Core Beliefs of Addiction
Think of one thing that you really struggle with that only select people know about. Observe how your body feels while you are thinking of it. How does your neck feel while you're thinking of this? Your stomach? Your chest? What emotions are you experiencing? Now message the next person who posts something on Facebook and tell them about this incredibly vulnerable struggle.
This is a modified version of what Tyler Patrick presents to his audience members in order to explain what having an addiction feels like. He then goes on to explain the core beliefs of addiction. Here they are in summary:
1. "There is something about me that is wrong - I am unworthy, inadequate, inferior, incompetent, bad"
2. "I am so flawed that if anybody really saw me they wouldn't love me"
3. "Because I can't let anyone in, because they would reject me, I have to do everything on my own. I can't trust other people"
Some of us may personally know these beliefs but may not have developed an addiction of any kind. Tyler Patrick says that when these beliefs are part of an addiction, they become embedded within the addiction and this impacts the model of recovery that needs to be taken.
He explains that recovery is often not what people think it to be. Contrary to popular belief, it's not just staying sober (not acting out), but about confronting the faulty beliefs mentioned above.
And more, recovery is about living a life of connection where we are
Connected to God (referred to as Higher Power in his talk)
Connected to others
Connected to ourselves (heart & mind)
He emphasizes that these three relationships are absolutely essential to recovery and he dedicates the rest of the talk to breaking them down (1). Specific topics include humility, seeing beyond ourselves, having hope, having a safe place to grow from, empathy, curiosity, adventure, self-care, self-mastery, self-compassion, and the what-the-[heck] effect (lol!).
Whether you are a loved one, a helping professional, or are going through this personally, I highly recommend Tyler Patrick's full conference talk (1). He gives a very deep, real, and compassionate response to addiction: what causes it and what moves us out of it.
He also shares real heart-warming and inspiring stories of his clients that have successfully sought recovery; people that he so strongly roots for and believes in. I am certain that there is something each of us can relate to in this talk, regardless of whether we connect to the term "addiction" or not.
For those of us struggling, don't give up! You deserve love and support. You can do it! (But not alone!)
"The opposite of addiction is connection"
Tyler Patrick, Utah Coalition Against Pornography (UCAP) https://vimeo.com/210838395 (1)
"Recovery turns people who know darkness into people who use that darkness for good and it becomes beautiful … it becomes a reclamation of an entire person"
"We're all really good at using shame, fear and doubt to try to motivate ourselves to do better and it never gets better. It just turns into the what-the-[heck] effect… The part of us that's better with change is the part that operates from love…"
"... No tools of sobriety will ever be enough unless we learn how to operate from the inside out"
"An emotion, that through empathy is validated, decreases"
Self-compassion exercise (at 43 minutes)