Attachments to our addictions run deep. For fear of being wrong, being right, having to change, not being able to change, and more, we desperately clutch to our behaviors. It is as if we feel we are saving ourselves from some disappointment or harm if we choose to heal. Of course, with a clear mind, this all can seem backwards. Addiction is a state of a muddled mind. In an active addiction state, we are cognitively impaired. Our brains have temporarily lost their ability to process information the right way creating a struggle in decision making. Faced with the decision to leave drugs and alcohol behind we find a long list of con’s rather than pro’s. The pro’s seem too simple: health, happiness, friends, family, financial stability, inner peace, life. Speaker, author and life coach Kingsley Grant writes that there are three lies we tell ourselves in moments like these.
First, we tell ourselves we are not worth it. We tell ourselves this by thinking we aren’t good enough to heal. Somehow, along the journey of our using, we became subhuman. Our addiction has made us feel less than those around us. We are full of painful shame and guilt for allowing our addictions to progress to this point without being able to stop; without choosing to stop. There are things we could have done by now that we haven’t done because we are ‘addicts’. Our lack of accomplishment as human beings means we aren’t worth the chance to change. Grant asks us to investigate the source of this defining discrimination. Can we pinpoint where we learned this fact of life or from whom? Likely, our answer will be, “that’s just the way it is.” Soon, we will learn, there is no one such way and courses can always be altered.
Second, we believe we are broken beyond repair. Buying into the timeline of life set forth by governments, corporations, social norms and cultural standards, we decide we no longer fit in. We’ve dropped off the flow and lost direction as to where life should be taking us. One hundred reasons tell us we can’t be helped: our debt is too deep, our addiction is too strong, our families are too hurt, our brains are too broken, our bodies won’t survive the withdrawal. Grant encourages us to consider the story of people who rejuvenated their lives at various stages. We ask ourselves if we honestly believe there is something special about that person compared to us? Remembering we are all human equals on the journey between life and death, we realize, our time is yet to come.
Lastly, we label our desire to get well as ‘selfish’. Addiction is inherently a selfish disease. Self-concerned, self-obsessed, self-conscious…addiction revolves around one person’s needs: the addict’s. Even in the breaking moment when a hand is outstretched, offering to lift us up, we can tell ourselves it would be selfish of us to accept it. After all this time, how could we just now decide to help ourselves? We fear being seen for who we are. More so, we fear being seen for who we aren’t.
By providing proven treatment methods with a foundation of Buddhist principle, ethic, and philosophy, Refuge Recovery seeks to inspire healing of mind, body and spirit. You are worth recovering. It is possible. For more information on our programs of treatment for drug and alcohol addiction call (323) 207-0276