Many of us may think addiction is only about substance abuse either smoking, drinking or using drugs. This is actually not true and complete at all. Addiction could be about anything. One may be addicted to sweets, situations or even people. Now, there is nothing wrong with either the people or things we are addicted to. It is our attitude that needs to change.
How do we do this? One thing we could explore is to see how the addiction makes us act mechanically like a robot. I know a friend of mine who would blindly keep eating sweets although she had been diagnosed with diabetes. This of course created problems but she could just not stop. To change the pattern of tests and retests, she had to reprogram herself. Slowly she did begin changing her behaviour and life did begin to change.
The same is true even of emotional needs. Many of us are addicted to other people’s opinion of us. This is surely not necessary and logical. We could be happy when compliments are given but not make it an addiction. To change the old programming, choose one or two short, pithy reprogramming phrases that counteract specific demands. Thus to counteract the demand for approval and /or compliments, the phrase “I don’t need approval/compliments” would be appropriate.
Similarly for a situation when one is addicted to never making mistakes, we could say, “I don’t have to reject myself if I make mistakes” would help. We could reprogram by replaying the scene and re-experiencing our emotions. We could get in touch with the suffering your addictions have caused us and with a determination to get free.
Some simple steps we could use are
- Close your eyes. Take ten deep, rapid breaths. Tense the muscles. Build up all the emotional energy we can.
- Reprogram with intensity and power.
- Repeat your reprogramming phrases with gut-level determination until we feel that they have become part of us.
- Put yourself back in the same scene — this time with the new programming in operation.
- Reaffirm the new programming by visualizing yourself responding to the situation with new positive responses and feelings based on your new programming. Reaffirm that you can be free of old programming — free to be how you really want to be in order to enjoy all of your life.
With this, let our energy build for a drive toward freedom.