“I wish I could show you,
when you are lonely or in darkness,
the astonishing light of your own being.”  ~ Hafiz

rocking horse and its shadowAddiction is the state of being compulsively and physiologically enslaved to a habit-forming substance or act.  Compulsions happen because we become stuck in conditioned ways of behaving.  Without the necessary internal tools that allow us to flexibly adapt to a constantly changing outer world, we tend to grasp outside of ourselves for any means of support.  Over time, people risk developing a more intimate relationship with their addictions and compulsions than with their partner,  friends, and relatives.  Reaching out to a disordered addiction rather than a valued partner or friend only generates a new cycle of avoidance and isolation, making it even more difficult to get help as time passes.

Freedom from any addiction starts with the awareness that the addictive behaviors are not the real problem. 

Addictive substances and ongoing compulsive behaviors are merely the tools one learns to use in order to cope with underlying sources of discontent.  These feelings are usually tied to more primary emotions of depression, anxiety, stress, and shame.

Destructive behaviors can also be tied to the often distorted and negative stories we learn to tell about ourselves.  Finally, behaviors can be linked to years of habit and conditioning.  They become extremely difficult to change without some form of toolset and daily, ongoing support to help us think, act, and function in a more conscious and supported way.

Judgment has no place in the treatment of addictions.  Understanding and skillful help does.

Healing from addictions always involves healing the underlying problems.  Once the core issues are explored, worked with, and supported with therapeutic tools of personal growth, there can begin a radical shift in increasing self-esteem and overall psychological health.  Slowly, steadily, and with emerging clarity there can now be a reclaiming of the authentic parts of the self that are free from compulsive behavior.

Learning more about the underlying problems is the key; seasoned ongoing support to work with it, is the path.

Dependencies often stems from a desire to block the pain that exists in certain parts of the self, or to feel in total control, to feel safe.  Recovery begins the process of learning how to gently take apart and tolerate those tucked-away, painful parts,such that one can begin to create a life that finally works.

Call me at 925.520.5263 or email me to see if we might be a good fit for your concerns.  I’m here, and I care.