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…)