Most of us think addiction means being under the control of a substance or a habit and not being able free yourself from it. Though that definition is true, it also creates a misperception that if we are in control of a habit then we are not addicted to it.
The mind can play tricks on our perception. Only in cases of extreme and prolonged addiction we get the feeling of loss of control over the habit or substance. But in most addictions our mind gives us the impression that we are under control of the habit.
Most addicts will tell you they have absolute control over their vice and they can stop if they want to. That is exactly how the mind keeps up the addiction – by creating an illusion of control. We feel we can stop the habit if we want to, but, strangely enough, we never find any reason to stop it!
Only way you will know if you are an addict is to find out, in spite of ‘being in control’, how many times were you actually motivated to stay away from your addiction. And how many times did you give in to the urges?
Why do we become addicts in the first place? Why does the mind want it in place so badly that it will go the lengths of deceiving us?
Function of an Addiction
Addictions serve as a ‘cover-up’ for our issues in life. Ever noticed how restless you tend to get when you are idle? We quickly say we are bored and try to occupy ourselves with some pastime. Did you ever wonder what boredom is and why we should even be bored? It is because our minds are restless and we cannot remain in peace for long. (It is not that we cannot, it is only we are not used to). So it keeps finding ways to occupy itself.
Addiction is similar but only on a more serious scale. When we carry issues of the past in our heads, we also carry opinions and beliefs about ourselves based on those issues. Our mind then becomes a constant and noisy critic in the background, always scolding us and point out our mistakes as we go about our daily lives. All this criticism is coming because we hold deep opinions about ourselves.
Automatically, we look for ‘occupations’ that will quieten temporarily the ‘mental noise’ in the background. Our past habits like smoking, drinking, shopping, gossiping or hobbies like watching movies, browsing internet quickly become those ‘occupations’. The frequency and the intensity of that habit now rise dramatically and we soon find ourselves dependent on it just to cope with our lives.
It is natural that in order that to let go of an addiction be it through hypnotherapy, reiki, or other de-addiction programs, we need to address those deeper opinions and beliefs we hold about ourselves first than on the addiction itself. Removing an addiction without addressing the inner beliefs will only bring temporary results or we will simply switch to another addiction.
Photo Courtesy: Grant Cochrane and sattva @ freedigitalphotos