Came to believe

Just about everybody knows someone who is addicted to something, and I am not talking about the soft addictions that limit our connection to our highest self.  I am talking about hard core addictions that are affecting the lives of not only the addict, but also many lives around them.  Addiction takes no prisoners and it spares no lives. Families are torn apart, friendships are dissolved, businesses go bankrupt and employees lose their jobs.  Children are left without parents and parents lose children to drug related tragedies.

Many of us have been asked to help someone who is in need of treatment, only to find that after a few days of sobriety the person has returned to their past behaviors.  I know of one person who has spent over $200,000.00 on treatment programs for his son only to have him end up using after all was said and done.

Addicts are not soulless-bad people who willingly harm others for the sake of doing so.  They are suffering with a disease that affects their mind, body and spirit.  They are doing what they feel they need to do in order to survive and they live in fear of having to change their way of life.  They are afraid because the disease of addiction strikes at the center of the brain that operates through our subconscious; the same part of the brain that controls our heart beat and our breathing as well as many other survival functions.

If you have ever watched the television shows such as; Addicted, Intervention, or even My Strange Addiction, you will see the cold hard truth of what it is like to be under the spell of addiction.  You will see, “Continued use, in spite of negative consequences” up close and personal.  Still, without having the experience yourself, you can never truly understand what is going on in those persons thoughts. The behavior appears to be completely insane, and it is.

Insanity is defined:  Repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.  The addict truly thinks that the next drug is going to fix them and they will never need to use again, hence the term “get my fix.”

What I have found in my experience, as well as in the experience of others, is that insanity is temporary. The second step of the Twelve Step programs is; Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.  So how do we do this? How do we come to believe?  How did you come to believe?   Have you always believed? Do you still not believe?

When I first came to sobriety, and was confronted with this step, I did what many others have done; I went on faith.  If it worked for others it could work for me – unless they were lying!  Yes, I didn’t believe yet, but I was willing to give it a try.  What I have come to understand over the years of being clean is that to be fully sane, is a lifelong process. I return to sanity in bits and pieces only to awaken to other areas of insanity.  Through the enlightenment of unhelpful behavior patterns exposed in my life, my level of joy and freedom are increased.

To be fully sane, is a lifelong process.

Faith is simply taking someone’s word for something and being willing to give it a try. It doesn’t mean just trust me and don’t question me.  Faith is not going blindly on what others say.  Faith is temporarily putting aside current beliefs to experience another way of doing things.  Faith, with experience, turns to belief.  Belief, with experience and awareness, turns to knowing.  When you get to a place of knowing something to be true, you have found peace.

So this is what I am here for, to help others to take a leap of faith, and support them through their process of coming to believe, and then walking beside them as they get to know, who they really are and what they wish to do.  This is life in recovery.  This is the path to peace.

In June we kicked off our first in a series of CWG on recovery retreats.  A small group of people all shared a life-changing event.  If you are in recovery and not experiencing great joy and freedom or are still suffering with addictions, please consider giving yourself this experience.   Our next retreat will held in San Jose, California, Sept 19 -22nd, 2013.  On October 24 – 27th, 2013, we will have another retreat in Orlando Florida.  Click here for more information on these life-changing retreats.

(Kevin McCormack, C.A.d ,is a certified addictions professional. He is a recovering addict with 26 years of sobriety. Kevin is a practicing auriculotherapist, life coach, and interventionist specializing in individual and family recovery and also co-facilitates spiritual recovery retreats for the CWG foundation with JR Westen. You can visit his website here for more information. To connect with Kevin, please email him at Kevin@TheGlobalConversation.com)

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  • Rick Dorociak

    To start,
    let me say that my addiction controlled my life in every aspect of it. When it
    comes to addictions, yes they come in many forms and mine was food. I wasn’t
    addicted to any particular item, just the need to control my anxiety through
    it. My addiction was brought on by many factors, but the biggest was
    depression. Though never officially diagnosed with it, I know I did and still
    do suffer from it.

    When going
    through any type of setback in my life, it was easy to turn to food as a
    release to ease whatever situation I was in. Over the last few years I had many
    setbacks in which food became my “drug” of choice. I know most people won’t
    call food a drug, but in reality think about it. Drugs ease your pain, but they
    also cause damage to your body and this is what food did to mine. This
    addiction, my addiction, was the cause of me being diagnosed as a type 2
    diabetic (weight induced per the doctor). It also caused heart problems, which
    lead to a cardiac stent being inserted in 2008 and a host of other ailments.
    The most severe was the fact that this addiction caused me to balloon up to 392
    pounds in a short amount of time. As I continued to gain weight, my depression
    grew and my addiction got out of control.

    I tried
    everything to stop it, but it only seemed to get worse. I was now wearing a
    size 52 pant and 5X shirts. I even thought about suicide on a daily basis to
    solve my problem with it. This is the first time that I have ever admitted to
    anyone about those thoughts. It took me really looking at myself one day in the
    mirror and saying “What the hell are you doing, you’re going to die” for me to
    actually do something about it.

    I saw that
    you described addiction as insanity, that this behavior, addiction, was insane.
    I would agree that it is insane to expect a positive result in our lives from something
    that can only give us a negative outcome. I know nobody who benefited from an
    addiction. As for food being my “fix”, I guess after reading your article I
    would have to agree with that, though I never really translated it into that
    term. I truly believe with all my heart that the three most important words in
    any language are the following: Faith, Hope & Belief. If you would have the
    faith that anything is possible, the hope for a better life and the belief that
    you could do anything if you would just allow yourself to do it, then change for
    the betters is right in front of you.

    Though I
    still battle my addiction on a daily basis, with the power of something greater
    than me, I have more restraint over my “fix”ation with food. I have currently
    lost almost 160 pounds and have my diabetes and heart problems under control. I
    am still on the road to recovery and I believe always will be, but that road is
    now paved with a new hope for better things to come. Thanks for the great
    article Kevin, you are changing lives… Peace, Joy, Love & Abundance to you…

    Rick

    • Wow, how powerful is that story? You, my friend, nailed it right there. The battle is everyday, one day at a time. So long as we keep our head up, our heart open, and our hand out, we recover. Thank you!

    • Caroline Wegner- Lees

      Thank you for sharing your journey … I too understand this what you struggle with… appreciate your story ….. Joy is wished for you

  • imacarin1

    I’ve heard it said the meaning of addiction is “a lack of belief in something better”… you’re so right. Those who are addicted are also depressed. Byron Katie says depression is being in someone else’s business and absent in your own. And Abraham-Hicks says depression is you disagreeing with your higher self. However you look at it, I know of two powerful cures for depression that won’t freak someone out who’s thinking they want to quit, but can’t seem to: Qigong (I recommend the “Qigong for Energy Healing” DVD by The Chi Center) and sleep hypnosis. You can find inexpensive MP3’s on iTunes or use Camtasia’s free trial to record a Youtube video and create an MP3 yourself to listen to each night. As they experience changes through these techniques (the Qigong, btw, needs to be practiced for 90 days consecutively without exception), they will increase their faith in God inadvertently. This opens their heart, their soul, and their mind to peace and connection.

  • Edissa Zavarce

    Disculpe, no hablo inglés. Deseo exponer una duda. En el libro Conversaciones con Dios, Tomo II, hay capítulo donde Dios defiende y aconseja el cultivo del Cañamo o Canabis. Soy docente jubilada y he visto jóvenes que se iniciaron en la drogadicción con el consumo de la marihuana. Ellos y sus familias fueron destruídas por el consumo de las drogas, lo que se inició con el “inocente” consumo de marihuana dió paso al consumo de otras drogas mas fuertes con el resultado que usted ya conoce. Nunca la he consumido, pero jamás defenderé su cultivo ni su consumo. Perdoneme pero necesito una explicación de este capitulo. Gracias. Los amo

    • Here is the google translation of the above comment.

      Sorry, do not speak English. I want to exhibit a doubt. In the book Conversations with God, Book II, no chapter where God defends and advises the cultivation of Cannabis or Cannabis. I am a retired teacher and I have seen young people into drug addiction started with marijuana consumption. They and their families were destroyed by drug use, which began with the “innocent” marijuana gave way to the use of other drugs stronger with the result that you already know. I’ve never consumed, but never defend their culture and consumption. Excuse me but I need an explanation of this chapter. Thank you.

      • Here is my reply to Edissa:

        Yes in CwG book 2 God is very clear that we (Americans government) has made the growing of Hemp/Marijuana illegal for reasons that are not in the best interest of us or the planet. I will past the exact text just below this:

        “Hemp happens to be one of the most useful, strongest, toughest, longest-lasting materials on your planet. You cannot produce a better fiber for clothes, a stronger substance for ropes, an easier-to-grow-and-harvest source for pulp. You cut down hundreds of thousands of trees per year to give yourself Sunday papers, so that you can read about the decimation of the world’s forests. Hemp could provide you with millions of Sunday papers without cutting down one tree. Indeed, it could substitute for so many resource materials, at one-tenth the cost.

        And that is the catch. Somebody loses money if this miraculous plant—which also has extraordinary medicinal properties, incidentally—is allowed to be grown. And that is why marijuana is illegal in your country.”

        So there really is no conflict here. Using hemp for purposes like this should absolutely be taken advantage of. The use of marijuana for recreational purposes is not being proposed here or anywhere else in the cosmology.

        I have written another blog on medical marijuana here and if you read that I think you will find that I am with you on the destructive abuse of pot. The problem isn’t the drug or alcohol in any of these instances of lives being destroyed however, the problem is the dis-ease of addiction which is present before any drug ever enters the body.

        The chemicals mimic a cure to the problem which is called Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS). It is a genetic defect (or asset) that is handed down from generation to generation. When a person first uses a drug they feel “fixed” hence the term “get my fix.” What they are experiencing for the first time is pleasure the way a normal person feels pleasure.

        People with RDS have blocked pleasure receptors from birth. When the drug hits the receptors and opens them up, active addiction has begun. The mind takes control of our cognitive ability and believes that it needs the drug in order to survive.

        So pot is not really a gateway drug. It is usually the first drug which is why it gets that name. The reason being is that it appears as harmless as smoking which our society condones. More and more as prices and availability come down Heroine has taken over as the first drug kids are taking. This is because the drug has become so strong that the need to inject it isn’t there anymore and now it can be smoked.

        Little do the unsuspecting teens know that eventually, they will be desensitized to injecting it. This is the progression of the dis-ease.

  • Sandra

    Are you coming to Mexico? we need something like this, but if you do not speak spanish, can you bring a traductor? realy we need you, I’m from Mexicali Baja california, My son and his wife are to bad in drugs, sorry I have not a good english

    • Hi Sandra. Thank you for your reply. You can contact Laura Banda. She is bi-lingual, Spanish is her first language. She is also from Mexico and can help you with possibly bringing CwG to Mexico. Her contact info is Laura@cwg.org