It’s strange how addiction lures us back into its web again and again, regardless of how many times it knocks us down. We swear we will never do ________ again, and then as if under some type of hypnotic trance, we do the very thing we repeatedly swore off. It might be the same day; it might be weeks or months later. It doesn’t matter how long. The addiction is like a patient lion in wait, ready to pounce when the prey is most vulnerable.

How is it possible that despite failing health, severe hangovers, and complete loss of time, a person will drink again? How can someone who has lost all of their possessions from gambling, briefly stop, and then go right back to the casino? How do couples who can’t stop hurting each other and repeatedly break up, continue to reconcile? How does someone suffering from Diabetes II, obesity, and ill health, continue to eat unhealthy foods that are burying them alive? How does someone who has been warned of COPD continue to light up a cigarette? How does someone who overdoses on drugs, risk dying the next time? How many consequences does it take to crack a person’s denial?

The answer is none.

No matter how many times a person suffers the consequences, the only thing that matters is getting the next fix.

Addiction is like childbirth or breaking a leg on the ski slope. The pain is forgotten.

But the pain doesn’t go away. It simply gets stockpiled in a secret compartment, driving the person deeper and deeper into the addiction maze.

There is no amount of pain or negative consequences that can stop a person from addiction. The only thing that will halt the behavior is for a person to realize that the addict is not who they are.

It’s not the romantic, edgy, exciting journey into altered states and fantasies. It’s a living nightmare that blindly leads the addicted into hell. The admission price to hell is a few moments of bliss followed with never-ending remorse, anxiety, and suffering. This pattern doesn’t stop the addict; it only pulls the person deeper into the maze of shame and intensifies the need for more, more, more.

No amount of suffering will stop addiction. The only time a person ever stops addiction is when they decide ‘enough is enough.’ This means the person has decided to care enough about themselves to use the get-out-of-hell-free card. That card is called love.

No addiction I ever had, never ended with pain or suffering. They all ended when I decided to care about myself, and I realized no one would or could care about me more than I. That reality allowed me to use my mind for a higher purpose, rather than destroying my body and self-esteem with toxic substances, relationships, or otherwise bad choices.

Once I realized I was not on the planet to self-destruct, I was able to listen to that voice inside of me that had always said, “You can do better than this.” I held on to that voice when my addiction tried to get me to numb my feelings. I held on to that voice when my shameful past was waved in my face. I held on to that voice when someone hurt me, and I didn’t want to forgive. I held on to that voice no matter what.

The most important message that voice ever told me was, “You are here for a reason.” That’s when my purpose changed from serving my addiction to serving that higher purpose.

My only purpose is to share and receive love. Everything else follows; nothing else matters.

If you are addicted, you’ve been running your life on fear. The arms of recovery are love, and love is all around you. It’s never too late to listen to that loving voice inside of you. No matter what you’ve done, those arms are always ready to hold you, to guide you, to keep you safe.

Are you ready to learn how to love yourself?

If you want to connect with Dr. Donna Marks, and find out about her tools and programs on how to Reclaim Your Power Over Addiction, visit her website https://drdonnamarks.com/

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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