99Relapses Podcast Episode #15 Part I-Show Transcript

Hi, I’m James Egidio welcome to the 99 relapses podcast. The podcast that moves you from recovery to discovery through the grace and mercy of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. This is episode number 15, part one titled Belief Systems, and How They impact Your Addiction. Just to recap, episode number 14 I spoke about the five principles of addiction as a Christian, whereby I had discussed the law of pain, the double bind theory, social immaturity, the problem of control and finally, I finished with the secret of recovery. In this episode number 15, which is part one of a three part series. Has to do with belief systems and how they impact your addiction, and when I say belief systems, I’m not talking about faith-based belief systems, I’m talking about actual belief systems and how belief systems that have been instilled since childhood have an impact on your addiction and it seems that addiction is focused on two primary areas when you look at an addicted individual, and that is your will, which is your capacity to choose and direct your behavior and your self-esteem, which is the respect and value as to how you view yourself. Also known of course, as belief systems. So when you struggle with an addiction, these belief systems, which I will discuss in detail in this episode and of course, Episode 16 and 17 are molded in shape by how you bargain with your continued addiction through mind tricks, through those belief systems and these mind tricks are like a bargaining tool that you use to talk yourself into continuing the addiction. So again, When I say belief systems, I don’t necessarily mean faith based belief systems. Belief systems as to how you view yourself, the world, and God. But first you must understand that addiction splits the will of a person in two parts and that’s one part of course, desiring that freedom and that freedom from the addiction and the other of course is desiring only to continue the addictive behavior that’s how powerful addiction is. It’s that pulling you back and forth as I had mentioned in previous episodes, that is the, the sin nature that we’re all born with and that we have to come to terms and own up to our addiction and be responsible for our addiction, knowing that it is sinful and selfish behavior. But you have to dig a little bit deeper than just that. I’m not here to condemn anyone for an addiction it’s just that we have to look into the heart and soul of the matter of addiction and and dig deeper into what’s buried in your soul based on your addiction and your addicted behaviors. So if you had listened to episode number 14, I mentioned. What’s called the double bind theory, which I’ll mention quite a bit throughout the rest of this podcast. Which is real important and it’s the theory where you or someone, who’s challenged with addiction may have said something like I want to quit drugs and alcohol because they’re destroying my life but I don’t believe I can cope with life without drugs, and that’s considered the double bind theory. It’s that bargaining chip. So this internal struggle starts to erode at your self esteem and of course, This occurs because addiction is, sin as I mentioned and as a Christian, this tugs at the spirit and that the holy spirit that’s in dwelt within you and the spiritual tug of war with the subconscious leads to the continuation of the addiction. And of course the greatest damage to the self esteem comes from repeated failures at trying to quit the addictive behavior because you’ll see where someone’s addicted and, they. They’ll just say, oh, I’m going to quit. I’m going to quit on a quit. And then they just fall right back into it. And they come up with all kinds of excuses. And that’s the premise of this podcast episode is talking about. Some of the coping mechanisms that we use when we’re addicted or that you may use when you’re addicted to a certain behavior, whether it’s drugs or alcohol, pornography, food, obsessive thinking so on and so forth. So in this. Episode. I will address the personal battle of will. And self-esteem when it comes to addiction in an episode 16, again, as I said, I will, I’ll dive deeper into how belief systems that is false beliefs impact your addiction. In previous podcast episodes I discussed that you cannot depend on self or willpower when it comes to addiction and I also mentioned in previous episodes that a pill psychologist and a psychiatrist will not exclusively get you through sobriety. It’s going to take. Leaning on the Lord, our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. And developing that deep relationship with God that will get you through your addiction and for a lot of people, especially when they’re in the middle of an addiction, it’s hard for them to wrap their head around that, but the true freedom in sobriety and addiction is that relationship with Jesus Christ because when you look at you look at biblical principles it is freedom and a lot of people think the opposite, they think it’s these set of rules and these do’s and these dont’s. And it’s, that’s the furthest thing from the truth. When not only when it comes to addiction, but in, in faith as well and a lot of people equate faith in Jesus Christ as a religion, and it’s not a religion. The world doesn’t need religious people we need people that want a relationship with Jesus Christ and that’s the most important thing and once you get through that and you understand that, and you’re going through an addiction where you’re at maybe at a very low point in your life it just opens up the door to so many wonderful things, beautiful things in your life with relationships and of course your relationship with Jesus Christ. Proverbs 3:5-6 talks about trusting in the Lord. And it reads trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do. And he will show you which path to take. And I’ll discuss some of these. Coping mechanisms that are triggered through your own will. And self-esteem in this episode and in 16, I’ll talk about false beliefs. So we’ve got a lot to have a lot to talk about. In these next three podcasts episodes. That’s 15, 16, and 17 about false beliefs and our belief systems. So let me get started. The first main category that I’ve been wanting to talk about and coping mechanism is Self deception and we’re. All of us are guilty of this. When it comes to addiction, especially chemical addictions, drugs, and alcohol, that is, the goal for the addicted individuals to keep the addiction going. Of course. And that’s why it’s an addiction. And this self. Deception can and will manifest itself in a number of ways. And not necessarily in this order, but. These coping mechanisms may even overlap magnifying this self-deception. With self-deception. Of course, one of the most common things is denial and repression that you’re in an addiction and during the early phase of addiction, the conscious mind ignores the increasing use of the substance, the drug or the alcohol or the behavior so you’re in the middle of this quandary of addiction and things are out of control and you don’t know, you’re so focused and so fixated on that addiction that everything around you is just a blur. And you may have experienced that. As you have become more addicted to that substance or behavior and not only did you not recognize that a problem existed but you don’t even think about it. And this leads to denial, which of course in turn becomes a self-serving self fulfilling prophecy and selfish quest, I should say, for this out of control addiction and that’s one of the many sins that addiction leads to, as I had mentioned in the previous episodes where I had Titled it. Is Addiction Sin? And. That was episode number eight and nine I believe, and of course this denial of your addiction leads to more sin and more denial, which is lying and deception. You’re trying to hide it and not get into that in a minute and not only to yourself, but to other people, which makes it a selfish act. Which is sin and at this stage of an addiction. Usually the individual will come to a point and they realize that this addiction is out of control. But it may be a while and there’s frustration on part of the people that are involved with the addicted person. And even the person who’s addicted because the person who’s addicted. Deep down inside wants to quit and they know they’re deceiving themselves and they’re deceiving others so it’s this cycle of frustration and of course, denial and repression takes a lot of emotional energy. And is extremely stressful on the body physically and I mentioned this in episode number two, where I had talked about how addictions. Lead to alot of stress, but the stress also leads to the physical illnesses, and sometimes what happens and I’ve seen this over the years is that individuals who have may have been addicted to a certain drug over time end up once they’re sober, especially methamphetamine, people who have used methamphetamine deplete their serotonin levels in their brain and they have no emotion, no energy anymore, because they’ve pretty much depleted a lot of the neurotransmitter chemicals that are responsible for mood. And I’ll even get into that in a future podcast about the the physiology and the biochemistry on a basic level of addiction. And that’s a real good subject. I enjoy that subject because I have a background in biology. And I’ve been in the medical field for all my life or most of my life. So getting back to the stress destroys the internal peace well that you may have had with God prior to, or even during that addiction. Through prayer and through meditation and times of quiet relaxation. So you become disconnected by these activities, these addictive activities that occupy your attention and it leads to procrastination and even more disappointment and depression. So again, like I said, it’s a vicious cycle of more addiction and hopelessness, because, for a lot of people that are addicted, the thought of being alone, To reflect and meditate is that of the equation it’s out of the question. To meditate and have quiet time, especially. Chemicals like stimulants, like cocaine and methamphetamine and drugs that are uppers. The mind never relaxes. So times of open relaxed presence becomes an occasion for using these addictive substances and at this point in addiction you have to realize as the addicted individual is that real peace can only be obtained through faith in Jesus Christ and this reminds me of what I’ve read In John 14:27 and it reads peace. I leave you my peace. I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives, do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. And then John 16:33 reads I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart. I have overcome the world. I’m going to take a short commercial break and when I come back, I’ll talk about the other tactics that we use during an addiction as rationalization, hiding, and delaying the addiction Hi, welcome back to the 99 relapses podcast. before I took the commercial break, short commercial break, I spoke about the first coping mechanism that we use in an addiction or in the middle of an addiction. And that was of course, denial and repression. Now I want to finish up this podcast episode talking about the other three tactics that are used coping mechanisms that is when in the middle of an addiction, and the next one is that I want to talk about is rationalization. And I call this. Wrestling with the holy spirit for believers. Where denial and repression fail the addicted individual, of course realizes some kind of addiction exist but unfortunately, this r ealization of the addiction creates a lot of times a defensive maneuver for a lot of people where are they rationalize with themselves and they bargain with themselves in order to make excuses in order to justify their addiction and their addictive behavior. And it often sounds something like, and it may even sound familiar to you where you’ve been through this. I need a drink because I feel depressed or I deserve to celebrate. Or something like life is short, so why not enjoy it? Or the most famous one for a lot of addiction is while everybody else does it. So it must be normal. And this is the furthest thing from the truth, because when you start rationalizing, you’re just bargaining with yourself, you’re being selfish to yourself and of course this rationalization is usually evident that your addiction is present, otherwise, if there was no addiction, of course you would not have any reason to make excuses for that addiction. So that’s the second bargaining chip or coping mechanism I want to talk about the next one is hiding your addiction. And at some point in your addiction, And this there’s going to be some hiding or avoiding the truth about that addiction. And I had mentioned early on in the 99 relapses podcast that in order to get through your addiction successfully for sobriety you have to have, of course a good support structure from family or a spouse, someone who you can trust and, it’s not going to influence you to fall back into that addiction, but most importantly, you have to be transparent with that individual, with that loved one, that’s close to you in your addiction, that is so important, I can’t emphasize that enough and of course, like I said, eventually you’re going to get to a point in addiction, or if you hadn’t already been there where you’re going to hide, you’re going to avoid it and you’re going to avoid the truth about that addiction and then of course, eventually that denial and that repression in the right rationalization. Do not stop, but what they do bring is the truth out the addiction does and brings it out until the light and the truth will always prevail. The dark always gets snuffed out by the light and it exposes the dark, the light does. And the truth does. It’s hard. It takes a lot of courage to, to come out and be candid about it to a loved one because there’s a lot of shame and there’s a lot of guilt and there’s a lot of anxiety when it comes to addiction. And this is the verse that comes to mind that comes from John 8:12, which reads Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness because you will have the light. That leads to life Unfortunately When it comes to hiding your addiction it’s no longer effective like I said, it’s that the dark is always going to be snuffed out by the light and when you’re trying to hide from other people, As I had mentioned in episodes two and three this can lead to destructive relationships or no relationships at all if it’s found out and you’re not honest about it. So it’s always good to be honest about what you’re going through and what you’re struggling with someone close to you, a loved one or spouse and I know it’s a hard thing to do, but it’s gotta be done. And it’s a part of healthy support as well, once the burden is lifted on the truth of your addiction. In order for you to get through it successfully. The third thing I want to talk about is delaying and this is, I believe the last thing I want to talk about is delaying your addiction. And at some point. With an out of control addiction. You’re going to have to come to a point and say to yourself, And you will do this. And a lot of people have done this. I’ve got, I really got to stop. You’ll say that to yourself. I really got to stop. I just need a little more discipline and willpower and unfortunately, this is where the struggle begins with your mind where you will delay the process by saying to yourself, I need to think this through and decide carefully when and how to quit and what are my reasons for quitting and when you continue to install, these delay tactics it just gives you more time to think about the addiction and to continue the addiction so that you really start bargaining with yourself and it’s a form of procrastinating and of course this contemplation. Like I said, turns into a stall tactic where you talk yourself out of any kind of sobriety. This is where you can find yourself continuing the addiction and behavior years later and it’s very common among People who want to quit smoking, smoking cessation because it’s very easy for you to say I’ll try to quit I’ll try to quit you continue to smoke and you may not suffer the consequences until years later and by then, it’s usually too late with emphysema or COPD or lung cancer and of course delaying gives you this false sense of security and it also places you in a comfort zone of addiction usually and sobriety and dealing with these real life issues seems to be risky at times, but being addicted and placing yourself in an abyss of misery usually becomes the norm. So repeated failure, especially through self or willpower as I mentioned many times in previous episodes of the 99 relapses podcasts leads to depression and admission of defeat. The passive approach to quitting and defeat for person, normally takes place when you get to a point of the point of no return in the addiction. The passive approach also is an approach that I see through AA and NA, and this is why I’m not proponent of NA and AA.. The problem is people hit rock bottom and they’ll say I have a higher power, which I’m surrendering to it’s not God it ends up becoming the addiction itself and this is why I’m not too keen on NA and AA because the full surrender is not to the addiction itself, it’s to Jesus Christ. With NA and AA, it’s always a higher power, which that higher power always comes out to be whatever they choose it to be rather than to a full commitment to Jesus Christ. So the delaying tactic just is a way of procrastinating. So for the addicted person, struggling only with willpower, the desire to continue this addiction will win. Sobriety is only found in a deep and committed relationship with Jesus Christ. Thank you for joining me for this episode of the 99 relapses podcast. And please join me in episode number 16 as I continue this three part series on belief systems and how they impact your addiction. I’d like to close out this episode with a prayer thank you so much for listening again. Heavenly father, we just give you so much. Thanks and praise, Lord. We just thank you so much for each and every day that you give us Lord. Each and every day, knowing that you are the almighty God, your a powerful God, you’re an omnipotent God and omnipresent God, a loving God. And we’re just so grateful for that. Lord your. God who brought your only begotten son? Jesus Christ. Our Lord and savior. Who you brought to this earth in a physical body to be to be sacrificed at the cross, to shed his blood for our sinsand we are so grateful and thankful for that. We’re so grateful and thankful for the strength and courage, that you give us Lord that you get us through our addictions that no matter whether we go through denial and repression or we rationalize about our sins and our addiction or we hide our sins and our addiction or even delay it we know that you’re the one that igives us the strength and courage to bring us out into the light from the dark of our addictions, our deep addictions and we’re just so grateful for that Lord that we can’t do it on our own that we need the strength and the courage from you Lord. And we’re so grateful that you brought your son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and savior to make that ultimate sacrifice for that we’re just so thankful and your son’s name Jesus Christ Amen. Thank you for listening to this episode of the 99 relapses podcast for current podcast episodes, episode show notes, episode memory, versus as well as episode recovery lessons and tools go to 99 relapses.org, that’s 99 relapses.org, that’s the number 99. Also, if you would like prayer requests for yourself, family, friends please do not hesitate to send me your prayer request. If you have an interesting story to share about how God changed your life through addiction and recovery or are expert in the field of Christian addiction and recovery, have published a book, have a Christian addiction, recovery podcast, or website and you would like to be featured on the 99 relapses podcast please email me any time by going to 99 relapses.org and go to the contact page to message me. I will respond within 24 to 48 hours. 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