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UCGia Bible Insights Thursday, May 09 2019

An addict's story

The purpose of this article is not to provide a solution plan for addicts. Rather, it’s to help addicts, and people who care about them, to understand the beliefs underlying most addictions—beliefs that must be rooted out for recovery to take place.

I became an addict when I was 17 years old, although the pattern for addiction was there long before then. At the time of writing this article, I have been free from my addiction for two years and I have every intention of remaining so.

What I want to address are four fundamental beliefs that, as identified by Dr. Patrick Carnes in his book ‘Out of the Shadows’ (2001), underlie many addictions.

diction often believe:

  • They are a bad, unworthy person -- a conviction often caused by childhood trauma in a dysfunctional family.
  • As a result of this, they become convinced they are unworthy of love and nobody would ever love them.  
  • They then tend to project those feelings onto others and become certain no one  will ever be able to effectively help them or meet their needs because of their unworthiness.
  • When a person develops these core beliefs and feelings, he or she is a walking void needing to be filled. Many eventually find relief through an addictive agent, which then becomes their major need and main focus.

These four convictions are often the center of an addict’s life, and it’s important to know this to be able to help with their recovery. It is a cruel trap and one that Satan uses to great effect.  

What brings freedom from this dilemma? Because addiction is, in large part, a spiritual problem, the solution must be a spiritual one, but it doesn’t happen quickly or easily.

From my own experience, the first step to recovery is found in James 5:16: “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

Through the prayers and support of loving people, the addict can begin to challenge these core beliefs about himself. By making himself accountable to people who care, he can replace his wrong thoughts and actions with right ones. Ultimately he can get to the point where he trusts in the love of others and he can then believe in the love God has expressed for all of us. At that point, the addict is in a position to break the grip the addictive agent has had on his life.