Have you been struggling with a behavior you cannot stop? Maybe you were able to quit one addiction and found yourself taking up a new one? You quit smoking and gained too much weight? You gave up the cocaine, but you’re drinking and on a porn site? You were sober for ten years and then got hooked on the meds prescribed by your doctor? Broke up with the same person umpteen times? You’ve filed bankruptcy but keep spending more than you take in? Are you bored unless you are working or in constant motion? If so, do not despair, you aren’t hopeless, you’re simply lost.

Those of us who have battled to get out of hell may feel cheated of a normal life. But if you think you’ve been robbed of something, think again.

If you’ve repeatedly sworn off a problem behavior, but keep going back, you are battling an addiction. Understand, you are not alone! Just in the U.S., there are over 100 million people who are addicted to something. Almost all major illnesses are the direct result of addiction — continuing to do something despite adverse consequences. Heart, kidney, liver, and lung disease, Diabetes II, stroke, and cancer are almost always caused by repeatedly poisoning the body with harmful substances, causing addiction-related illnesses at a rate of 35 million per year.

Most of these people never even realized they were addicted; they just thought they had things under control. Their minds were hijacked, and the more they tried to control it, the deeper into the addiction maze they were.

Key Awareness Number 1

It’s Not Your Fault

If you’re like most people, from the time you’re born, you either watched people engage in an addiction, or you were unknowingly hypnotized. Certain pictures branded messages in your mind; drink this, eat this, smoke this, buy this, feel better, get sexier, be happier… Even worse, those things do work for a brief period, but there’s a hidden hook to the quick fix. The more you do it, the more you want, it’s a bottomless pit. In that pit is the hellish nightmare of broken families, abandoned kids, job loss, self-loathing, and despair.

By now, you’re wondering, ‘Where’s the blessing in all of this?’

Key Awareness Number 2

Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

If you think of your addiction as a dark cloud consuming your life, the silver lining is that your addiction can lead you to happiness if you’re willing to do things differently.

You are not robbed of everything; you’ve received a blessing in disguise. The hell that you feel, that hopelessness and despair can push you into a blessing deep within you that is a source of constant joy and happiness. Every addiction is merely a substitute for love and deep connection. If you could feel a natural high all of the time, would you continue doing the things that you are doing now?

If you want to replace the dark cloud with a silver lining, you can make that happen. I lived through it, and for 30 years, I’ve been teaching others how to do it. You can transfer the energy you put into the self-destructive addiction, into love — your true spiritual nature. If you want to learn how, join our mailing list at www.drdonnamarks.com. You are worth the effort.

About the Author — Dr. Donna Marks believes that the current models for diagnosis, treatment, and addiction have failed. Her mission is to help save at least 10 million lives by 2030, through education and prevention. She has been an author, consultant, educator, public speaker, licensed psychotherapist, instructor of A Course in Miracles, and addictions counselor in private practice in Palm Beach, Florida, for more than thirty years. www.drdonnamarks.com

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