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Addictions

Many people often think of alcohol and/or drugs when the word addiction emerges into any conversation. In reality there are multiple types of addictions that affect the life, relationships and interpersonal connections linked to the addict and people surrounding him or her. Some of the other addictions are food, sex, love, arguments, crisis, gambling, work, shopping, exercise, etc. The purpose of the addiction is similar; to stop the uncomfortable emotions of the addict by mood enhancing chemicals or behaviors that would distract and numb the emotions. The patterns are similar in how the cycles are conducted and the residual emotions experienced after the acting out behaviors are completed. Some of the addictions are “socially acceptable” but nevertheless, the life of the addict is chaotic and in great amount of pain. It is imperative for the suffering addict to accept the existence of the addiction and for the family members having to deal with the addict to allow the addict to face his or her consequences of their actions. Love is not measured by codependency or dependency but by tolerating the suffering side effects linked to any addiction. On the other hand, love need to start with self. Distance can be an important tool in healing and halting any auto-destruction as the addict is in full force. Any type of addiction is bound to affect the addict and his or her family and/or close relationships. Spirituality offers a great source of support during those difficult times because as the saying goes “You cannot be in faith and in fear.” This small but powerful phrase is useful because it forces me to see that I doubt God’s plan. It is easy to express faithfulness when most of my desires are covered, but when I do not get my way then faith tends to become shaky. I usually tell my patients that the same God that takes care of me is willing and able to take care of the addict. It is the addict that needs to allow God into his or her life. Many addicts are willing to die for the addiction. Are you willing to die with them? I believe that I have my own path and plan; giving it up due to other’s addiction is unacceptable. It may take most of my courage and conviction to move away from the addict and let him or her face his or her demons. It is not lack of love, but because I love them that I need to walk away. My self-love needs to propel me into a world of peace or at least of acceptance. My faith needs to allow me to accept that there is only one God in the universe and whatever name you use to call him/her the plan is in motion. I need to jump onto His wagon or be left behind. There are not mistakes in God’s plan as His perfection is demonstrated each day. Spirituality is separated from religion. They can be inter-connected but it is not required. As you go on with your life, please reflect on addictions and see if you are experiencing one (or more). Do some social exploration to see, if you know somebody suffering from one. Compassion is a must, as we still need to live in the same planet. Peace.

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