Quick! What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word "Addiction"? In all probability, you’d think of drug addicts and alcoholics. Perhaps habits like smoking and gambling come to mind, or pornography and food.
Many addictions, like some of the ones above, are commonly heard of. We have either read about or lived through an alcoholic choosing his or her addiction over the well-being of his or her family, but we seldom hear in the news that a person’s total devotion to serving at his or her church may have a detrimental effect on the family he or she is spending little quality time with. However, there are hundreds of other addictions rarely spoken about —things like anger, rage, lying, people pleasing, video games, hoarding, social media, gossip, religion, tanning and fantasizing that, though not as popular in the addiction realm, are as damaging and impossible to control as the ones that society easily points the finger to and labels as unacceptable behavior.
Don’t you dare call me an addict, though! Buying things online because I like shopping for a good deal doesn’t make me an addict! Neither is trying to please people who need help, right? Wrong! I have realized that pretty much anyone who engages in compulsive and routine behavior that he or she finds hard to control or stop despite its negative consequences is an addict.
"Have you ever wondered why you do what you do?"
So, what about you? Are you addicted to anything? Or, put in another way, have you ever wondered why you do what you do, despite the negative impacts of your actions? Have you ever tried abstinence to control your addiction and it hasn't worked, whatever that “addiction might be? I thought so. Addictions, like the warnings on the rearview mirrors of cars, are closer to us than they appear at first look.
At Hope4Life I have learned that the focus of my healing process is neither on the symptoms of my addiction nor on its forceful suppression, but rather in finding the origin of my core emotional deficit common to addictive behavior, like anxiety, shame, worthlessness and guilt, all emotions and feelings that none of us want to feel, even less look into to find their origin and allow that healing to start. Hope4Life has taught me that using other people and things in an attempt to get my emotional needs met will not fulfill any of my true desires.
Nothing that adversely stimulates and excites us can fill the emotional void of what we all really need: LOVE. And no substance or behavior will ever take its place.