DISMANTLING THE STORY
Addictions are the behavioral, cognitive, and emotional manifestations of debris in the body and mind. While the experience of addiction is often chaotic, confusing, and hurtful, the experience of them does not make you as a person bad. Your addiction is not who you are.
A component of your reality is the relationship you have to the voices in your head. Those voices are forms of thinking. Over time, the voices developed story lines about you, and those stories likely involved a negative emotional relationship to struggles. That narrative is probably shameful, regretful, and fearful, and has contributed to you behaving in compulsive ways to cope with those struggles. This is painful mental and emotional debris. Your addiction is an attempt to address this pain — as ineffective as it may be.
But the pain is a story.
It's not you.
If you have been struggling with addiction, one way to perceive it is as a result of a desperate attempt by your mind and body to alleviate suffering through avoidance and numbing strategies. Your mind and body have become systematically habituated to play out a story of suffering, but addictive behaviors do not alleviate the pain; instead they rehearse the suffering. With the proper tools and information, it is entirely possible for you to make different choices and to move away from those story lines and behaviors. It it also possible to uncover the fact that, since your mind and body have been trying to alleviate suffering, then there must exist a part within you that actually must care a great deal about you.
Because of the worst that you’ve been through, you have the opportunity to pursue an opposite direction. That direction can involve elements of thriving, empathy, and connection. In this way, the traumas, pain, and elements of your addiction have the potential to show you who you really can be because you have seen who you don’t want to be. These elements can become the basis for your new story moving forward.
You don’t have to rehearse familiar suffering.
You can give yourself permission to thrive.
You can discover what it means to live a BETR you.