MyMind Counselling Services
 
Addictions

'Sale Ends' - Banksy
Addiction is a coping mechanism of avoidance and we use substances and processes to keep out our feelings. If you take away the substance or processes,we are left with our feelings. These feelings are unbearable (known as UBF's) and we will do anything to avoid them (until we make friends with them).

Some forms of addiction are:
Drug / Alcohol
Gambling
Eating
Work
Pornography / Erotic Excitement
Anger / Aggression
Shopping / Spending
Religious
Sex
Computers / Video Games
Easy Money / Theft / Prostitution
Rescuing / Co-Dependency


It is a hard battle to win over addictions, but not impossible. The earlier you realise you are getting hooked or are hooked the easier it is to get free, so get help quickly. The moment the pain of abstinence becomes greater than your ability to self-talk your way to going without, then like a fish on a line, you are ‘hooked’.
Breaking free from addiction is all about increasing one's motivation, and learning how to overcome a deep and abiding ambivalence or double-mindedness. It's about re-persuasion of the deep 'idiot-mind' or 'primal-mind' to the point of becoming completely and utterly convinced that life is better without, than with (and almost everybody is in need of some 're-persuasion' somewhere in their lives). It's about remembering the consequences at the same moment as temptation hits.

Addiction is often the result of 'quick fixing' to make us feel better. Of course it does for the moment (short term gain for long term pain) but we haven't sorted our hideous emotions/ feelings (UBF) and now we are stuck with an addiction as well, we are now in a double bind.

For some addictions like drugs, alcohol and gambling the only lasting solution is 'hating what you once loved together with complete abstinence'. Now a 180 degree shift is going to take some work, but you can do it (especially with Gods help).
For other addictions such as eating, shopping, sex and computing there is a problem with hating them and completely abstaining. A good truth coach with these addictions is that TC - "they are like 'fire', very usefull, and a great comfort at times but like fire they have to be treated with respect and used very carefully otherwise they can so easily burn me and destroy me".
But whatever the addiction willpower and a behavioural approach alone will never be sufficient. Those suffering with addictions need to throw everything at their addiction with a major emphasis on insight - making friends with your unbearable feelings (UBF's), empowering questions, deep persuasion, using truth coaches (TC's), taking personal responsibility, being fully convinced/persuaded rather than living with ambivalence. It can't be done alone, you need help with the insights and support, coaching through ‘the first little while’ at least and this is where counselling is needed.

The technical name for ‘the first little while’ is the 'Limbic Lag'. This is the time period between knowing it to be the right thing to believe in and do (being conscious of the work in progress) and the feeling that it's now coming naturally. Ask an ex-smoker how long it took between when they stopped smoking and the 'I need a smoke' switch finally clicked off (smoking became a non issue). The answer is often months and sometimes years, but it does happen. The limbic system takes much longer to be re-programmed than the neo-cortex. This means increased confusion and emotional discomfort (discordance) for some time after becoming fully persuaded. How long do I have to wait? Clients often ask. The brain takes about 21 - 45 days to adjust to driving on the 'wrong' side of the road in a foreign country, before it just comes naturally (you don't have to work at it). But that is with no ambivalence and the neo-cortex fully persuaded. So it's going to take months at least, but the good news is that it can be done. Knowing that alone is huge in offsetting ambivalence, so many people give up because they don’t believe it can be done, now that’s a lie.

Sexual Addiction (pornography)
Many of these Truth Coaches (TC's) apply to all forms of addiction