Alchemy and the Upside of Addiction?
A working definition of addiction could be, "the continued use of a substance or engagement in a behavior in spite of negative consequences." Some addictions such as opioid misuse or severe alcoholism have an element of what is called "tissue dependency" where a person may need medical assistance to safely wean off of the drug of choice. However, most addictions such as smoking, overeating, gambling and a host of others do not create tissue dependency, although they can and do create significant problems.
You might wonder what be the upside of addiction when it wreaks so much havoc? Well it does show the person is able to focus and engage in persistent goal seeking behavior. It's been noted that addicts of all varieties seem to be more driven than the average person and that often people in recovery go on to attain remarkable achievements.
For example, smokers always ensure they have a steady supply of cigarettes and plan their activities around when and where they can smoke-no exceptions. "Junk food junkies" will frequently have a stash (often hidden) of their favorite unhealthy food in their home or car. A gambler can always find a place where he or she can lay down a wager and so on.
Just as the alchemists of old sought to transform the base metal lead into gold, its strongly advised that a new set of goals be formulated when a person finally decides to disengage from the addictive behavior.
Dealing with stressors, past trauma and improving self-image are also important factors in recovery, yet finding a healthy and appropriate channel for the goal seeking drive is necessary too.
This is why I will often tell smoking cessation clients that this is the perfect time to get into a fitness program or take care of projects around the house. They are often astounded at how much they are getting done once the compulsion to smoke has been redirected into something positive.
What if the drive to do X (whatever the unwanted behavior is) was pointed in another direction? What would that look like?
Please feel free to connect if you would like some help transforming some of your lead into gold. Either give me a call directly at (732) 714-7040 or fill out the Life Enhancement Strategy Form and I will get back to you ASAP.