Dear addiction, I hate you! I hate that you are everywhere. I hate that you destroy lives. You rob people of their dreams, health and perspective. You are selfish and greedy. You are subtle and tricky.
You hide in alluring substances and behaviors just waiting to pounce on us, counting down the seconds until you have us in your grip. You promise to help us cope with the difficulties in life. You often provide solace and a hiding place for us to escape chaos and pain.
But you come with a price. You come with obsession and cravings. You come with health problems, mental issues, relationship strife and spiritual disconnectedness. You rob us of integrity and limit our opportunities. You have broken up families and caused premature deaths.
When will you get enough?
The thing is, I know you will never get enough. Because addiction is all about MORE. You will never be satisfied. You just keep enticing people in and popping up in new substances and activities. You twist the truth and incapacitate people from thinking clearly. You are like a tornado, devastating many people in your path. Not only do you take out the addict, but also their family and friends to varying degrees.
You come in the form of alcohol, drugs, food, sex, work, shopping, gambling, electronics, codependency, control, skin picking, adrenaline, emotions, obsession and many more I’m sure.
You tormented me in one way, shape or form for decades. Not today. Not anymore.
I have found a solution! I have found a God that is much bigger than you! I have found 12 steps that connect me to my God and help me stay spiritually fit. I have a new way of living that includes coping with life on a spiritual basis rather than running to a substance or compulsive behavior trying to escape. I am actually living in life rather than sleepwalking through it.
Oh, you rear your ugly head. You try to lure me in with your subtle whispers. You are powerful and get stronger even while I’m clean. You play tricks on my mind and try to sneak in any crevasse you see. You are relentless, I work my butt off daily to stay recovered. You must think that you have won. But you haven’t!
You see, because of the addictions in my life (my own & those of others) my life is actually better in many ways. 12 Step programs have given me a way of life that has given me so much more than I could ever experience without them. And it was you that led me to these rooms.
The work I do brings me joy, fellowship, friends and growth beyond my imagination. Addiction has brought me to my knees and into a relationship with the One, True God, which has been the best gift of my life. For that I say “Thank you”.
Read more about addiction, “the disease of more” here
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You are so right Latasha! Addiction doesn’t just affect the individual with the disease, it impacts everyone around them particularly the people closest to them. I believe breaking the addiction cycle and living in recovery is one of the best gifts I can give my family. On the hard days, they are often my motivation to just do the next right thing. All the baby steps do add up!!!
What an ‘in your face’ tell-off letter! I applaud you Shannon. Addiction has cost my family more than I can begin to explain here in this little comment box. Addiction is powerful, and my God is it relentless! Yes, you have to work your butt off to stay in recovery, but it is worth it, for yourself and the generations to follow.
I love that Amy! I feel the same way about God and my program. They are so intertwined and I couldn’t have one without the other. I have a program friend who calls the program, “the 12 steps to heaven”. Blessings to you!!
Amen! What a beautiful letter and the truths you share are spot on!
As I have heard said and it is true for me…”God brought me to AA and AA brought me to God!”