November 25: Addictions

Why would I share an article about ADDICTIONS around the Holiday Season?

Ram Dass, after he had done some INCREDIBLE amounts of inner work and personal growth, was known to have said, “IF YOU THINK YOU ARE SPIRITUALLY ENLIGHTENED, GO SPEND A WEEK WITH YOUR FAMILY.”

For many people, spending time around family triggers addictive patterns and behaviors.

Have you ever thought about why that is?


To becomes more self-aware is to up-level our ability to improve The Self.

May we ALL do some inner work that results in personal growth and expansion, leading to a higher quality of life and an AMAZING Holiday Season EVERY year of our lives, from now on.

Addictive behavior patterns usually stem from unchecked pain, often from things that happened to us earlier in life that resulted in us feeling unworthy, bad, stupid, useless, or like we are not enough.  Many times, the addictive patterns emerge and eventually take hold of our lives until they have consumed and destroyed us, along with everyone around us that we love.

If we are lucky, the pain caused by the addiction is greater than the pain we are knowingly or unknowingly trying to distract ourselves from, and so we decide to change the behaviors and replace the addictive patterns.

Dr. Gabor Mate, in a letter to Tim Ferriss, wrote:  “If you want to help people, ask why they are in so much pain that they are driven to escape from it through ultimately self-harming habits or substances.  Then support them in healing the trauma at the core of their addiction, a process that always starts with nonjudgmental curiosity and compassion.”

By changing the focus from the addictive pattern, habits, and behaviors, to the pain one is feeling and experiencing, we start a snowball effect.  We are deciding to take a step in an effectively helpful direction.  Addressing pain, and the effects of it, and the beliefs, trauma, and patterns caused by it, can be difficult and terrifying; however, if we don’t address the pain, we may end up hurting ourselves and those we love far worse than we were hurt in the first place.

This life is challenging enough without us making it even more challenging for ourselves.  Distractions are so easy to come by.  They are plentiful.  It is up to us to change our focus from harmful habits and a harmful lifestyle, to a helpful and healing lifestyle, one moment at a time, and one day at a time.  Small, incremental steps lead up the staircase to healing.  There is no escalator, and there is no elevator.  There is no quick, easy fix.

One of the most useful tools I have discovered and used for change is the book by James Clear, ATOMIC HABITS.


By changing our focus, we can change the trajectory of our outcomes in a way which will benefit ourselves and others.  By changing our focus from our efforts to outrun the pains of our past to the helpful awareness and acceptance of what was, and efforts towards personal growth, we will begin to exhibit the behaviors of someone less harmful and more empowered, and we will begin to contribute and add value, instead of hurting ourselves and others.


By adding value to others, we become more valuable.  When we are hurting and in pain, we tend to hurt others and cause others pain.  In so doing, we devalue ourselves and others.

Are you tired of hurting yet?  Is it time to start healing?  In order for things to change for us, WE MUST DECIDE TO CHANGE, and changing is a PERSONAL thing.  It is all up to us.  Nobody is coming to save us from our suffering.  We must learn to save ourselves.

Sometimes, replacing an unhealthy addiction for a useful one can be an EXCELLENT starting point!  Can you imagine if all of us addicts replaced our harmful, destructive addictions with the addiction and need for PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT?!

Reading the small, daily excerpt from the book, THE LANGUAGE OF LETTING GO, by Melody Beattie, has been one of the most helpful up-leveling tools I have ever discovered.

There are a few interviews I have come across regarding addictions, and there are helpful, empowering tools contained within these interviews on how to most effectively alter addictive patterns.  I would have loved this information years ago, in 2014, as I was overcoming addictions of my own and starting my life completely over.  This content is empathetic, kind, understanding, non-judgmental, and extremely helpful.  These interviews are on the YouTube show, IMPACT THEORY, and feature Mastin Kipp, and Doug Bopst.  To find them, simply go to the YouTube search engine, and type IMPACT THEORY alongside their names.

Today’s challenge for myself:

Today I will take a personal inventory of my life.  I will ask the question, “What causes me the most pain in my life and what do I do to address it?”  I will focus on building and creating a life in which I can effectively and successfully cope and deal with my suffering.  I will search for, find, and implement ways to do it, one moment at a time, one day at a time.

Addictions are usually not about anything but escaping pain through experiencing a temporary pleasure.  When we are able to learn to heal from our pain, there is no longer a need for escape, and our suffering dissipates.  Melody Beattie’s book, THE LANGUAGE OF LETTING GO, is a book which I have read daily, since 2014, as part of a consistent set of empowering rituals.  There is a paragraph for each day of the year.  Here is her incredible story, and the reason why she is such an effective addiction recovery specialist:

Dr. Gabor Mate is an addiction specialist, as well, and has VOLUMES of useful information and tools to try.  Just drop his name into the YouTube search engine, and start downloading all you need, just like Neo, on The Matrix!

goodinthehead is also on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.  Follow me there, as well, for daily messages, inspiration, motivation, and reminders.  Please pay it forward, and share this, and ANY message, which may empower someone you love or may care about.  It is through adding value to others by sharing and spreading wisdom, that we become more valuable as individuals, and collectively, as a whole, we all become wiser.

Remember:  Mindset matters.  Character counts.  That which we choose to consistently focus on is what EXPANDS in our lives.  WE CREATE our realities.

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