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Drug Addiction: How To Slay Your Goliath
My purpose is not to tell you it is easy to quit a bad habit. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. When I think of someone fighting a drug or alcohol addiction, I am often reminded of the Bible story of David and Goliath, a fight against all odds. Drug and alcohol addiction comes like a thief in the night. It is a slave master and trust me, it does not discriminate. Like quicksand, often times you realize there is a problem when it is too late. Sure, someone can come along with a branch or a rope but you are the one who must do the work of pulling yourself out. Statistically, help is only sought when a person hits rock bottom, when all your troubles seem to peak at once. When this happens there is usually a moment of clarity when all the guilt rushes in and overwhelms you, thus forcing you to take a closer look at your life. It is the authors opinion that drug and alcohol addiction is a spiritual disease. I have heard people say, in relation to addiction, that they are spiritually bankrupt. This makes sense to me because I believe happiness comes to a person when the mind, body and spirit are all working in harmony with each other. I also believe that personal growth comes when our physical appetites are under control. One way to grow is to do everything in moderation. Too much of one thing, no matter what it is, can produce negative results. For the purpose of this article I will list three ways we can overcome addiction, namely, (1) Admitting we have a problem, (2) Come to believe there is a power greater than ourselves that can heal us and restore our sanity and, (3) Complete a list of those whom we have harmed and make amends to that individual. These three steps are part of the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and any credit goes to that organization. The author of this article would like to expound upon these principles for the purpose of helping to educate others. Because we are talking about alcohol and drug abuse, some in AA may contend that drugs should have no part in these discussions. With respect to those who hold this opinion I would like to state my view. These steps are what I like to call universal steps or universal laws. If we take each individual case and trace it to its core root, or problem, I believe these universal steps will be applicable to all cases whether the person is using drugs or alcohol to self medicate.
Admitting There is a Problem
This is the first, most fundamental step we must take. We admit we have a problem, that we are powerless and that our lives have become unmanageable. Usually this reality comes to light after one hits bottom and the hard truth about our addiction presents itself. There are a few things going on when we admit we have a problem. First, we are being honest with ourselves. Second, a degree of humility starts to take shape. Our honesty with ourselves, no matter how hard it is, can empower us in ways we never imagined. It is the first step in a long journey. Every natural instinct we have cries out against admitting our personal powerlessness. This is because our ego has a tendency of getting in the way, if we allow it to. We can start the road to recovery only when we are humble enough to admit that we have a problem.
Power Greater Than Ourselves
Working on the premise that this is a spiritual problem (or disease), one can naturally come to the conclusion that there is a spiritual answer. Coming to believe in a power greater than ourselves is a key component to recovery. One powerful tool we can utilize to our advantage is the power of prayer. Prayer, mixed with faith can do wonders for anyone in troubled waters. It is my testimony that there is a God, he loves each and every one of us, and he does answer our prayers. A lot of times prayers are answered through other people. When we are looking for answers to our prayers it would be wise to keep an open mind because answers can and do come from situations and people we would least expect. May I also be so bold as to suggest a daily prayer regimen? In the case of addiction I believe daily prayer can only strengthen our resolve. The afflicted soul needs much nourishment. Prayer mixed with faith offers such nourishment. In your prayers, admit your weakness, express your gratitude, and ask for help. One might say there is nothing to be grateful for and I would say that is rubbish. For starters, be grateful you are still alive, for your family, for everything. When we honestly and prayerfully contemplate what we are grateful for, we will find many reasons to express our gratitude.
List of People & Amends
Addiction has a lot to do with being a selfish person. When we are in recovery and looking back on our lives, we often see a train wreck with multiple victims. We caused the train wreck and left miles of devastation and destruction. Usually, when we are using drugs and alcohol we fail to see the carnage at the time of the wreck. When we get sober and are forced to look back on our past behavior it can be a horrible, guilt ridden experience. Nevertheless, looking back and reflecting is something that has to be done. On the road to recovery we must take responsibility for our actions and make amends whenever the situation calls for it. This will consist of making a list of everyone we have harmed. Once we have our list, the next step is to make amends to the individuals on our list and repair what damage has been done. This is about making right, whatever you did wrong. It is a process of forgiveness, a process of healing. One cannot expect sobriety while this emotion of guilt is looming over their conscience. These issues must be resolved first. This is an extreme measure in our recovery but it cannot be overlooked.
In closing I would like to state that there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle of recovery and this article only touches on a few. For more information click here to visit the website for Alcoholics Anonymous. Also, if you are a friend or relative of someone who has a problem you can visit the Al-Anon help website here. If you feel more comfortable with Narcotics Anonymous please click here. Millions of people are suffering every day. The good news is that there is help available. There is hope, no matter who you are or what you have done. Don't ever give up. I invite you to come in out of the rain and get help.