Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope
Having an addiction to drugs or alcohol is something that arises as a result of many combined factors, including one’s biology and environment. However, learned behaviors in an addiction can become more than what meets the eye to a person struggling with substance abuse.
For many individuals struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, the behaviors of the addiction itself can create a false sense of fulfillment and gratification.
How Addiction Can Be Triggered
For a person who is genetically predisposed to developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol, certain life experiences may be a factor in triggering the progression of these disorders. For example, a person who has suffered loss, trauma, abuse or neglect may be more susceptible to using addictive behaviors as a mean for coping, protection, attention or love.
Having an addiction can be a means of hiding from circumstances that are extremely difficult or avoiding painful situations. The psychological factor that is involved with addictions is complex, and many individuals who struggle with addiction may not even fully realize what they are truly seeking beneath their behaviors.
Meeting Our Basic Needs
As human beings, some of our most basic needs include acceptance, protection, and love. Many times, we are misguided in how we fulfill these basic needs, looking toward other people or things to meet our wants and desires. The problem with this is that we are often let down by people who are fallible and material possessions that lose their luster.
Coming into relationships with the high expectations that others might fulfill these needs can lead to grave disappointment. The reality is that people, things, places, or experiences cannot fulfill us in the same way that Hope or Faith can.
Finding Hope and Fulfillment
Recovering from an addiction can be one of those phases in life that requires the utmost love and support from those around you. In some circumstances, you may feel as though you are not getting the support you need from your closest family members and friends. This may cause you to feel isolated, alone, overwhelmed, and perhaps, questioning the reason why you decided to move forward with the recovery process to begin with.
Even if others have not supported you the way you had hoped or fulfilled some of your most basic needs, you can still find hope, fulfillment, and an enriching life in recovery from your addiction.
Satisfying Those Basic Needs
Finding hope and truth in a relationship with God can be incredibly fulfilling and help satisfy your most basic needs for love, attention, protection and more.
Learning to find your identify as a Child of God and not basing your worth on what others think or say about you can be incredibly freeing. Having an addiction often gives a false pretense about who you are or what you should be. Letting go of these stigmas and fulfilling yourself with the Truth and Knowledge of who God created you to be can gratifying the longing and desires in your heart.
Developing a Relationship with God
Finding and developing a relationship with God is something that can happen slowly and gradually over time and that can be strengthened through your recovery from an addiction. Consider reaching out to a local pastor or Chaplin to find spiritual support, prayer and more.
You are definitely not alone in your recovery journey and approaching your healing process in a holistic manner than includes body, mind, and spirit can propel you further than you ever thought possible.
If you are not sure where to begin in a spiritual relationship with God, considering visiting a local church with a family member or friend, join a spiritual-based support group, or ask to have a discussion with the Chaplin of your addiction treatment program or center. You can begin your faith-based journey in recovery today and find true peace, hope, and joy.
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
What aspects of addiction recovery do you think are most challenging? What are ways in which individuals can look to a higher power for fulfillment rather than an addiction?
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on June 19th, 2015
Published on AddictionHope.com