UNDERSTANDING THE ADDICTIVE DISORDER:
Robert Frank Mittiga Recovery Coach AUSTRALIA
To understand the addictive disorder, you need to understand that an addictive illness can be physical, mental, and emotional. Whether or not it is one or all of the three, it is always spiritual. Substances, people, behaviours, etc. are merely symptoms of a much deeper and perverse soul sickness. An addiction is something that gives a person an immediate sense of feeling whole, even though many claim to enjoy the side effects, the real sense of seeming pleasure comes from the immediate gratification and or distraction from reality they achieve with any given symptom.
Addiction recovery is not a system that changes the effects of the substance, but rather heals the person in a way that their new sense of reality is that they do not need anything or anyone to feel whole, complete, and content with life. Many people with an addictive personality disorder will shift their attention from one substance to another, and what usually transpires is that they become addicted to poly-substance abuse. Once the initial high or effect is achieved, they will go to the point of overdose to try and experience that feeling again, and the results are always disappointing. People will go to some outrageous extremes and expense, only to find what they want isn’t there.
Alcohol for example, is a sedative, depressant anesthetic drug, which puts the brain to sleep from the front to the back, and no matter how much of you drink, the euphoria is very temporary, and the central nervous system depression (hangover) is the only thing that lasts. Then the insane craving for more leads to untold disasters. The same is pretty much true for any substance, belief, behavior, attitude or whatever a person uses to achieve the initial high, no matter how much of the substance or behavior they apply to their lifestyle, they never get that initial feeling again. People become disillusioned that they didn’t take enough, or didn’t use enough of the symptom substance and consequently overdose.
Recovery is first about abstinence and a time of withdrawal from the addiction of choice. The person must then find a new sense of wholeness, so that reversion back to the false sense of well being is not sought in the addictive items of choice. There are a variety of options available to someone with an addictive personality disorder to recover a sense of dignity, identity and purpose in life that will make further addictive behaviors unnecessary.
The first step to recovery is to understand what the substances/behaviours, etc. are, what they actually do or don’t do, and then realize that what one wants in their life cannot come from these items, simply because they don’t provide those effects.
Then one needs to discover something that empowers them to resist the lure of old patterns. Twelve Step groups use a “Higher Power” or God to give them the spiritual stamina to remain abstinent, and the guidance to realize that all that is needed for a person to be whole and well is within them. It’s finding a new sense of self that makes a person feel comfortable in their own skin without a perceived need to add something to that persona that wasn’t already there.
It’s important to take an honest look at the past and see what the effects of the addiction were, and the damage caused to self and others, and feel genuine remorse as well as an honest desire to set things straight with their universe. Self-reliance along with interdependence on others is a healthy relationship with one’s universe. As people clean up their side if the street, they feel a sense of spiritual pride, which replaces the false high they sought from addictive behaviors.
As people begin to develop a sense of character and confidence, they find no need to revert back to old ways of doing things. The majority of addicts will recidivate at least twice in the first couple of years in recovery, but many do continue to work on their new way of life until they achieve some long term abstinence coupled with a recovery of a life they will be unwilling to trade for the instant gratification of an addictive illness.
The single largest ingredient in the success formula of the recovery programs that i use, is working with others, and becoming both a support system and role model for people who are new to recovery. This gives a person yet another strength they need to enjoy freedom from addiction. Most people who gain the values, habits, attitudes and beliefs of a well person will not return to the old way of living. They may have some emotional relapses into old behaviours and habits over time, but they will also have acquired the skills to stop the day and start over whenever needed to retain their recovery.
If you or someone you LOVE is in the grips of ADDICTION, call us TODAY 0439 399 809