Where are your roots?
Addiction. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “addiction?” Is it drugs? For most people it is. Maybe after you’ve read my story you’ll have an altered mindset about it. Addiction is “repeated involvement with a substance or activity.” An activity addiction includes things such as gambling, sex, internet, pornography, and shopping. Even working can be an addiction. Some of these can seem harmless or even positive. But in fact, they run at the background of our life constantly and cost us psychologically. What’s promising is that once we see how it works, we stand a chance to overcome it. Anything that has complete control over you IS an addiction. We have three viable options: change the situation, remove yourself from it, or accept it. We can’t label one group of people (ex:substance users) as addicts. We have to have an open mind when it comes to what it truly is.
Where are your roots? Maybe instead of really looking for that way out, you attempt to numb your circumstances. Maybe you drink to cope with the pain, or bounce from relationship to relationship while giving away pieces of your heart or body to earn love as you numb yourself. Maybe your past pain has built up so much anger and resentment that you are mean and spiteful. Maybe because you are unfulfilled in your life you run to social media to push others down with an arsenal of words to make yourself feel better. I did all of these. Whatever your addiction may be, the allure of numbing it seems far better than confronting and trying to fight to find a way out. So ask yourself, what’s the step you can take to permanently remove the roots of whatever addiction you are facing today?
Let’s get to the root of why people become addicted to things. Why do some people become addicts while others don’t? I can’t speak for everyone. But I can tell you my story. My lack of self worth, fear, feeling like a fraud…really it comes down to my lack of self worth... feeling like I didn’t belong or my past mistakes. All of these feelings of isolation led to addiction because there came a time when things piled up on me. If I could reset my life I wouldn’t have been an addict. Then again, I wouldn’t have a story to tell that has ultimately helped so many people. My hope is that it will continue to help those that need to hear, “you are not alone”.
You may read this and think you have an addiction to something. Not just drugs and alcohol, but maybe something else. You have to dig down deep, find the root of what’s causing your addiction and deal with it. One step. One day. One minute. One second at a time. Remember if you don’t get rid of the roots it’ll grow back. I’m personally not cured. But I’m better, because I dealt with the root first.
I would love to share with you some things that have helped me throughout my recovery. I knew I needed to change everything about myself. And when I say everything, I truly mean everything. I went to rehab for 30 days in August of 2015, and this was not the first one I had tried. I tried out other ones throughout the expansion of my 10 year addiction. But this one, this one was different. I was exhausted. I was beaten down and I was absolutely lost. I conquered my 30 days of rehab, and to be honest, I didn’t want to leave. I felt so safe there. Throughout my addiction I struggled through multiple rehabs. But they always ended with the same result, me returning to my old habits. My old self. So you can see where my fear came from. Right after I left, the minute I got out, I went straight to an AA meeting. The program was really hard. Not that you needed special skills or intelligence to do it, but I had to walk through my past. I had to relive some of the things that had haunted me, and where I felt others had abandoned me, or weren’t there for me in times of need. Yet during the process I ended up realizing that there was so much more there that I actually needed to get rid of. What I went in for only touched the surface, but there were bones lying deeper causing decay in my life. I began to see that I wasn’t completely innocent in all my past experiences. I, too, had done my fair share of causing pain to those close to me and I needed help and the strength to carry on.
Where did I find my strength? I was able to find my relationship with God. I needed God’s love in order to love. I discovered that love shone brightest when I found worth in myself while forgiving others and forgiving myself. I went to meetings for a year straight. During that year I was also developing a relationship with God. I was scrolling through Facebook one day and saw this church and something told me to go. Just get up and go! So I did. Getting up and going that Sunday was and still is the best decision I have ever made! Through Radiate Church, God has completely changed my life. They never once looked at me as an addict, a thief, a liar, an outcast. They opened their hearts and arms to me, and with the help of God have inspired me daily! I became involved with Life Groups and volunteering. Dylan Thompson, former quarterback for the South Carolina Gamecocks said it so perfectly one Sunday, “If you serve people, you’re doing it right. We can’t forget that God served too.”
Serving and volunteering has become the very thing that has drawn me closer to God. Start serving. Give back to your community! It will change you! Try as many churches as you need to until you find the one that best suits you! I began to dig deeper into the Bible, because if nothing else was true, I knew that God’s Word would never falter, never change, never go away.
I became rooted in the Bible. I found verses throughout the Bible that I would say daily to myself. Here are just a few that have gotten me through those tough days.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Romans 5:3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
These are just a few of my favorites. Google verses that relate to whatever seems to be bothering you that day. Faith, hope, patience, or loving others. Read those verses out loud. Read them with confidence! So I hope that you read this article and it shifts something in you, or maybe you can share it with someone that you see has an addiction and you are just unsure how to help them. This. This is a start...
WHAT ADDICTION IN YOUR LIFE DO YOU NEED TO FACE?
JOURNAL IT AND COME UP WITH WAYS THAT BEST WORK FOR YOU.