“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 shadow

Addictive behaviors and compulsive habits happen because we become stuck – psychologically and physiologically – in conditioned ways of behaving. Learning about the underlying pain that leads to addiction, is the way out.

“Passion creates, addiction consumes.” ~ Gabor Mate, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction.

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 and communities.  Reaching out to an addiction rather than a valued partner or friend only generates a new cycle of avoidance and isolation, making it 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. The attempt to escape from pain, is what creates more pain once an addiction is firmly in place.

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, fear, stress, and shame. We are not always aware of our more primary underlying emotions.

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

Healing from addictions always involves healing the underlying causes rather than using willpower to say, gamble online less.  Once the core issues are explored, worked with, and supported with therapeutic tools of consciousness and 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 behaviors.

Learning more about the underlying problems is the key; seasoned and skillful ongoing support to work with it, is the path. Want to learn more? I’d be happy to talk.

“Sometimes you can only find Heaven by slowly backing away from Hell.” – Carrie Fisher

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.