Step 2 – Understanding The Addiction and Cause

The next step in the healing process is to get an understanding of what an addiction is and the cause of the addiction. Ed Welch defines an addiction this way, “An addiction is a sin that you cannot seem to stop because it has great power over you. In this way it is a self-selected enslavement to an idol.” Whatever we are struggling with, it is not the main problem; it is the symptom of something that is going on deeper in our hearts. A lot of people try to manage their struggle or try to cut their struggle off. They never deal with the root issue of the struggle. When I am working in my yard the one thing that amazes me are weeds. They can grow anywhere no matter what type of soil they are in. How do you get rid of a weed? You have to pull the weed out with its roots. If I just cut a weed off at the ground level over time it is going to grow right back. If we are trying to manage our struggle all we are doing is cutting the weed off at the ground  level, we have to get the roots out. So what cause an addiction? Those who struggle with sexual issues have selected “sex” to be their “self-selected idol.” They are going to sex, porn, etc., because in their minds it is helping them deal with something much deeper inside of them, and if I had to guess it’s some type of pain. In reality the sex, porn etc., it’s just causing them more pain. Where is this pain coming from? More than likely there was some time of emotional wound that took place in their early childhood years. Left untreated this wound starts to bring intense pain, and in order for them to deal with the pain they turn to something in the flesh to suppress the pain. This in turns effects every are of their lives. It affects their marriage, family, job, etc., this then cause more pain and the cycle repeats itself. The wound is the root and one has to find it (most of the time by God’s help) and has to allow God to bring healing to it. Often times there are more than one wound, there are many. I understand too, that one may be pissed off at God for the things in their lives, but they have to allow God to help them work through the angry and to bring healing.  So what are some characteristics of an addiction?
1. Compulsivity – The loss of the ability to choose to stop a certain behavior.
2. Obsession – Is a complete pre-occupation with a behavior. At the height of an addiction an addict cannot stop dwelling on a behavior and will structure their day to get back to the struggle.
3. Tolerance – Over time what a person is doing no longer gives them the “high” they once experienced. It takes more and more to maintain the “high” created by the addiction.
4. Escapism – The addict is using the struggle to escape unpleasant and painful feelings.
5. Detachment – The struggle allows the addict to detach from the reality of their lives, even if it’s just for a short time.

By understand the addiction we can then start learning how to have victory over our struggles, and to continue to move in the healing process.

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