Why Trying To Overcome Addiction Does Not Work

Transcript:

Addiction is a consequence of, it's never the issue in itself.

When you feel stressed, you look for a way to pacify yourself.

And addiction, be it either behavioral addiction or substance addiction, fulfills that purpose.

When you focus on addiction, and when you make a problem out of addiction, you're actually feeding more energy into addiction.

When you focus on addiction, and when you make a problem out of addiction, you're actually feeding more energy into addiction.

You have addiction, and then you have your mind responding, reacting to that addiction of, "I shouldn't be an addict. I should try to overcome that. I shouldn't take any alcohol or take any drugs or continue a certain behavior."

Then you create duality in your mind, you create friction in your mind, and that very friction itself feeds energy into the addiction.

You have to ask yourself the question, why is there addiction? Why am I addicted? Why do I have a need to channel my energy into addiction to pacify myself?

When you can honestly ask yourself that question, you will eventually feel that there are emotional layers that pushes you into addiction. Then you can start to address those emotional issues that give rise to the addiction, be it feeling overwhelmed by a particular trauma, being stuck in a certain situation like a relationship or work environment that you're not happy with, or living in a dysfunctional family.

All of these situations might give rise to addiction, but addiction is never the real core problem. It's a result of something else that lies on a deeper level.

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  • Emelie says:

    I generally appreciate your posts, but with this one I unsubscribe. Clearly, you have not worked a 12 step program yourself, and have no knowledge about the experience. It might turn someone away from programs that actually works, with saving people’s lives, every day, FOR FREE! I am a grateful recovering addict myself, and I have nothing but gratitude for my fellowship. I have been in somatic trauma therapy too, and today that’s still a complement, it never got me clean or kept me clean – which is what is actually saving my life and allowing me to work a program (which includes all the above that you stated is not a part of it..).

    • Caitlan McHenry says:

      Hi, Emelie.
      I appreciated your post. I also am in recovery myself and have participated in the program of AA for almost 7 years now. I have been tremendously pleased with Roland’s knowledge and expertise concerning trauma for several years now and have referred him to a significant number of friends and clients, so I also was slightly disappointed in this post that appeared to carelessly dismiss AA as an incredibly useful option for helping address substance use disorders, establishing a sober support network, and learning how to prevent relapse. 12 step programs work for many folks as much as they don’t work for many folks, so to define them as ineffective is both ignorant of the program and harmful for those in need of dire help. The actual bulk of the program (the sponsorship and step-work) are exactly what help some individuals identify those underlying psychological, emotional, and behavioral concerns that continue to contribute to the addictive cycle itself (e.g., childhood trauma, dysfunctional family systems, boundary concerns, healthy communication issues, abuse, etc.). It’s a fantastic supplement to therapy and other mental health related programs for both believers and non-believers alike. I honestly was a bit confused by the initial blanket assertion that AA doesn’t work for people because there wasn’t much information provided to support the position. Could Roland have meant AA doesn’t work for treating folks with a specific trauma or series of traumas or complex trauma coupled with addiction? Whatever the case, I still believe in Roland’s profound knowledge and expertise, despite my disagreement with his opinion concerning AA (12 step programs have always been controversial after all, and we are all human with our very own subjective experiences!). Here’s to a lifetime of health, happiness, and healing, my fellow recovering friend! I wish you well on your continued journey of recovery.

      • Roland says:

        Hi Caitlan,

        Thank you for your comment.

        I had used this title for this post as I have worked with several individuals who mentioned that AA only brought them up to a certain point into their recovery and that their attempt to overcome addiction became an obstacle in itself. It is that mindset which I tried to highlight with the video. I do agree the title is somewhat inappropriate and I apologize if I have offended you. I have now changed the title to better reflect the subject of this video.

        Thank you for your feedback.

        • Caitlan McHenry says:

          Thank you for your response, Roland. I think you’re a phenomenal human and I appreciate all you do. Thank you, also, for considering another title. It speaks to your compassion for another’s perspective and your capacity to empathize. You’ll continue to be fantastic in my book, sir. Keep doing what you do; you are an absolute life changer.

    • Roland says:

      Hi Emilie,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I had used this title for this post as I have worked with several individuals who mentioned that AA only brought them up to a certain point into their recovery and that their attempt to overcome addiction became an obstacle in itself. It is that mindset which I tried to highlight with the video. I do agree the title is somewhat inappropriate and I apologize if I have offended you. I have now changed the title to better reflect the subject of this video.

      Thank you for your feedback.

  • Sara says:

    With all due respect, I think this article is written with insufficient knowledge and understanding of AA. AA is a program that absolutely treats addiction as a symptom and not a cause. It is seen as the result of a spiritual sickness and members are urged to look at themselves, their lives and their circumstances honestly. This often includes dealing with trauma, for which members are absolutely free (and encouraged) to seek outside help.
    AA has helped millions of addicts lead a more peaceful, joyful life, as well as learning to be of service in one’s community. I humbly ask you to investigate AA further before publishing articles that disparage it, potentially putting off addicts who might otherwise have been helped by this program of recovery.

    • Roland says:

      Hi Sara,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I had used this title for this post as I have worked with several individuals who mentioned that AA only brought them up to a certain point into their recovery and that their attempt to overcome addiction became an obstacle in itself. It is that mindset which I tried to highlight with the video. I do agree the title is somewhat inappropriate and I apologize if I have offended you. I have now changed the title to better reflect the subject of this video.

      Thank you for your feedback.

  • Suzan Lemont says:

    I’m not a fan of AA either, and there are already very good critique’s of it which should have been included here. Because the video doesn’t address the specific critiques that many psychologists and trauma workers and addicts have about AA and similar programs. Certain diets might also work to help someone lose weight but don’t address the reason that someone might be overeating in the first place so diet plans, just like addiction groups, are selling the idea that you have to keep coming to meetings (stay on the diet/follow instructions) forever or you will not function properly. They foster an idea of what I would call being perpetually sick, and convince people that they will never really be essentially well. So while it’s great that there are communities for people who feel alone and need the emotional support, it can also end up being a trap for the rest of your life; believing that you cannot be free of addiction without this particular group/way of working, and that’s my problem with it, and what should have been mentioned here.

    • Roland says:

      Thanks for your reply, Suzan. The idea of the video was to highlight the mindset of overcoming addiction and that the underlying emotional layers are giving rise to addiction. Regarding AA, I have heard the same objectives from others and I appreciate you point it out here.

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