Please read this chapter several times. Take a break to assimilate the material after you do so. Then, read this chapter several more times.
Liberating ourselves from addictive behavior requires that you do self-help work. You need to do two primary things: You need to fix your mental processes, and you need to change your behavior patterns.
Self help work can be compared to fixing an automobile. To fix a car, you must lift the hood. If you can't see the problem from the surface, then you must get your hands dirty and begin taking things apart. And you must do so methodically.
When you fix a car engine, you need to be familiar with the parts and you need to call the parts by their right names. This is also the case in the realm of self-help work. I feel that the word “addiction” doesn't properly communicate the definition of the malady that we're referring to when we use that term. It communicates that something is presently broken and stuck. The word “attachment” (more specifically, negative attachment) better communicates what is meant when the term addiction is ordinarily used. There are two types of attachments: Positive attachments that compassionately support our physical bodies and minds, as well as other creatures on our planet and the planet itself, and negative attachments that do not do so.
Another term that requires clarification is “mental illness.” Some people have mental dysfunctions, mental disorders, maladaptive thinking, and emotional problems. They will experience considerable consequences if they do not overcome those conditions. Mental illness occurs when a person's mind goes out of control and they can no longer process reality, and when they are in such a state they usually exhibit self-destructive behavior.
Some individuals with brain impairments can be categorized as being mentally ill. Their minds may be damaged to the degree that they cannot grasp various concepts, experience things such as empathy, or be prone to violence. Such people have very severe problems.
There is a difference, then, between a person having a mental disorder and a person having mental illness. A person who has the capacity to buy and read a book such as this one is unlikely to be mentally ill. Such a person may have mental disorders, emotional traumas, poor behavior patterns, or insufficient education regarding mental and emotional issues, though. But he or she can still participate in self-help and personal improvement.
Those who are addicted, those who are experiencing mental disorders, and those who are experiencing mental illness have some things in common. They have a lack of boundaries regarding how initial thoughts “morph” into other thoughts, ideas, and inappropriate belief systems. They also have a lack of boundaries pertaining to mental processes such as the ability to control fear. And individuals who are clearly mentally ill are unable to control their behavior patterns.
Explanation is warranted regarding the idea that addiction is an attachment disorder. An attachment disorder occurs when we don’t know how to properly attach ourselves to things. As an example, an alcoholic who can’t control a thought can’t control the impulse to take a drink.
You’re making a decision to become willing to change your problems. You’re desiring to use your strengths and reach your potential without struggling and suffering. You’re going to do the necessary work. You’re going to make progress.
I have no attachment to your success or failure. You must decide what you want to do. I can only give you words of instruction and encouragement. I need to make one thing clear, though: Given time, you will need to let go of all your negative attachments.
The work you will need to do is simple in theory. You will need to open up the portals of your past and examine your childhood and formative years. When doing so, you need to determine what has caused your anxieties and subsequent lack of peace. You’ll need to write about your findings and write about your ongoing daily experiences as you continue your introspection.
You should seek a professional counselor. Such an individual can help you get the work you need to do done much faster and much more effectively. The expense will be well worth it, and you can find inexpensive options for counseling if you look for them.
You can overcome your problem!