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We’ve all heard of the black holes that lurk out there in the many galaxies. They are almost impossible to detect and have only been discovered through scientific observation of the elusive space and its interaction with its surroundings. These dark spaces, large and small, are formed when a star dies and collapses into itself. The gravity is so powerful that once sucked in, nothing can escape – not even light.

Addiction operates in the same way as a black hole. You start off as a star, a bright and shining light. At some point severe pain caused a feeling of collapse within you, and sucked away all of your light along with everything else meaningful in your life.

Like a vast vacuum, addiction consumes anything and everything in its path. But like the black hole, the consumption is endless and forever.

The gravitational pull is so strong; it feels impossible to escape and can only endlessly search for the next object to fill the void that continues only to expand.

But, unlike the celestial black holes, there is a way out of the invisible hole of addiction.


Face the Reality

People who aren’t addicted (the lucky few) don’t wonder if they have a problem. They simply try this and that and aren’t sucked into the feelings that accompany those experiences. They aren’t trying to fill an empty space they are simply okay just the way they are. They don’t like to be dependent or mood-altered at all.

But since most addictions are designed (for those of us who feel empty and inferior) to cover up the void, we get sucked further in along the way. So rather than denying we are in midst of a black hole, we must admit it before it’s too late to get out.


Recognize Stopping is Easier than Control

Most people spend years trying to control the behavior(s) that controls them. This form of denial only energizes the black hole.

So rather than trying to control how much alcohol, drugs, gambling, porn, relationship(s), etc., you use, get away from the black hole altogether. It is not possible to control an addiction. If it were, you wouldn’t keep going back to it.

Once you stop, you won’t have to be worried about the black hole, it will gravitate toward other willing participants, and you can then refuel your inner star.


Let Your Shine

Addictions only suck up your light, so once you stop them, your light will rekindle itself. But first, you have to address what caused your star to collapse in the first place. Whatever started that void; loss, trauma, or some other emotional collision — it must be healed. Take the time to find the right person to help you through this process and stay committed to your healing until the pain is gone.

Once the pain is gone, there’s still more work to do. All addictions are a substitute for feeling good about yourself, so you have to replace the addictions with loving choices that fuel your light. Make sure you are as committed to the healthy behaviors as you were to your former unhealthy addictive habits.

Also, make sure you widen your social circle with other people who seek light so that you aren’t a vulnerable lost star floating around the universe. Darkness move away from light so don’t be surprised when your former addict buddies avoid you when you stop partaking.

There are thousands of places where you can go to find other people who are on the path of enlightenment – 12-step programs, spiritual study groups, church, nature centers, meditation, yoga, etc.

You are here for a reason and a purpose. As stated in the Desiderata, “You are a child of the universe, you have a right to be here.” So don’t let the black hole of addiction pull you away from the reason you are here. Let your light shine.

Join the Movement

Donna Marks is an educator and licensed psychotherapist and addictions counselor in Palm Beach, Florida. Since 1989, she has worked with over 6,000 clients. Donna’s struggle with addiction brought her to a worldwide search for healing. She became licensed as a Mental Health Counselor in 1987. In 1989, she earned a Doctorate Degree in Adult Education, then became Certified in Addictions, Gestalt Therapy, Psychoanalysis, Hypnosis, and Sex Therapy. Donna developed an award-winning addiction training program at Palm Beach Community College. She co-owned an outpatient treatment program and is a consultant to treatment centers. Donna is the author of two books; Learn, Grow, Forgive, and the multi-award-winning, Exit the Maze-One Addiction, One Cause, One Cure, and created an online course for people who want to be cured of addiction. 

Donna is a public speaker and has shared her methods with hundreds of thousands of listeners on podcasts and radio shows.

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