Whatever your addiction is, it is important to fully understand the pros and con’s of your addiction at all times. We all would love to live in a fantasy world where we could just magically stop any addiction at any time. But it doesn’t work that way because there is always something we like a lot that keeps pulling us back in.
One secret to success is to understand what your addiction trap is. An addiction trap is any activity you do which will lead you back into full blown addiction. So we need to be aware of and very afraid of any activity which will trap us and cause us to be enslaved by the addiction.
For example we have the sugar addict. Sugar addicts don’t necessarily eat large meals. But when they eat one thing with sugar on it, it leads to 2 things then 4 things with sugar in it and so on and so forth. So in this case the trap is baited with sugar. In this example let us look at how 2 different people’s plans might play out.
In situation #1 our dieter is determined not to overeat today at work. In situation #2 our 2nd dieter has a blueprint for success. The blueprint calls for a small bowl of bean soup for lunch along with some carrots. The question is, which person would you predict will give in to the always available cookies. Person #1 who is very determined or person #2 who is very determined and who also has a plan? Yes both people can raid the cookies, but your odds of resisting cookies double or triple when you have a full stomach.
In this case we have sprung the trap (which is the cookies) before we got in it by making a blueprint for our success. In this scenario the addict understands that if they don’t prepare a good lunch they will be in severe temptation. So when the cookies are available their hunger may start them down a slippery slope which they likely can’t handle.
It is a similar story with alcohol or smoking addiction. If person #1 is determined not to smoke/party on Friday night they may succeed. But if person #2 is determined not to smoke/party on Friday night and they have a fully scheduled course of action to get them through the night they have an advantage.
Here is a key point.
The more addicted you are the more you need to be prepared for your every move. In this example person #2 has a plan to play pool with non smoking friends. Then they will hang out with Johnny who wants to support their dedication to change. Then they plan to go to bed at 1AM sharp.
In this scenario they now have some power and that power is their plan. And if they simply follow their plan they will spring the trap shut before they get caught in it.
Key point #2
You need clean people around you if you are going to stay clean.
In this last example our hero played pool with nonsmoking players. If they are a true addict they may not prefer to hang out with this crowd. We don’t really know these people as well as we know our normal crowd. Additionally they may be a little unsure about us.
So it is important to remember that it will take hanging out with these new people 5 to 8 different times before you can accurately know how well you fit in. It will also take 5 to 8 times for your head to clear up. What I mean by this is; even if your new friends are perfect for you and even if what they are doing is great fun you may not enjoy it at first. If your mind can only think about your habit it will be hard to make new friends. So since you have to make new friends to break your addiction you need to make it happen no matter what.
Here are some rules to follow to break away from the crowd you hang out with now.
#1 Be ultra aggressive in finding new nonsmoking friends. Always smile and try to be friendly. Be patient, it will not happen in one day but always be persistent. If you never give up on finding a new crowd you will find one.
#2 Be the person who suggests clean activities. If you don’t have something to do you will likely fall into an addiction trap.
#3 Always have a backup plan. If you can’t find something interesting to do, have a plan to do something. A hobby, sport, game, or spiritual activities etc.
#4 Although being busy is important try to not overdo it. When you are tired watch some TV or read or get some sleep. Having a good balance in your life is one key to success.
When trying to find a new crowd it is very important to go the extra mile to make it a good night. Make a great effort to treat these new people well. Even if you feel like crap, try to be a person who has love for people. Make an effort to always go around treating people with respect and with some genuine caring for them. If you do you will be surprised at how much better life can be.
Addiction is slavery. It tells you what to do, when to do it, where to go and how to act. Even if you love your addiction I want you to tell yourself 20 times a day that addiction is slavery. At its worst, addiction drives you to destruction and at the very least, it enslaves you into a habitual trap that will keep you from any chance of fulfilling your life given purpose.
Addiction is slavery just like all sin is slavery. The reason the Bible is so against sin is because sin always leads to destruction. For many people there are sin’s which are trigger points to your main addiction. Many secular programs want to solve your main addiction while leaving other sin in your life. The drawback to that method is it doesn’t often work all that well, plus you will never find your God given purpose that way. Having said that if you find any program that helps you, it is a good thing, as long as it is not against Christianity.
The solution to help with addiction and to overcome sin in general is to put a priority on daily Bible study. Read a chapter from the New Testament and one from the Old Testament each day. Then put a priority on doing what it says to do.
Every person who makes it a priority to follow God’s ways will find fullness of joy in their life to some extent. Every person who makes it a priority to follow Jesus ways in full (which is to obey his ways and to spread the Gospel) will always have fullness of joy.
Pride keeps people in addiction. Pride is not seeking help because you do not want to tell people you slipped up again.
A humble person reads great books on quitting addiction 3 times just to make sure they get it. They take notes when their Pastor/Priest gives them great advice and they review them often. They get more help from everybody involved because they show such a high level of appreciation for the advice and help they get. They go to extremes to put the advice into action (whether they believe it will work or not). They see that other people have helped them and loved them. So they plan to help the next person once they have cleaned up their act.
Pride is a test. Will you do things your way or your Pastor/Priests way? Your way or the legal way? Your way or Gods way? The Bible says that pride goeth before a fall. Most of us have already experienced that verse. Passing the pride test gives you another important key to permanent freedom. Make it a focus.
Read 2nd Corinthians 5, Proverbs 19 and John 21
Continue to read the Purpose Driven Life.
For those of you who are now overcoming addiction, you now need to start helping others. If you are still too early in recovery to start helping others in a one on one situation you can start by praying for other addicts. Pray: “Father, bring people to this website and give them a chance to overcome addiction, find your love, start to find their purpose and starting to find joy again. You may be able to help others by advising them to go to a self help group like AA. Think about, pray about and plan how you can help others both now – as well as in the future.