Thus, you are confirming your own beliefs: i am weak, i am a loser, i am a burden. And, possibly: people don’t understand me. The world is against me.
You will not see this spiral and its effects in full clarity until you step out of it. And stepping out of it seems hard, because you are so involved! Naturally, you believe what you are seeing: you are weak. Where on Earth would you find the strength to quit the thing that is easing the pain for you?
This is where self love and trust come in. Be prepared to give up control of your fortress and start talking to (who you think is) the enemy.
In stead of moving away, go exactly where it hurts the most. Watch and listen carefully.
You will start meeting a part of your psyche that longs to be seen, actually, recognized, finally, for its needs. Listen and deep inside you will find a voice that desperately wants to be heard. Be with it, lovingly, and let its energy be expressed. Let it rage, tremble, kick, cry out. Share, if possible, with someone who is willing to listen without judgment. It’s not you, it’s a voice. It just wants to be heard.
If you manage to do this, you have found the place in you from where you can heal. This is the place in you that you can trust. And so can others, as they will start to see in due time. This is from where you allow space for anything to come up, for old stories to emerge, for old wounds to heal. Anything can exist in this space, even the harshest judgments you hold about yourself.
Do you love yourself?
It’s an awesome feeling if you can look in the mirror and truly find your closest friend looking back at you, smiling a knowing and supportive smile. Does your mirror show a true friend?
Sadly, your answer may very well be “no” or “i don’t know”. Do you feel how sad this is? Then feel the sadness, explore it for a bit. And notice: whoever is feeling sad, must care at least a little bit about your wellbeing, right?
When healing your addiction, feeling love for yourself will be essential. If you don’t feel it, this is the first thing you need to work on. Be prepared to see the darkest parts of you and still in your heart put a loving arm around yourself. Ask people to support you when you can not do it on your own.
Do you trust yourself?
If you are addicted (or worried about your use or attachments) you can’t really trust your own behavior, can you? After all, you will make promises and break them. You may lie and steal to fulfill your needs. You may set your goals and then change your mind, over and over. You will place the blame outside of yourself. You may manipulate people into doing or believing what you want them to.
You simply can not trust this part of you that believes it is (being) limited and in need of stuff, a shot, a partner. Behavioral patterns (including thoughts and emotions) are strong. They are strengthened with repetition and you have given them lots and lots of food over the course of your addicted lifetime. These thoughts and behaviors wake up easily. In my personal experience, the voices of addiction can not be trusted. Especially when making promises or finding excuses.
But here’s the good news: even if you can not trust your personal thoughts, wishes and behavior in any given moment, there is a force that is far greater than you which is worth every ounce of trust. When this force starts living through you, it ignites infinite power in you. It will reveal itself when you start trusting it.
So: YES, I trust you. I trust your infinite potential, your drive towards freedom, your connection into the source of all being, which is pure life force power. I trust your strength, which is boundless, and i trust your ability to break your own chains.
And so should you.
Love yourself. Trust that your thoughts are random and that life force energy, the very power that keeps you breathing and alive, will inspire you and win over any disabling beliefs… if you let it.
Ask for help from people who will support you in holding your commitment to yourself and who will not judge when you slip. If possible, find a buddy you can call at any time. Agree on the kind of support you give each other.
Ditch your addicted friends (at least temporarily) if they are not ready to join you in giving up this behavior. They may be great people (they are!), but their behavior is toxic to you.
Surround yourself with healthy, happy people.
Have a plan. Know what you will do when a craving and compulsive thoughts kick in. This is where you take charge over the ‘old’, conditioned you who is still addicted. Call your buddy, go for a run (don’t bring money), drink a glass of water, make a painting, do household stuff, meditate, Skype mom.
Go for a walk at least once a day. If you can, get a dog. It will give you exercise and an uncomplicated loving relationship.
Be patient with the people closest to you. Don’t be discouraged when they are not ready to trust again. This is your process and it will take as long as it needs. Same goes for them.
Big one: Open up about your process. It will give you clarity and you will be amazed to hear how many people are also struggling with addiction. It’s an amazing experience to go from feeling like a failure to seeing how your experience can help and inspire others.
These are just a few tips. If you have more, please share!
I wrote this post speaking from my own personal experiences with addiction and from those of others who have been open enough to share their stories with me.