LimitlessWhen limits are imposed on a person, they may feel suffocated by their lack of choices or feel that they are losing their sense of individuality. For someone struggling with addiction, this concept is especially true. Someone who struggles with alcohol addiction, for example, does not want their choice to drink taken away from them. In fact, their physical body, along with their emotional state, has become so dependent on alcohol to deal with life that they feel like they have no other options but to continue the cycle of addiction.

After a while, many of those caught in this cycle begin to understand that using more of a substance to deal with life has stopped working. But they have to come to this perspective shift for themselves. People looking in from the outside, even with good intentions, will not be able to create a set of rules that will stop someone’s addictive habits, no matter how destructive they may be. (more…)

The Vicious Cycle of Addiction

An addiction is a lot like being on a merry-go-round, but with the exception that it’s not fun.

You turn to food, gambling, shopping, one-night stands, codependency, hoarding, or something else. The more you turn to your addiction, the more shame you feel and want to numb that feeling. So you go back to the very thing you don’t want to do. Now you’re stuck in the vicious cycle of addiction. And it’s going so fast that you don’t know how to stop.

The apostle Paul put it this way “And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t” (Romans 7:18). To interrupt this cycle of addiction, you must break free from pain, acting out, shame, and relapse that keeps you in bondage.

Here is a more in-depth look at each phase.

Pain — Before you even realize you are dealing with an addiction, you’re in pain. You feel emotional, physical, spiritual, and relational pain. These painful feelings create a longing for you to get rid of the pain. Pain and addiction go hand in hand—they feed off of each other. As your pain increases, your desire for relief increases. Recognizing you are in pain and in need of help can be the first step in recovery. (more…)