Now that we have discussed the more obvious reasons as to why and how living in active addiction will inevitably maximize the pain we experience, let’s examine some other implications of addiction that compound our suffering. In order to begin moving ourselves towards well-being and contentment and away from pain and suffering, we need to be able to understand how we are wired biologically in some sense. Human beings are programmed to find a source of meaning and purpose which essentially acts as a buttress that protects us from the onslaught of difficult experiences in life that may otherwise have crippling effects. While detoxing from drugs and alcohol, and the resulting depression and anxiety associated with early sobriety is one of the more difficult things we may have experienced, that process is almost easier than the process of adopting a meaning and purpose so that we can orient ourselves towards a goal and begin to achieve it. Not only do drugs and alcohol keep us locked in a feedback loop that makes its so difficult to escape, it also provides a perverted version of a safe-haven whereby we are not forced to make difficult decisions and engage in actions that require patience, hard work, self-compassion, and personal responsibility. In some way for a lot of addicts, the perpetuation of the disease acts as a barrier to the real world and to the necessary voluntary acceptance of the need to establish a purpose and meaning.
Due to the evasive nature of simply adopting a meaning to our lives, step 12 actually provides some, and arguably all of the meaning we might need in order to recognize that this meaning isn’t derived from selfish acts, but rather acts that take into consideration the inherent value in others, and consequentially, leads us to an understanding that through compassion and empathy for others, we will ultimately find it for ourselves. Helping another addict can be the first step in a sequence of steps that will help us realize that the adoption of a higher-order purpose (or meaning derived from the understanding that true meaning is not experienced through self-exaltation) is what will actually be the facilitator in propelling our ascension from our old addicted selves into a way of being that courageously faces the suffering head-on as a means to maximize well-being in the long run.
Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California is a premier men’s addiction treatment facility that uses eight different modalities to help our men become the best versions of themselves they can be. We teach our men that every day of their journey is something to celebrate, and that recovery isn’t a sprint– it’s a marathon. To get started with Tree House Recovery, call us today at (855) 202-2138.