I am currently attending TEDMED 2015 in Palm Springs, where the focus is on how on to BREAKTHROUGH in health and medicine. For those of you not aware what that is, TEDMED is the annual TED event for the medical community. It is pretty awesome as it gathers up-and-coming entrepreneurs, scientists and young and seasoned minds: All focused on how to innovate, excel and expand health care to encompass all aspects of our health - including preventative health care and insight on how to inactivate genes of disease etc.
Breaking through is also a key component of breaking an addiction - we are breaking through to our essence: to who we really are at our core.
Those of us who do not master the part of breaking through in our recovery process of letting go of addiction, will get stuck in the hamster wheel.
When we don't breakthrough, we will instead try to white-knuckle our way out of our primary addiction by substituting with other socially more acceptable behaviors.
The issue is, that we are engaging in these socially acceptable behaviors as an addict.
This keeps the reward pathways alive of our primary addiction, and relapse is right around the corner, always.
To master the art of a break through, we will need to understand what DRIVES our behavior at the basic level. This, AFTER coming clean of the addictive substances.
Detox does not equal recovery.
After detox of the substances, starts the real work of getting reconnected and developing our Emotional IQ.
Our EQ is usually at the level of a 5-year-old after an addiction.
This is simply due to that we have stunted our own growth and avoided any discomfort by suppressing any discomfort of emotion with drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, food or whatever or addiction of choice has been.
The good news?
We can catalyze rapid and fast growth after an addiction, because we have experienced a different level of pain.
And we can use that pain to catapult us towards growth fast. That is, if we choose to take away that learning lesson which is encoded in the midst of our self-destruction.
There are 3 factors that drive every breakthrough:
1. Purpose: Ask yourself WHY you want to recover - you must have a aclear image of what is your purpose in life without addiction. Imagine a miracle happened overnight and you had no body memory of ever being an addict - what would your driving purpose in life be?
2. Autonomy: Often, in our addiction we feel like victims. We feel like everything is against us. That we are just not made for thise life. Even going to rehab feels like something, that others force us to do. This lack of recognizing that we are, in fact, in complete control of the decisions of how to go about recovery, prevents us from breaking through. Rather we tend to go through the motions - we detach and just go on autoplay. Not good. We are wating our time. The thing is, no one can truly make us do anything. When we think that someone is making us do something - it is time for us to get real. No, they are not making us do anything. What is likely going on is, that we don't want to deal with the consequences of not doing xyz. And that is OUR OWN CHOICE. Only you can decide, if you want to come clean. You decide how much pain you will tolerate - how fast you want to breakthrough. You will only go as fast as you will go. No one can make you do anything, you do not want to do. You are the only one in total control of your life and how long you decide to be stuck in the mud is your decision. The moment we stop projecting, is the moment change can start to take place within our cells. Whenever we do things 'cos of external factors, we are simply going through the motions, we are just treading water, going no where. What we need is to learn how to swim.
3. Mastery: When we show up consistently everyday in even the smallest way, and do our rituals that create the fundament for a life without addiction, we begin to master life skills. The fulfillment of being able to master something creates momentum. We begin to take more steps. Suddenly we are the the top of the mountain, because we have focused on taking one single small step everyday. When we do not show up every day consistently, it is susually because we are so overwhelmed with the size of the mountain, that we never start. Every dayy it is "tomorrow". But as we all know - tomorrow never dies, because tomorrow never comes.
Today is the perfect day to take that first step of change.
However small matters not. The only thing that differentiates the chronic addict from the recovered, is the ability to take action steps every day, consistently. To practice being comfortably in the gray shades of life - not taking to big steps, just consistently edging a bit forward.