We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
… First! Wash the inside of the cup, and then the outside will become clean, too. Matthew 23:26 NLT
I am not good, only God is good. However, as I get to know God better, I am being made better. --Anonymous
Seeing the Big Picture
It is vitally important that we recognize all of the possible ways that addiction has become part of our lives. Tragically, many people begin their recovery journey only to become derailed by other addictions that they didn’t recognize and address. Addiction, most often thought of as related to alcohol, food, drugs, sex, and gambling, is most accurately thought of as any kind of destructive dependency. Addiction is almost limitless in the way that it can destroy our lives.
Today, it is becoming ever more common for treatment centers to diagnose their patients with co-occurring addictions that parallel and commingle with the originally identified addiction. For the sake of our recovery, it is important for us to evaluate all aspects of our addictions(s), the best we can. If we don’t, our most pronounced addiction cannot be healed.
The list of common addictions includes:
• Mind and mood-altering substances like alcohol, nicotine and other drugs
• A burdening need to work, achieve or succeed
• Overspending, gambling, or hoarding money
• An unhealthy view of sex, craving pornography and/or romantic relationships
• Approval seeking and having unhealthy dependencies on family and other people
• Unbalanced desire for exercise, the need to look good or pursuing unnecessary medical procedures
• Addictions related to food and/or the aversion to food
• Unhealthy view of religion, and/or over emphasis on religious practice that reduces the intimacy of personal spirituality
Honestly addressing all of our addictions helps us become more open to God. Exercising the humility to recognize and admit our most subtle addictions enables us to experience courage like we have never experienced it before. In this way, God will make it possible for all of our addictions to be transformed into healthy and powerful assets. With this in mind, let us not blind ourselves to any of our addictions. Whatever addiction we ignore can potentially reignite our most powerful addictions and this can bring great harm to our lives and to the lives of our loved ones.
Things to Think About
• How would you describe your most profound addiction?
• Write down some of the various ways that you have been triggered to act out in your primary addiction?
• What are some of the social environments that tempt you to act out?
• Who are some of the people who tempt you to act out?
• What are some of the things that you do under the influence of your addiction that you would not otherwise do?
• What foods do you crave when you are sad, lonely or tired?
• Name some things that you have done while acting out that you would not had previously thought you would never do.
• When you think about your addiction, what are some of the other things you crave that you know are not right for you?
• How have you “accidentally” found yourself acting out in your addiction when you just meant to have some fun in another way?
Insights and Inspirations for Christian Twelve Step Recovery
By David Zailer and The Men and Women of Operation Integrity
Chapter Four Segment Five
Copyright David Zailer, 2008
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