You shouldn’t have to distract yourself. Staying clean is not about distracting yourself until your urge goes away. Getting clean is about understanding why you abuse your addiction, and helping you to make better choices and better decisions that do not lead to you choosing addiction.

It is about understanding your feelings of helplessness, facing the underlying issues, noticing your triggers and making different choices. At that moment when your mind searches for things to do to help ease your feelings of helplessness, it is up to you to accept that your addictive act is an option, but that you also have other options and can try other things before resorting to your addictive choice. In no way, shape or form should it be about distracting yourself because you are not helping yourself. You are distracting yourself from the reasons you feel helpless if you are trying to distract yourself from your addictive act.

Step 1 - Understand Your Feelings Of Helplessness

The underlying cause of your addiction is a feeling of helplessness. You feel helpless about something and you choose to undertake an addictive act instead of deal with the fact you feel helpless.

Your first step is to identify all the ways you feel helpless and then figure out if any of them are causing your addiction. You need to examine all the things that make you feel helpless and you need to come to terms with them. You need to either accept them and live with them, or you need to make different choices, make different plans and move forward with your life to free yourself from these feelings of helplessness. This may mean leaving your partner, changing the way you deal with things, or even facing your unhappy feelings and repressed feelings so you can deal with them.

Step 2 - Understand Your Own Triggers

A trigger is the thing that makes you feel as if you want to abuse your addiction. What they are actually triggering is your feelings of helplessness, so you need to examine them and figure out what yours are.

If you feel you need to abuse whenever your children shout at you, then understand that somewhere in that situation you feel helpless and that is where you need to start working. When you have not made enough money in your business and you decide you want to gamble today, examine the fact you don’t feel you have done enough work as the trigger that makes you feel helpless and leads you to gambling.

Step 3 - Understand That You May Trigger Yourself On Purpose

Many triggers are set externally. Many triggers are things that remind you how helpless you feel or remind you of the thing that makes you feel helpless. What you also need to understand is that we often trigger ourselves on purpose because deep down we want to abuse our addiction.

For example, some people will purposefully look for something to be in a sad and miserable mood about so they can have a drink. Some people will purposefully pick a fight with their spouse so they can run out and have sex with strangers, and some people will purposefully bully their kids so the kids react and the parent can feel sorry for him or herself with an addictive act.

Step 4 - Fill Your Mind With Positive And Do Not Try To Remove The Negative

Do not try to distract yourself from your addiction, but if you understand that you can trigger your own addiction, then do not try to remove those thoughts. If you are the sort of person that will find anything to be miserable about, then you may be trying to self-trigger your addiction.

To be a happier and more positive person, you cannot try to remove or restrict negative thought. All you can do is replace it with positive thought. You may tell yourself to stop thinking about a certain upsetting thing, and that is fair enough, but you should deal with it instead.

If you purposefully think of things to make you miserable, replace those things with positive thoughts and stop trying to remove the negative. Replace them with positive thoughts, and you leave no room for negative thoughts. If you are really struggling on this point, then look at every negative thought and instance and ask what you can learn from this to make your life better and the lives of other people better. 

Step 5 - Be Upset For A While, But Then Decide To Make Plans

It is okay to be upset. This is especially true if you are dealing with the things that make you feel helpless. This is especially true if you are dealing with things from your past and things that you have to grieve or be sad about to get over them. However, feeling sorry for yourself and feeling sad all the time is not helpful. You need to set a time limit on your sadness.

You need to say to yourself, “I feel bad about this, and this is very upsetting, but in an hour, I am going to stop being upset.” In an hour, I am going to stop crying and am going to make a plan to make this better.

There are times when you cannot make it better, such as if somebody or something dies, but you can decide to stop feeling upset and sad about it after an hour. You should then make a plan, and that plan can consist of things you can do to move forwards and live with your grief. To understand that what you feel is a testament to the person or pet that died, and that your memory of that person or pet keeps them alive in some way. That you wouldn’t feel so bad if that person or thing didn’t have such a profound effect on you. Carry it with you, but you do not have to be upset whilst you do.

Step 6 - Understand That Sometimes Cold Turkey Is Too Difficult

You should understand that being clean for two weeks, two months, or two years is not an achievement. Most people simply switch addictions so that they do can remain clean on one thing whilst they abuse another addictive act.

Make a plan and wean yourself off your addiction if you wish. Just make sure you have a plan and an end date. That end date is the date after which you shouldn’t need or want to ever abuse your addiction again. Near the end, you should be abusing your addiction so little that you can take it or leave it.

Cold turkey can sometimes be too difficult and many times is meaningless if you have not dealt with your underlying feelings of helplessness. Also, if you fall off the wagon and use again, it doesn’t mean you are a bad person or that you have a serious will power or attitude problem. It just means that you resorted back to a way of thinking that does you no good. You felt helpless, you examined your options, you didn’t take the most plausible or healthy option, and so instead choose your addiction. Recognize why you did it, what you should have done, and vow to do the right thing the next time this circumstance and feeling of helplessness arises.

Step 7 - You Are Only Free From Addiction When You Can Walk Away Forever

If you can happily say, “I don’t care if I ever XXXXX again,” replacing XXXXX with your addictive act, then you are free from your addiction. If you are able to say that it doesn’t bother you that you cannot do your addictive act again, and if the compulsion to use abuse your addictive act is gone, then you are free from your addiction.

You may enjoy your addictive act, and you may be able to fool yourself into thinking that your enjoyment is the only element of your act, but the fact is that you are addicted if you cannot walk away forever. You may enjoy swimming in the sea, but there is a good chance you could say today, “I will never swim in the sea again” and still be able to live with yourself. There is a good chance that never being able to swim in the sea again would disappoint you, but that all-in-all you could live with it. You cannot do the same if you are still addicted to something. The feeling goes far beyond a little disappointed, and it goes beyond feeling disappointed because you are addicted to something.

You Are Supposed To Enjoy Addiction, But Doing It Is Ruining You

This is one of the most obvious and yet most ignored parts of addiction. Most addictions are fun and most addicts enjoy their addictions. This is something you cannot overlook. You enjoy your addiction, which is why it is so easy to go back to it.

You enjoy gambling because of the thrill of the win, or cannabis because of the feel of the high. You love cigarettes because of the way it feels in your body and the release you feel when you take a drag. You enjoy your addictions, and you cannot ignore that fact.

On the other hand, one of the most common excuses for addiction is that a person enjoys the addiction. People claim that their addiction is simply something they enjoy doing, which implies they have control over it and only exploit the substance or addiction. This is often not the case. Most people that say they do it because they enjoy it are simply confused (purposefully or not) about the nature of addiction.

People are so used to seeing addicts on TV and movies that “Need” their drug that they do not understand that those people started out simply “liking” the drug. You may make the excuse that you are not at the point of “needing” the drug right now, and you may fool yourself into thinking you are not an addict, but if you are justifying your actions with excuses such as “I enjoy it,” then the fact is you are probably an addict.

Still not convinced? Still sure you simply “Enjoy” your addiction and do not need it? If that is the case, will you promise today to never have that drug or addiction again? Be it gambling, sex, masturbation, heroin, cannabis, cigarettes, etc, will you promise never to use or do it again?

You may enjoy riding rollercoasters at a theme park. If somebody told you that you could never do it again, you may be upset, but would you make excuses? Would you make excuses so that you could do it again? Would you say it relaxes you? Or that it is the only way you can sleep? Or that your friends would reject you if you didn’t go on roller coasters?

You may have some excuses, but they are not valid ones, so test yourself. Go three months without doing your addiction (your drug, etc) once. Go a full three months of being clean. If you think about your addiction more than once per week, then the fact is you are an addict. If you are surrounded by people that use, then remove yourself from them and make new friends. If they are using, they may make you think of your addiction more than once per week, which means you will fail in your little test. Try it for three months, and if you fail, if you think about your addictive substance (your addiction) more than once per week, or if you find it a big struggle to stay clean, then you are an addict.

Being an addict has a stigma attached, but the fact is you are simply turning to addiction instead of dealing with things in the correct way. You come across a situation about which you feel helpless and in your mind you run through your options. You are an addict because one of your options is to turn to your addiction. The more you want to do something about your feeling of helplessness, then the more you want your drug. In your mind, it is the only action you can take to free yourself from your feelings of helplessness.

If you understand this, you can decide to take alternative action. If you understand that your mind sees addiction as an option, then you can consciously change your mind and tackle the problem head on. Do this and your mind will pursue a new way to deal with the problem instead of pursuing addiction.

No book will ever cure you of your addition, but if you understand why you feel helpless, you catch your triggers, and you work on feeling less helpless, then you will not need your addiction.


Written By Ashley Gaynor, 27/01/2014