Addiction: Self Love and Self Control
During the course of my life, I have been affected in many ways by many people who experienced the loss of self love and self control due to addiction. I have seen everything from my childhood experiences with close family members who struggled with addiction to alcohol and tobacco, to helping someone overcome opiate addiction, to watching a close friend fight alcohol and tobacco addiction until their last breath. That friend told me just two weeks before passing "I know it's killing me but I just can't stop." I watched a loved one experience the DT's as I helped security guards and nurses with physical restraint. Despite having seen the evils of addiction, I am not here to judge. I am here to try and help where I can with those who are ready to receive my message. Addiction to alcohol, tobacco or any other chemical substance is an internal struggle with soulful self love and human self control. The human mind tries to escape from unresolved issues of the past, avoid fears of the future and control emotional responses, while the soul struggles to find unconditional self love and live in the present. Alcohol or chemical addiction disconnects you from who you really are, hiding the soulful essence of your being, allowing your mind to create something you are not. That disconnection from self can result in a loss of inhibitions and poor judgment, as your gut instinct takes a back seat in the decision making process. The most intelligent and reasonable person can become irrational, thoughtless and careless while under the influence. The influence of addiction can cause people to do and say things that are hurtful to those they love, especially themselves. The love of self is still present deep in the soul but it gets pushed aside by the human attachment of addiction. What is addiction? The word addiction means many things to many people and few addicts admit to being addicted. Here is a definition from a one major dictionary: "persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful." Is tobacco use harmful? Just look at the warnings on the package for your answer. Is alcohol harmful? Ask yourself what alcohol does to your behavior and what can happen if you drink too much? Severe illness or even death is a possibility. Alcohol itself is a toxin that must be removed from the body by the internal organs. Are other chemical substances harmful? They can be, or they would not be regulated by law as controlled substances. Addiction is more than a physical need. Addiction is also mental, emotional and spiritual, affecting body, mind and soul. Addiction also impacts the lives of those who know and love the addict for who they really are, as they watch that persons soulful self be pushed aside by the influence of addiction. Family, friends and acquaintances are left to wonder why the addict doesn't love themselves as much as they are loved by others. The big question is, what happened in their body, mind and soul experience that led to the loss of self control? There can be many answers to that question. Honest, soulful introspection can provide the answers but few people are ready, willing and able to reach that deeply into themselves. Fear of what they will find within is often a limiting factor in the pursuit of self knowing. That fear is unfounded because at the very core of your being is only loving energy. The love you were born with and the love you take with you when your time here is over. Finding that self love can enable you to release the addictions and human attachments that are not part of your soulful being. Then you can discover that self control is no longer necessary, because living in the present as a loving being, can overcome the need for control. The following paragraph was contributed by my friend Susanne, a recovering addict who has become highly spiritual being. Anyone can become addicted. If you take a substance long enough and often enough it changes the way your body responds to it. It is the very nature of these substances, including alcohol. The body becomes accustomed to having it to function, therefore you have the physical addiction. The mental addiction follows the physical. However, most addicts have a spiritual malady that feels "broken" if you will. I know that in my case, layers and layers of life, harms towards me and harms caused to others caused a block to the spirit within. We all start out innocent with no intention of becoming alcoholic or addicted to drugs, it happens sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly over years of running from our shadows. At some point, every addict knows they are addicted, whether they say it out loud or not. The spirit within cry's for help, but the physical addition can be very powerful. Willpower will no longer serve us. We drink and use against our own will. We have no choice. It is difficult to comprehend if you've not had the malady. Not taking the drug, not taking the first drink (detoxing physically) can cure the physical craving. The mental obsession, spiritual malady is a little trickier. Finding ones soul under years of self hatred and loathing is often too much for some humans. I believe we do not recover unless we have a psychic change. Something bigger than us, helps us to find our spirit again. Putting us in touch with those who help us on that journey. Helping us to hear our inward cry for relief of a bondage of our own making.