Addictive cycles are oftentimes subtle in nature. It is very possible that an individual can be in the midst of a cycle and not even be aware of the fact. And once things escalate to the point that someone has begun exhibiting alarming behavioral patterns, he may feel inclined to stop the cycle of addiction, cold turkey. But this is a lot harder said than done. An addictive pattern can be interrupted for days, weeks, and possibly even a few months. But unless the issues underlying the addiction are addressed, no real progress will have been made.
All the person will have done is push the pause button. And once the addictive cycle starts again, it will likely do so with an absolute vengeance. Because the very nature of addiction demands that the person go further and further down the rabbit hole each and every time, he will likely also experience becoming increasingly desensitized to progressively more extreme stimuli. That means that when the addictive cycle jumpstarts, the addict will want more, and more, and more, and more…
With addiction, the addict never gets enough of his vice.
That means that an abrupt change in behavior (i.e., disposing of one’s BDSM paraphernalia and vowing to “never do that again”), does not necessarily indicate that a true change has taken place within the person. This usually is just a part of the addictive pattern. The person will suppress urges for as long as he can before caving in and acting out, once more. He tells himself that he is getting it out of his system and that this will be his last time that he does this.
And yet, within a very short period of time, he is right back where he started.
And the alarming thing is that the very act of acting out has its own patterns. Each cycle of acting out carries with it equal portions of desensitization and the propensity to escalate in the behavior even further.
For this reason, we favor actually working through the phases of addiction, as opposed to working to suppress thoughts, feelings, emotions and actions connected to addictive patterns. We believe that you should commit to the work – not run.
Our experience leads us to believe that learning to be present is one of the most effective methods for combating addictive patterns. In being present, one gains confidence, a greater sense of self, and stronger coping skills. Relationships are better. Work is better. One’s mental well-being is better. And, life, itself, is much better.
Learning to be present allows one to break up the addictive cycle. Initially, it will only be for short periods of time. But if you can break the cycle up enough times and learn to engage in healthy behaviors for longer periods of time, the addictive cycle will become less and less of a priority, and the addictive cycle will have begun to be effectively disrupted.
Disrupt the addictive cycle and replace it with one’s truth. This is the secret.
Who is the true you? What is your purpose? Why are you here? What compels you in life? What do you want to accomplish in life? What makes you happy? What makes you feel good? Learn to be present. Learn to break up the addictive cycle. Learn to embrace your truth. And in doing so, you will be taking steps out of the grasp of addiction.