Recovering from any addiction isn’t easy. Whether it’s smoking, fingernail biting, or drinking too much soda, there is no one magic antidote. It will take time and discipline. However, it can be done and it has to be done because it will make the world a better place. This is where Stairway to Freedom can help. The most important thing is to live One Day At A Time.
The Chicken or the Egg
It is often said that depression and addiction are like the chicken and the egg. We may never know which came first. But that’s OK.
Often, when a person is depressed, he or she is thinking about the past; with anxiety. But, when you stop to think about it, now is really all that matters, all that ever has mattered, and all that ever will matter.
When people get depressed or anxious, they become absorbed into these self-destructive thoughts that consume and threaten to annihilate their world, but each person has the power to end that thinking, to live now.
Wherever you are, be there. If you’re cooking, don’t think about what’s on TV, think about chopping the onions and carrots. If you’re reading a book, don’t think about what made you mad at work today, think about each word on each page.
The Power of Now
“To make the journey into The Power of Now we will need to leave our analytical mind and its false created self, the ego, behind,” says Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now, a how-to book on overcoming attachments.
The idea is not that we should despise all attachments and hate our ego, but instead to transcend these notions through understanding them. Instead of being mad that you have to wait in line at the check-out counter because the old lady working the register is slow, try to understand her. See the world through her eyes.
Through understanding others, we can rise above a self-centered worldview to realize that immediate pleasure is not the only thing there is. There’s so much more to the world than that.
Alternatives to Addiction
It’s easy to feel run down and exhausted after a long day, and fall into an unproductive pattern, but do something else.
Service is a magnificent alternative to addiction. Doing something for somebody else without hoping for any sort of compensation is life-altering. It can put the world in perspective and help you realize that everybody needs help once in a while. Nobody is perfect and we all have our short-comings, but together, we can make the world a better place.
So, get out there and help someone. As the wise Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Stairway to Freedom believes that it is essential for somebody who is recovering to abstain from all drugs and alcohol, participate in a recovery program, live in a shared living community, and regularly attend 12-step meetings. To learn more, visit Sober Living Chicago.
If you or someone you know could benefit from our support, please contact us for more information.