It takes more than one time to really get it. But when you really get it, you realize this isn’t just about alcohol, drugs, food or sex. It’s about being addicted to our own selves: our attitudes, our grudges, our resentments, and our pain. Our addictions often manifest in the form of drugs, sex or food. We may even tell ourselves, “Well at least mine aren’t any of the biggies. Mine are caffeine, tv, facebook, etc.” While those are escape mechanisms with which we can have an addictive relationship, it is the wounded feelings underneath that are the real addiction. What are you medicating to feel better? What FEELINGS are you addicted to? Feeling helpless, unworthy, unlovable, responsible, powerful OR powerless, the one in charge OR feeling you have no control? Do you constantly experience these and can’t imagine a life without them?
We get to a place where we live as if these feelings are reality. They aren’t! They are just messages we believed to escape a pain that was so great we thought it would consume us.
In the recovery process, every day requires an act of surrender by the addict. Every day. Not just 3 days a week. Not just until you get sober and don’t crave. Not just until you get done working all 12 steps. Every day for the rest of your life. When I first realized this, it felt daunting and overwhelming. Then I realized it is the most freeing thing ever. I don’t have to be the one in charge. God can handle my life with a lot more dignity and grace than I. So today I surrender my need to be in control and have all the answers. Today I pray I will experience the presence of my Creator and know that universe is unfolding as it should.
Peace and blessings to you,
Jenny Emerson, MMFT, LMT