Everyone has an addiction. What’s yours?
Written by Manal Khalife
Food. Drugs. Love.
We’re all addicted to something. We all use something to escape, to distract, and to feel good when we really feel bad. Yet, we look to those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol and we form judgements about them and their circumstances. We’ll say things like: “That was a choice they made.” – “They’re doing it to themselves.” – “They’re selfish.” – “They’ll never change.”
The truth is they are not alone. A broad definition of addiction that I use is any behavior or pattern that you turn to compulsively despite the negative consequences in one or more areas of your life: social, financial, emotional, physical and mental.
The difference between someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol and the rest of us, is that most of us turn to more socially ‘acceptable’ ways of coping with life’s challenges. Instead of drinking and using, we’re eating, sleeping and working our stress away. What’s similar though is that we’re stuck in our negative thinking patterns, we’re afraid, and we’re doing the best we know how…
Seek Pleasure and Avoid Pain
Until we learn new, healthier ways to cope, we all try to escape pain. We may not get drunk or get high, but instead we do other things compulsively. We were built to do what brings us pleasure, and avoid what brings us pain. How we do that differs from one person to another.
Just look around you. We live in an overweight, overworked, and oversexed society. Why is that? What are we seeking?
Why do we consistently reach for, and crave, food, social media, material things and even unhealthy relationships, despite the negative consequences showing up in our lives? Consequences like excess weight, loss of connection from our loved ones, heartbreak and declining health.
More importantly, what can we do about it? What if there was a way to get to the root of your addictions, and break these habits? What if you could feel more calm, connected and at peace, without having to eat, drink or sleep your problems away?
We are more Alike than we are Different
I came to this conclusion after attending a local Narcotics Anonymous meeting. The attendees all spoke of traumas and painful memories shortly before they began using or drinking. They didn’t want to face the pain and it was easier to just pretend it didn’t exist. After many years though, the consequences of that first decision made a big impact on their lives.
If we can take a look at when our ‘addictions’ started, and what was going on in our lives at the time, we can also begin to unravel the hold it has on us. We can begin to make peace with the pain, the neglect, the losses and begin to connect more to ourselves and less with things outside of us.
Of course, one of the best tools, to deal with those past experiences, and break free from negative thoughts and behaviors is tapping.
Below, is a gentle tapping sequence meant to support you as you try to break free from the cravings or ‘addictions’ that are showing up in your life.
Tapping to Reduce Cravings
Beginning at the karate chop point…
KC: Even though I have this addiction to/craving for _________, I am in the process of releasing all of this.
KC: Even though I don’t know how to stop ________(eating/smoking/checking my phone, etc), I am open to seeing the possibilities.
KC: Even though I don’t know how or why this started, I accept myself and all of my feelings
Eyebrow: This addiction/craving that has a hold on me
Side of eye: I have all this resistance to the idea
Under eye: I don’t know how to stop
Under nose: I’ve been doing this for so long
Chin: I don’t even notice I’m doing it half the time
Collarbone: I’m not even sure I want to let it go
Under arm: It’s not harming anyone anyway
Top of head: I’m just doing what I need to do
Eyebrow: What if that wasn’t true though?
Side of eye: What if it was harming someone?
Under eye: And that someone was me
Under nose: What if there was another way to meet my needs
Chin: That was healthier and felt good
Collarbone: What if I could see this in a new way?
Under arm: What if I could see myself in a new way?
Top of head: Free from negative thinking and old habits
Eyebrow: I am open to seeing what I need to see
Side of eye: I don’t know how to stop but I am open
Under eye: To healing old memories and experiences
Under nose: To forgiving myself
Chin: Recognizing I’ve been doing the best I can with what I have
Collarbone: It’s safe to do things differently now
Under arm: It’s safe to put energy into my own self-care
Top of head: I am open to stepping into a new me
Take a deep breath. Know that you are safe in this moment and that support is out there and will show up in ways you could never imagine.