Reality of Addiction & Pain

What is an addiction? Is addiction itself the word with negative definition? The word addiction was often labeled as negative word, which was commonly associated with alcoholism, drugs, gambling and sex. I just opened the Merriam-Webster app on my iPhone to find the true definition of addiction. There are two different meaning on addiction, both in negative and positive:

1)   A strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble)

2)   An unusually great interest in something or a need to do or have something

On few occasions, A few conversation with people who had mentioned to me about their healthy addiction; I had to clarify what healthy addiction is. I got answers: reading inspirational & biographies stories, going to gym to workout, art & craft, artwork, listening to music, and learn new vocational skills.   I saw all of those positive activities, which enhance their soul to do something, which will contribute to their personal growth in being better person.

Addicted to alcoholism, drug, gamble, and sex are often called deadly addiction. Did it give any benefit to personal growth? The answer is simply no! Deadly addiction was viewed as “false medication” to withered soul. So what is withered soul?  During my inner healing journey, more I did the soul-searching in presence of God, I realized how ugly my soul was.  It was truly damaged where I gained new knowledge of an importance inner healing.  “Withered soul”, new term of definition that I came up with, means:

The dryness and sapless in soul where it lost the freshness and good sense of giving the aroma toward others.

Why did people use the deadly addiction behavior to ease off the pain in their withered soul?  It is due to three main reasons:

1)   Rejection: therefore a need to belong!

2)   Guilt and shame: therefore a need of self-worth!

3)   Weakness and helplessness: therefore a need of strength and self-control

Rejection, guilt & shame, and weakness & helplessness are based on negative emotion inside the soul of human being. The withered soul reflects the sense of spiritual death, lost knowledge of God, dominant negative emotions and too many choices (too many choices refers to being in state of confusion where it can lead to poor decision which brings serious consequence on their life).

The most common of cycle of deadly addiction:


So how can withered soul be turned into healthy soul? It is why Jesus spoke to Samaritan woman at the Well:

Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life. ~John 4:13 (New Living Translation)

Jesus is the living water where he waters our soul and let it be full of freshness!  Intimacy relationship with God is the first step in recovery.   The envision of healthy soul:

1) Significance: has a divine purpose

2) Safety and security: all of needs were provided for

3) Belonging: has a sense of belonging

The healthy soul has a great sense of being physically and spiritually alive in the presence of God.  Deadly addiction is the false medication where it ease of the pain for temporary until the effective from the usage of deadly addiction behavior wears out.  It is where the pain keeps coming back.  Peter Scazzero spoke about the reality of pain:

The sad reality is that most of us will not go forward until the pain of staying where we are is unbearable.

Obviously, the true inner healing begins where the pain is truly unbearable.  I, recall of, went to one of the Alcoholic Anonymous meeting in North Boston area, one of the presenter said, “The true inner healing begins when you are stripped of everything”. It made sense to me that deadly addiction behavior will cause you to see your healthy environment and circumstance deteriorate slowly. Even when we didn’t see anything until we were stripped of everything.

Taking steps in recovery progress will not change everything for better, quickly or overnight. It is a long process. It requires much of patience to endurance with all kinds of pain. Trials will impact our lives as it will allow our spiritual and emotional mature. It will give us the new skills dealing with some difficult situation in a healthy way. During our recovery progress, we begin searching our soul and discovering the healthy activities. It will bring our healthy addiction to our soul and enhance the benefit of others for the best.


An apostle Paul wrote to the city of Colosse:

…the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.~Colossains 1:10 (New Living Translation)


Sources used for this article:

  1. Anderson, Neil T. Victory over the Darkness. Ventura, CA: Regal, 2000.
  2. Scazzero, Peter. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: Unleash a Revolution in Your Life in Christ. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2011.

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