Behind the Addiction

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Behind the Addiction

There is a fine line between enjoying something and having to have it. It s great to enjoy good company, sex, food, wine, etc (add those things that you personally enjoy). And there's nothing wrong with having lots of money -- and having a wonderful time spending it! The trouble begins when you have to have any of these to be happy, feel successful or complete.

The word addiction comes from the Latin "addictus" which means "given over," "one awarded to another as a slave." So addiction is the state in which one is a slave to something. Traditionally the word has been reserved for such things as drugs (street or medical), alcohol, nicotine, caffeine etc. -- anything that creates a chemical dependency. More recently the common usage of the word addiction has come to include just about anything one could become a slave to.

The underlying question is, "How does one become a slave to anything?"

If we can answer that, then, maybe, we can find a solution to the problem of addictions.

There are those who believe that one becomes addicted as the result of something that happens or is done to the individual.

And in many cases it looks as though this is true. How about a baby whose mother is a drug addict? How about the child who is sexually molested or beaten by their parents?

Personally I believe that we do have freedom of choice. If one looks at it from a karmic viewpoint (which I do), then underlying anything that happens to a person there will be the decision that the individual makes which allows that thing to happen.

This may not be a particularly popular view. Many would prefer to think that they can go to the doctor and get a "quick fix" (which, ironically, is often an addictive medical drug) or to some other professional who will handle things for them.

The only problem with this is that is does not work! Maybe a person will get some temporary relief, such as with the use of medical drugs. But not a real, lasting solution.

The only real solution is for the individual to change the decision that got the person into the addiction, or slave-like condition, in the first place.

Now, this is easier said than done! What if the original decision is buried deep in the sub-conscious, or even possibly stems from another lifetime?

To get at the decision may require professional help.

Short of that, you can try the following:

Write down the addiction or slave-like condition that you wish to change.
Write down a list of possible decisions that would explain how a person could get into such a situation.
Review that list of possible decisions and see which one fits your case best.
Now, take a look at that decision and ask yourself if that decision is still valid or not.
Assuming that it is not still valid, figure out what decision would be appropriate to replace it.
Now, ask yourself if you can truly make the new decision?
If yes, fine. If no, then you are going to have to figure out what is preventing you. Keep working at it until you truly can make the new decision.
Repeat the new decision to yourself often. Use whatever methods work for you to reinforce it. Some may wish to repeat it out loud. Others may write the decision on cards and put the cards around in places where they will be a continual reminder. Others may prefer to use visualization: create a mental picture of the results of their new decision.
I am not claiming the above as a total solution to addictions. But it is very difficult to handle an addiction in the face of an underlying decision to be addicted!

The next step is to break down the habit of the addiction. This is not easy. But then, if it were easy, the person probably wouldn't be addicted in the first place!

Realistically it takes time to break down an old habit and replace it with a new one. So allow yourself plenty of time -- otherwise you risk setting yourself up for a loss. Ever tried to quit smoking and fall? Or go on a crash diet and then regain all the weight?

Take time to observe the habit. Become friends with it. Study it. What need does the habit satisfy? What else would satisfy those same needs?

It may be helpful at this point to write down a list of options: ways you could possibly change the habit. Then ask yourself whether there is anything on your list you feel you could actually implement and live with. There is no point in even attempting to implement a change unless you really believe you can live with it.

Now we come to action. If you are not quite sure of the best approach, feel free to experiment. In this way you do not set yourself up for a loss if you fail. Find small ways of breaking the habit. When you have found small ways, use them and allow plenty of time to establish a new habit. This can take anything from weeks to months. Keep finding more small ways of breaking the habit. And as you introduce these small changes, make sure you can live with them comfortably.

This may not be the fastest approach to handling addictions but it is certainly one of the more workable, except in the case of true chemical dependencies which require professional help. The less life-threatening slave-like conditions respond well.

An alternative approach is to put your attention on something else.

During the Second World War, a study done in England showed that the number of people suffering from psychosomatic (mentally caused) disorders decreased dramatically. The reason presumably was that people had something more important to put their attention on!

So, what you may need is a new job or hobby, a new challenge, a new relationship, or even a new belief system that will really grab your attention.

Perhaps the most important thing is the belief that you can do something about it -- and that actually is the truth!

Altnewtimes Inc.

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By David Findlay

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