Can you think of something you indulge in, even though you know it isn’t good for you? It could be a relationship, a drink, a repetitive thought, something you do with your body, or your money, or really anything you do while knowing it is doing more harm than good.
I appreciate Tommy Rosen’s simple definition of “addiction.”
“An addiction is any behavior you continue to do, despite the fact it brings negative consequences into your life.”
Here are my thoughts, on my relationship with addiction…
My addiction was a powerful force that climbed into my young body and hijacked my thoughts and intentions, in order to carry out its very own will. A will which was (and is) separate from mine. Its intentions became my actions. At some point, I had become entirely submerged in the corrosive behavior, and it had become a major part of my identity – at least secretly.
In the early years of my addiction to alcohol, I didn’t acknowledge that it was an addiction. I thought that I didn’t engage with it often enough or heavy enough for it to seem like a big deal, or at least that’s what I told myself. The truth is, shortly after my first drinks, I quickly recognized the potential magnitude of the addiction’s willpower.
It was a mighty force, separate from my true Self; something unwanted, that I thought would probably go away… later of course. I could feel the irresistible will of my addiction so deeply within, that I began to feel like I was the impostor; I was the addiction – the addiction was me.
My addiction was (and is) a predatory force that manipulated its way into my consciousness. It convinced my mind to turn against my better judgment. So much so, that my polluted thoughts would override my body’s actions, forcefully smothering my intuitive Self which would have otherwise, behaved in my favor. At several points, I recognized this was happening, but couldn’t seem to stop it – again, and again.
My addiction was the puppeteer and I, it’s puppet. It pulled the strings, and my body carried out the dangerous will of my master.
In the mid-years of addiction, I recognized, and finally at least admitted to myself, that my drinking was “a problem.” However, by that point, I was pretty good at ignoring the obvious and had arranged my life to suit my behavior. So it continued.
Year after year, the predatory hijacker orchestrated an abusive relationship between my mind and my better judgment, and it continued to stock me throughout every aspect of my life.
I consciously and unconsciously, created opportunities to engage with it; setting up my relationships, jobs, social activities, and so on, to allow for my addiction to flourish. I thought I was consuming alcohol, but the alcohol was consuming me.
Meanwhile, my intuition, being the essence of love and the voice of my higher Self, called for me to seek salvation in love; love for my well being and my own intentions, which I had clearly lost sight of.
In my later years of addiction, I secretly surrendered to the label as an alcoholic. Internally, I identified with this toxic behavior, claiming it as mine. Even after years of face-to-face combat with this predator, I couldn’t seem to let it go. It was impossible to imagine myself without it. I mean, my God, what emotions would I feel? I couldn’t imagine the answer to this question, and especially in the last years of addiction, I honestly didn’t want to know.
I was curious though, if I were to detach from this behavior, what would my daily life be like? Who would I be without this attachment?
To know that you’re voluntarily doing something against your own will, is terrifying.
It’s confusing. I learned that it’s possible to succumb to toxic thought and behavior so regularly, that it becomes easier to put down the fighting gloves, and simply submit to it entirely. I stopped resisting the temptation, I called addiction by its name, and I accepted it as mine. I allowed it to penetrate even deeper into the essence of who I thought I was.
It is at the point of submission to such a toxic force, where the greatest and most tragic disconnect is found; the tragic disconnect between you and your potential.
I surrendered my potential, to the polluted addiction.
It’s a battle between good and evil; the higher Self versus addiction, and I was in the middle, responsible for deciding between the two. While in addition, I indulged in the polluted waters of the mind, eventually drowning out the voice of my own heart; the voice of my intuition.
Yet, every day I could hear my intuition calling on me to have mercy, and to return to my authentic Self.
I wanted to know who I could become if I were free to express my potential.
For me, like most addicts, sobriety was a journey I avoided. Primarily because I was filled with apathy towards outcomes (which was how I drown in addiction in the first place.) I honestly didn’t think it made a difference whether or not I got drunk, again… for the fourteenth night in a row. Tomorrow would still come. So screw it, “que sera sera,” whatever will be, will be.
I had spent a decade of my life drinking carelessly and excessively.
It took a traumatic, irreversible tragedy, for me to realize that how I spend each and every day, does in fact matter.
It matters because every day spent absent in drunkenness, is a day I don’t connect to my highest potential. Every day spent absent in drunkenness, is a day where I’m not developing values, nor honoring my intuition, nor respecting and appreciating this gift called life.
I’m blessed to have finally recognized that I owe it to myself and those whom I love, to learn from life every single day, so that I can be the best version of myself during the good times, and during the times when my strength, presence, and wisdom are needed most.
So, on a daily basis, I devote myself to aligning my actions with the will of my intuition.
I’m fortunate I realized that if I am to be a good wife, sister, friend, daughter, and so on, I need to protect myself from my addiction. I surrendered to a power far greater than my puppeteer, and much greater than myself. I surrendered to my intuition, which lovingly holds my hand as it guides me into grace. I finally woke up. I finally recognized that every single day is an opportunity to learn and grow, and I have accepted that gift with humility.
It’s worth mentioning that addiction manifests in various forms: alcohol, drugs, possessions, thought patterns, food, money, and relationships are the big ones. If you’re facing addiction, I encourage you to seek sources outside yourself.
The moment you announce to others the intention of making a change, your identity shifts from someone in denial, to someone empowered.
Here are some resources I found (and still find) helpful for a sober life. If you need them, may they help you as well.