The Affliction of Addiction

Addiction is a nasty bug and once it gets its hooks in you it refuses to let go.  Add in the ego which thrives on weakness, and you have a lethal dose of insanity.  As the genius Albert Einstein reminded us many moons ago, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”  Many people have the misconception that ego is full of confidence and direction but it is quite the contrary.  Ego is  an insecure  little child who wants what he wants and will stop at nothing to claim the attention that he craves.  Often, attention one never received in his formative years.  This starvation reaches toward outer avenues to feed the hunger.  The mind trains itself (fostered by ego) to think that if I take that drink, or have sex, or eat that hot fudge sundae,  or purge, all my problems will go away.  Any of you stuck in this cycle know that it is, once again, a trick of the mind and a temporary fix that only gets worse and more chaotic down the road.  When you wake up from your inflicted numbing your problems are still there and you’ve only created more problems feeding your addiction.  How much energy does it take to cover your tracks?  How much chaos have you created along the way?  How many loved ones have you hurt keeping up with your craving?  How much hurt have you inflicted upon yourself?  There is hope.  All this energy put into feeding this monster can be redirected and geared toward healthy choices in your life.

It has been said that you remain stagnate at the age you were when you first started using your “drug.”  Growth cannot, and will not, occur until you get clean and mature with the tools you need to recover and claim a healthier lifestyle.  The first step is admitting you have a problem.  That is when humility steps up and pushes ego aside.  The second step is reaching out and asking for help.  There are many rehabilitation facilities and programs to assist you in staying on your course to sobriety.  The third step is staying on your course, one day at a time.  There is a better life for you if you take these steps and stay with it.  This I can promise you.  Allow Spirit to guide you, step outside of yourself, have faith, and your hope will not be lost.

Below are the 12 steps followed by many programs dealing with addiction.  The steps were developed by Sam Shoemaker and Bill Wilson, originally printed in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, back in 1939.  It has saved more lives  than can be counted.

The 12 Steps

  • Step 1We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable
  • Step 2Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
  • Step 3Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God
  • Step 4Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
  • Step 5Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
  • Step 6Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
  • Step 7Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings
  • Step 8Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all
  • Step 9Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
  • Step 10Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it
  • Step 11Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out
  • Step 12Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs

6 thoughts on “The Affliction of Addiction

  1. Cindy,

    This is great!
    It is filled with so much wonderful information and Truth!

    I love the part about how we are the age that we were when we first start becoming addicted to what ever it is that we attach to.

    I have seen this with many people that have passed through my life!

    This regression is by far one of the worst parts of addictions as they don’t “‘see” that this is how they are acting.
    In turn, they continue on the path of self destruction.

    Everything you wrote and pointed out is beyond helpful for all those who suffer from addictions!

    I know this will help heal those who read this!

    Thank you Cindy for this post!


  2. Addictions=self-abuse. It is like the snake with its tail in its mouth…the circle goes on and on. First the choice to take it, drink it, or do it. Then the guilt, and relief of being guilty, feeling then that they are “good” because they have a conscience. Then internal pain grows to a point and the justification/externalization takes over…”if so and so hadn’t” or “he/she made me do it” or “I am so misunderstood”.The rationalizations sound so real to the addict and the addiction is so justisfied…that the whole scenario continues on. Thoughts=choices=behavior.

    Spirit resides in heart…listen.

  3. When I was an emotional eater it finally occured to me that I was feeling sad about over eating instead of allowing myself to feel sad about whatever was really bothering me- which was what was causing me to overeat in the first place. What do they call that… displacement? Anyway, when I made this distinction it was really the beginning of my recovery. When we cover what we are feeling sad about with food, dugs and alcohol etc it’s like a bandaid and after our “fix” has worn off what is left? The same thing that made you eat or drink etc in the first place. It didn’t go away- and we feel even worse because of the self abuse we did to ourselves trying to cover it.

    Another great post Cynthia. I like the clarification about the ego too. Thanks!

  4. Thank you everyone for your honest, insightful comments on this topic! I’m sure your words and experiences are helping many as they read this. It is amazing what we learn as we live life…wisdom does come if we LISTEN. Addiction has effected so many people, whether it be the addict, friends, family…we all know someone hit with this frustrating, controlling affliction. May those of you in this position gather the strength to stand up and claim your life. There is hope. There is help. Reach out today, you won’t be disappointed. The sun really does shine at the end of this dark tunnel.

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