When we become addicted to anything we give up our power and control, therefore the problem is the obsession.
Addicted? So what is your poison?
Heroin, Jack Danial’s, Sex club’s, Swingers bar’s, Cocaine, Lord and Taylor, Walmart, 7-Eleven, Wife-swapping…?
Do you enjoy the feeling you feel when you are letting your addiction run free?
Or does it make you feel nauseous to think about it now? This means does the actual drug, shopping, or sex cause an uneasy feeling or does the feeling come from how the drugs make you act? My belief is the money spent, the time away from family or the horrid things you had to do to get your fix are the real causes of that nausea.
I co-facilitated an Early Recovery Group at work last week and the intern I was with said to the group that they must “FEAR and Hate their Drug of Choice.” This didn’t go over well with me. As you know or will know I did heroin for the majority of my life and I did many ugly things each day to make sure I fulfilled my 24 plus bag a day habit. The amount of dope I shot depended on the amount of money I made, but I needed at least 24- 30 bags a day to function.
I do not do heroin today, but I love Heroin! If I could do a bundle right now without repercussions I would not think twice. I know that I cannot do this, so I don’t entertain the idea. I do not fear or hate dope, I respect the hell out her!
To me, Heroin is my Black Widow and every time I consummate my union with her, she, in her own way, kills and eats me!
So the problem is obsession and cravings. I cannot do the drug one time because I obsess and crave until I do it again and again and again…When science has developed a way to shut off the receptors for cravings and obsessive thought I will stand in line for the implant.
What the intern said is a fact of many clinicians in the substance clinicians who do not suffer from obsessive-compulsive personality disorders. It is pretty basic and quite simple. My question to my intern was,
” How can you tell a person to start hating something he loved as a way to cope with his addiction?”
She looked at me confused, so I continued with, “A person begins to do something new for fun, experience or exploration. Like smoking pot, drinking a beer, masturbating, shopping in unique clothing boutiques… Correct?”
“The person is obsessive compulsive and a pattern develops, or the person starts to do these things when they feel sad or rejected or abused. Following me?”
In the end, the experience or behavior becomes the problem. The person no longer needs to feel a certain way to want to feel the effects of whatever they are addicted too. Right?”
“So they seek help to stop the behavior and it works, but whatever the person chose to do to escape a feeling or to feel a certain way is not the actual problem. This is why it is easy to become addicted to a new substance. When you tell me that I have to hate heroin I get upset. Heroin is not the problem. My inability to use heroin without obsession is the problem.
The compulsive behavior is the problem, therefore it is important to understand cravings, triggers, and urges.
Let me try a different approach. The addiction is sex or masturbation. If I was to employ your theory, I would have to hate sex and masturbation. What? No! That is silly. Sex is not bad, evil, or the problem. The problem is my inability to engage in sexual encounters without obsessively feeling the need to have more sex or I compulsively think about sex now that I have engaged in sexual intercourse or I feel the need to masturbate several times throughout the day to
The problem is my inability to engage in sexual encounters without obsessively feeling the need to have more sex. Maybe the problem compulsively thinking about sex after sexual intercourse and to not feel comfortable until the need to have sex again is fulfilled. Maybe engaging in sexual activity causes a person to masturbate compulsively throughout the day.
Does this make more sense?
What? No! That is silly. Sex is not bad, evil, or the problem. Bad sex is a problem : (
The actual problem is the inability to engage in sexual encounters without obsessively feeling the need to have more sex or to now have all thoughts to be concerned with the next sexual encounter.
Does this make more sense?
Shopping works the same way. Shopping is not the problem. People have to shop to function in society. The problem is spending every dime and maxing out credit cards to feel better about yourself.
Therefore it is important that the message sent reflects the problem. The problem is addictive behavior and thought patterns causing cravings and obsessive thinking. It is important to not allow our prejudice to misconstrue our message.
I personally would not hear another word you spoke if you were to tell me I had to hate something I loved. The reason that some people find themselves in recovery is not always the same and it is important to not alienate a person. I would hear the message best if the craving and obsessive thinking were attacked and not the drug or experience because there is still a connection to my drug of choice.
When in a position that educates or engages a person to change you must not display prejudice of the behavior. Never use demeaning comments towards another’s negative behavior or impulses that are to be changed.
How does it make you feel when someone tells you that you must give up what it is you love?
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