Please note that the language used in this article is direct and based on personal experience rather than scientific fact. Our ideas are philosophical in nature and are subject to change. These messages are my own and I do not intend to judge others. I believe them to be true, but I do not aim to preach. I consider myself a perpetual student.
Addictions are quite complex. If I were to try to explain all aspects of addictive behavior, I would need about another 20 years of experience being clean and sober and about an additional 2,000 pages of content. Yet this somewhat abbreviated book is lengthy, and it will likely take most readers quite some time to assimilate many of its concepts. But I’m confident that what I share regarding my own experience, strength, and hope will be helpful.
A person seeking to stop an addiction of any kind must do many things. The very first thing that they will need to do is have willingness to change—a person's willingness to change comes before their having the ability to change.
It's vitally important that people trying to overcome addictions understand that their anxieties keep them stuck in those addictions. They must determine what causes their anxiety and what they need to do to reduce that anxiety.
Recovery requires commitment. All people in recovery—whether they are accomplished meditating monks, people who've been clean and sober for 50 years, or people who will get drunk as soon as they finish reading this book—need to work at that recovery throughout their entire lives.
Some people can hear positive messages and be inspired to get on a recovery-oriented path to health and wellness right away. Others can't commit to such a path until they experience an intense physical and emotional bottom. But recovery will be a very complex process for whoever seeks it, regardless of the circumstances that led them to initiating the process.
For better or for worse—but primarily for worse—most people seek easier ways to do things. Doing so can be good for a person who's trying to develop efficient processes. But it's bad for people who are just trying to avoid hard work: Such people want to think that there are easier paths to recovery than reading many books, going to meetings, keeping journals, eating healthier, exercising, talking to therapists, and praying.
If you're seeking to quit an addiction, don't shirk your responsibility to work hard at recovery processes. Avoiding that responsibility will only delay your success and make things far more difficult for you over the long run.