Addicted? Can you choose to change?

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Addictions have a purpose. They have a function. They help us to cope with whatever has gone on in our lives up until now. They distance us from any traumatic situations or past hurts, and they fill the gap left by a lack of love or understanding, or major disappointments, for example.

But whether it’s to alcohol, food, cocaine, gambling, sex – it doesn’t matter what the substance or the behaviour, addictions are a prison. They are a vicious circle of craving and satisfying, and then they leave us feeling emptier than before, and exhausted, and the only way out of that pain is to take more.

Our substance seems to provide us with a crutch, but it’s not a crutch. Really, it’s a blinking great baseball bat which we use to beat ourselves, again and again and again.

Many of us have an addiction to something, but our lives become blighted when that thing becomes so important to us that it threatens our health, finances, job, relationships, or the whole way we feel inside. They disconnect ourselves from ourselves, numb us, and blur the edges of possibility.

How much choice do you have?

Sometimes, even though you want to stop doing what you are doing, addictions leave us with little room for choice – the cravings are irresistible. That’s because drug and other addictions damage the part of our brain that is responsible for making decisions and for regulating our own behaviour. It’s the same part of our brain that is stimulated and pleased by the thing we crave.

You know that. Ignoring cravings is very hard, and sometimes your ability to choose has gone on holiday to the seaside, leaving you in your cell.

But only you know how you feel about that, and you could decide to let things be. On the other hand, even though you might not have much choice over your cravings right now, you could decide to call for help, to gain the insights, support and structure you need to melt your addiction away. What will you decide?

If you are motivated to regain your power of choice, then you can. You may not have a choice over your cravings right now, but in this moment you can choose to come for therapy, to increase your motivation, and to free yourself.

Recover your true self

9727690408_14d32f912b_oSomewhere amongst the thick jungle of your cravings is your true self, and you know that life would be so much easier, and you could do so much more, and be so much happier, if you didn’t have to nurse your compulsion. Being free of your addiction will reconnect you with yourself, your friends and family, your abilities and all that is good in the world.

And you can be free. You can be free to go anywhere and do anything at any time and you can stand on your own two feet. You can be complete and whole in yourself: joyful, confident and independent. You don’t need to indulge in a substance or a behaviour to do anything or feel a certain way, because you have all you need inside you, right now.

Letting go of an addiction is not easy but it is possible. The first step is to call for help. You may have a mountain to climb, but I will be your Sherpa. I can give you a solid structure to help you change your behaviour, exercises to strengthen your motivation, and tools to understand yourself better. I can start your detox and rebalancing with the help of homeopathic remedies, and give you the support and encouragement you need to keep you on track.

All you need now is a will to be free: the rest we can do together.