This post will describe problems with addictions, the different mechanics behind it, and how to break free from it. We write mainly about drugs, but you can change it with alcohol or any other addictions. Addictions work in the same way, but with various substances and activities, the solution to break free from addictions is the same.
What are addictions?
Addiction is something that controls you. It is something you can not say NO to whatever you are addicted to having a grip on you. People are willing to do whatever it takes to get their hands on, for example, drugs or alcohol. Even if it destroys your life and your dear ones, you still crave the high it gives you.
Addictions consist of physical addictions and mental obsession:
The physical part is biological cravings. It is when a drug fire up the reward centre in the brain. The brain remembers this experience and wants it again. Even if you have had 100 bad experiences with drugs, but a first positive experience. The brain remembers the first episode, how it felt – and crave that first experience again. But what happens is that your body needs more and more drugs to get the same effect. It is also customary to get withdrawal if you don’t get your hand on the drugs you are addicted to.
The mental obsession is what a person can do something about. People do drugs because they want to easy their feelings. They have problems and tensions inside that they want to calm down or to escape from. Taking a pill “works” in the short term – they stop feeling anxious or sad. But in the long run, it destroys and makes you addicted. The more drugs you take, the more negligible effect you get, so you have to take even more drugs to get the same high.
False beliefs about addictions
Many addicts believe that the solution to break free from addictions is to have their life in order. Many addicts think If they only had a partner, a house, a car and a job, – THEN everything would be fine. Having external things doesn’t change the root cause. The root cause is often emotional problems, coming from traumatic events.
Another false belief is the rationalization that the addicted person has about their problem. For example, believing they can use “a little” drug. This belief is entirely wrong, and many addictive unfortunately have such thoughts. The above example is what is called Cognitive bias, with the standard of rationalization.
An apparent false belief is that the drug will fix anything! Taking drugs will fix your sleep problems or anxiety problems. It can remove the problem then and there, but it only comes backs more robust and more challenging when the drugs were out.
The rest of society tends to think that an addictive person has bad moral for “choosing” to being addicted. Many average joes believe it easy to quit, asking the addictive people to “get a grip”. What they don’t realize is that addiction is a disease.
Why do people get addicted?
This question is somewhat tricky to answer. But there are some red threads for the “reasons” people start to take drugs. The majority of people who does the drug have had a bad past. Examples of a bad history can include traumatic events, divorced parents or fallen out of school. Bad past tends to lead to a lousy present. If you feel bad about yourself and your life, some people want to ease those feelings and get away from the pain. This trend is most often the case, but not always. Sometimes people do drugs because of curiosity; this is often the case for teenagers. Other teenagers want to fit in with their peer group. Some teenagers are also bored and say yes to drugs because of excitement.
The solution to break free from addictions
The solution here is to work on the various episodes and emotions caused by these episodes. The way to get over addictions is to release all negative emotions out of the system. The 12 step program helps people do exactly this. The 12 step program is about sharing your stories in groups, and other points mentioned. Below I will describe some of the things that the 12 step program does. Now, I am not going to explain the whole program, but describe known pieces from it. If you have serious addictive problems, you should consider going for the entire 12 step program by joining them.
Speaking about your problems in groups are called group therapy. It works with many people sitting in a circle and rotating who talks and get the groups to focus. Group therapy works excellent because he shares awareness about his problems when explaining it out loud. The other people will very often resonate with the person sharing.
Many people who struggle with addictions believe they are alone with their problems. What they come to realize in group therapy, is that they are part of a Community. People know they are not that unique because many have similar experiences. The realization that you are not alone releases a lot of stress, and it feels safe to be part of a community with like-minded people.
To acknowledge you are helpless
This acknowledgement is a huge first step. As many addictive people believe they can control their disease, which they can not. By admitting you are helpless, you are placing yourself in a humble position. And you are now more open and ready for learning and growth.
This is the same as in other fields. If you believe you know everything when you, in reality, know nothing, there is not much room for growth. One of the success factors of the 12 step program is about removing the ego. This is reflected in the belief that something greater than yourself, will guide and help you out of the addictions.
Saying sorry to people you have hurt
Having hurt people causes a lot of guilt. Carrying a lot of guilt feels painful; it weights you. Saying sorry to people you have hurt and ask for their forgiveness helps a lot. Saying sorry to people have a substantial releasing effect, and it does not matter if the people you say sorry to will forgive you or not. You are doing it for your own sake, and if you get forgiveness, it is viewed as a bonus.
Forgive the people who have hurt you
If you deserve mercy from others, others deserve compassion from you. This step is about seeking the people who have hurt you. Explain to them how they have hurt you. This is a very vulnerable thing to do. Then you say to the person that you forgive them. You go to see every person that there is the rationale for doing this with. The rule here is that you only seek people if this will lead to more harmony. If it leads to more chaos, then you drop pursuing this person.
Strive for being a better person
With more insight, you can build a better character. Every human has flaws in them, but with a lot of group therapy and self-awareness, you can erase bad habits. Being interested in being a better person is also about what you can do for others. An example of this is to be a better father: a better husband, a better friend or a better employee. The mentioned examples involve other people and are therefore great goals to aim for. The final step in the 12 step program fit this principle as well, as it is about passing on the knowledge you have learned to other people.
If you liked this post and want to share what you have learned,- pass on the knowledge to a friend or someone you think would find interesting.