Most often addiction is viewed as the “problem”, in actuality addiction is simply a very poor solution. That’s a pretty controversial statement so let me explain…
When someone is turning to an addictive behavior that is detrimental to their very lives or their own happiness it must be filling a void. People simply don’t do things that don’t work at least on some level. So, the problem is actually that they feel the need to reach out to something outside of themselves to try to make them feel okay inside. Reaching out isn’t the problem, it’s an attempt at a solution.
The problem is that they are walking through life not being able to relate and deal with life on life’s terms. There is a lack of self-love inside, a lack of intimacy inside, trust, coping mechanisms…a way to look at life so that it makes sense and they are empowered to create the happiness they deserve.
We don’t have an addiction problem in this world, we have a hopelessness problem in this world. When people are looking at their lives and can’t see a way to be happy or fulfilled…that is hopelessness. Whether it’s not feeling good enough, smart enough, capable enough, from the right enough side of the tracks, rich enough, have enough lucky breaks, etc. There’s an epidemic of people not feeling “enough”.
I believe that people with all types of addictions need a way to look at life that makes sense. A way that gives them hope for the future. Not in a way that makes sense to those around them but in a way that makes sense to them. This is why I believe spirituality (which is the basis for all 12 step programs) has been able to do what traditional methods haven’t. Once someone can connect to the safety of a Higher Power and begin to see the world through new eyes…then they can open to a new way of Being. A way that includes Love, joy, happiness, hopefulness, and empowerment.
Living with this “solution” to the insecurity, fear and hopelessness that plagues them can allow them to let go of the poor solution of the addiction. This can give them more than the momentary reprieve of suffering they feel through the addictive act and embrace them in the warmth of the Truth of Love that is the reality they seek but struggle to find.