From Confusion to Clarity: How to Make Sense of the Chaos of Addiction

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It happens all the time in the lowest of low states: the urge; the propulsion to figure out the problem. 

Whether you’re an addict in the depths of addiction, or a loved one reaching for solutions, there’s a desire to logically and rationally find the cause of a challenging situation, and follow with a nice tidy solution that will set out a clear path for returning to happiness and well-being. 

While this is totally possible, it is a process, and there are a few things to consider in this quest for understanding, from a place of confusion, frustration, despair or any other negative emotion that addiction can evoke from addicts, or friends and family of addicts. 

  1. The brain does not work well under stressful conditions. We know the place in the cerebral processing where glorious inspired thought and action seems to flow seamlessly into the realm of awareness. And being in the depths of addiction, or in the hopelessness that can come from witnessing a loved one’s addiction, does not lend itself to this type of effective mental processing, at first. It helps to explore it with the aid of a centered, stable professional, or a friend or mentor who is not heavily affected. It also helps to find some calm and peace before tryin to figure anything out. In other words, there is nothing to figure out at first, just identifying next steps, finding reassurance that there is hope, and a surrender to the mystery that is in the process of becoming more clear.
  1. Confusion is nowhere close to clarity in energetic terms. There are some steps in between, including some surrender, some acceptance of not knowing, and some neutrality. In other words, take it easy, there is a process at work; trusting in the process is also helpful on the way to clarity and happens little by little, and often with much resistance.
  1. Help is always on the way. Though it can be impossible to see the help if vision is obscured by beliefs that prevent this help from being perceived or utilized. It can be like magnets with charges that are not compatible, we can literally refuse help because we perceive it as something else- a threat to freedom, or infringement on independence, or a heavily laden debt. If we have a habit of seeing all interference to the patterns that perpetuate our reality as somehow not helpful, that perception may hinder our allowance of help. 

There are so many accounts of addicts being saved from near death experiences, in rather esoteric ways, brought back to a level of consciousness and success in life they have only dreamt of, through various steps, signs, helpers, etc. 

Addiction, while a very physiological phenomenon of physical and mental proportions, also carries with it a spiritual component. Like a yin of entrapment paired with a yang of freedom, sometimes addiction has the potential to set people on a path of such tremendous freedom and transformation, that can only be accessed from experiencing it’s opposite. 

And how does one begin to experience the opposite of addiction; the solutions, recovery from a dis-eased place, or clarity from utter confusion? Here are some simple steps that have been found to aid tremendously in this process: 

  1. Reach out for help. Whether this is to a friend, an entity, a help line, the simple act of reaching out can be instrumental in beginning to know what the next step is, and trusting that there is hope and help available.
  1. Take it one day at a time, or one moment at a time. Whether you are witnessing another’s addictive cycles and experiencing the empathetic pain that can evoke, or you are the one in the addictive cycles- distilling the information flowing in to the brain down to one moment, especially by noticing the senses, and where the body is in the moment, will help to alleviate some of the discomfort that hinders progress and growth from a taxed and overwhelmed mind.
  1. Pause, when agitated or doubtful. This line is taken directly from the big book of alcoholics anonymous. Whether you resonate with that particular path or not, there are some very helpful antidotes to the mental chaos of addiction and alcoholism in there. So often we don’t think to take a moment to stop and breath when things are chaotic or confusing. It can be a practice that creates more space for help to flow to us in unexpected ways, if we pause and carve out this space for something different. 
  2. Don’t believe everything you think. This is also a common slogan in many 12 step groups, because addiction, by definition interferes with higher processing, it can wreak havoc on perception and distort much of reality in the mind of the addict.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help address this distortion, and liberate folks from intense thoughts, so that they can entertain the possibility that there are other more helpful ways of thinking about things, this can begin a more positive thought train that can lead to more clarity. 

So whether you are wanting to gain clarity around a loved one’s addiction, or your own, there is much help available, and so many elements that can alleviate some of the negative symptoms of addiction, and set people on a path towards greater clarity and freedom. 

If you or your loved one are in need of a supportive treatment environment that is experienced in guiding addicts and alcoholics to clarity, healing, and freedom, download our free ebook15 Q&A TO GET STARTED ON A JOURNEY TO A MINDFUL RECOVERY”

If you would like to hear from one of Oasis Recovery Center’s inspiring clients, about their own journey, moving out of addiction into freedom and recovery, click here

Help is on the way.