Addiction whether it be to alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, spending money or food, to name a few, is ultimately a maladaptive behaviour that has emerged in response to an inability to manage deeply rooted fears and anxiety and low self-worth. Unfortunately what starts as a way to soothe our anxiety, numb our pain, make us feel better about ourselves or quiet the screaming voices in our heads, ends up becoming a pattern of behaviour that can be very hard to overcome.
Stephanie Dowrick in her book ‘Choosing Happiness – Life and Soul Essentials’,has this to say about addiction:
” An addiction reflects a fundamental attitude that whatever you are addicted to is more powerful than you are, and that your fears, anxieties or limitations could not be eased or supported in any other way. Challenge this attitude and the beliefs that arise from it, and you may find the addiction itself begins to look different.”
I am definitely not saying addiction is easy to overcome. I have personal experience in this area and it is absolutely not. Most people will require professional assistance to help them understand what the driving force behind their addiction is, and then how to start to reprogram their mind to change their behaviours. What I am saying though, is that you can begin that journey towards freedom by reminding yourself daily that you are more powerful than your addiction and that the emotional distress that led to your addictive pattern can be soothed by means other than your vice of choice.
Small steps forward. That is all that is required. Rome wasn’t built in a day 🙂