One of the greatest challenges you will face as a human being is the recognition everything around us is in a constant state of change. You will also likely find one of the greatest obstacles to your own sense of freedom and happiness is your tendency to push back again that change, rather than embracing and accepting it. Pushing against change can mean falling into addiction.
When we fight against something, we often end up hurting ourselves. If you’ve ever been caught in a strong ocean current, or started to fall on a rocky path, you probably understand fighting the current, or fighting gravity, is going to end up in a potential injury. Whereas letting the tide take you for a moment, so you can get free, or relaxing into your fall before catching yourself, will likely not.
Addiction is the ultimate push back. When things get hard, or you feel fearful, panicked or hurt, you want to hide. Releasing yourself from that momentary pain might feel like the right thing to do, but, the reality is, the challenges you’re confronted with won’t go away with a pill, a toke or a drink. In fact, on the rebound, you might even make things worse for yourself.
Relaxing into the current, or going with the fall is going to save you. When it comes to addiction, that translates into developing the tools to embrace and accept your uncomfortable feelings, recognizing they are not going to leave you, but only diminish, and become more manageable. Once you can release that narrative—and the worry your pain will resurface—you will also realize you have a choice. You can be consumed by your own story and, once again, fall down the rabbit hole, or you can own your pain, without it owning you.
At Kaizen Center for Mental Health, we can support you in developing the tools to take back your power. Our Chief Clinical Officer, Chase Wickersham, LCSW, understands your struggle and has documented part of his own journey in two blog posts—Why Practice Acceptance, Parts 1 & 2.