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  • Writer's pictureCarol Williard van Ginkel

Overcoming Addiction: Insights and Steps Towards a Healthier Life

I have heard it said that you can’t solve the problem with the same mind that created it.  That is why we all need support when it comes to dealing with an addiction.  It seems so easy. Why can’t we just quit?  Why can’t saying “no” stick? 

 

The Paradox of Addiction: Caught in a Destructive Cycle


To be addicted means one is stuck in it.  It’s like a bad relationship: you can’t live with it, and you can’t live without it.  You just can’t seem to stop going down the same old path that you know isn’t good for you, but it is so familiar, and the payoff is so good! Being hooked seems to be an ingrained part of you, so much so that you believe the negative behavior is who you are.  You believe you are hopelessly stuck and will neve be able to escape it, so you resign yourself to settling for half a life.  You can see it in your own face if you dare to look closely enough.

  

Desperation as a Turning Point: Embracing the Gift of Rock Bottom


This is the kind of dilemma my clients are burdened with that finally turns to me in quiet desperation. They do not yet realize their desperation is a gift. It is what they call “hitting bottom” in 12-step programs. Once one hits the bottom of despair, they can either reach for help or perish.  That is why desperation is a gift. It is the beginning of the end of an old life of despair.  It is the prequel to a hopeful life going forward.


The Power of Honesty and Willingness in Recovery


 All it takes is the ability to be honest with oneself about the problem, willing to take some contrary action and the ability to follow directions, enough of an open mind to consider that there is something new to be learned, and enough humility to set aside one’s ego when the going gets rough. It is only important to surrender to something outside yourself, whatever you want to call that power. 


A Step-by-Step Approach: Practical Steps to Recovery


That can seem like a tall order at times, but only at times. It is not all the time. This approach to stopping employs a lot of common sense.  The answers are not where you think they are hiding. It is a simple step-by-step program for complicated people.  It is concrete and doable. 


conclusion: Choosing to Stop Before It's Too Late


So, where is your bottom?  A more relevant question that might help you save your own life is: how bad does your use of nicotine have to get before you realize where you are headed? Nicotine is not your friend. It is an equal opportunity destroyer. It is poison, used as an insecticide.  The time to stop is now before it destroys your body even more.  Too harsh?  Consider ignoring the evidence, only to confront it later…




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