Overcome Any Addiction

By Jack Alan Levine

If you’re addicted, please listen to me. I know you feel like you don’t have it in you. I know you feel like you’ve tried to get sober and failed. You feel like you’re at war and you’re getting the snot knocked out of you. It feels like you are starving and you have no more supplies, and you’ve been out there forever, fighting. You’re bloody and beaten. And your enemies are coming over the hill charging at you; you feel like they’re going to finish you off.

“Would you like to surrender?”

You say, “Surrender? But I’m at war here!”

Well, you can continue to fight that war, but where has it gotten you so far? You’re bloody and beaten and starving. You’re getting the snot beat out of you. You’re losing this war, big time.

Too often our pride, arrogance and self-reliance, which hasn’t been working well for us, keeps us away from what could make us better.

After we beat our heads against the wall long enough, we start to think there’s no hope. We can never be saved, never be redeemed, never come out of this Hell.

You may think it’s too late or you’re too far gone. But you’re not.

Remember the story of the prodigal son. The son asked his father to give him his inheritance early. He then took off to a far country and squandered everything. He completely turned his back on his father and blew his inheritance on food, alcohol, women, parties and wild living. Sound familiar? When the son finally hit bottom, he returned to ask his Father not to take him back as a son… (He knew he no longer deserved that privilege!) But instead to hire him as a worker in his field. This father did something nobody expected. He ran out to meet his son, hugged him, welcomed him back and restored him
to his full position as a loved son. There’s a great story about a little kid in kindergarten which makes the point I’m praying for you to see…

The kindergarten teacher gives out a piece of paper to each of the kids and instructs them, “Draw a picture of anything you want.”

The kids are happily drawing, but one little girl messes up her drawing. She tries to fix it, but that only makes it worse. She starts crying hysterically. Hysterically! She’s bawling and wailing.

The teacher says, “Suzie, Suzie! What in the world is the matter?”

“I ruined it! I ruined it!” Suzie cries. “Everything is ruined! I did it wrong!” She hands the paper to the teacher, crying uncontrollably.

The teacher looks at her for a minute, and then takes Suzie’s first piece of paper and puts it down on her desk. She then hands Suzie a new piece of paper.

“Here,” she says. “Here’s a brand new piece of paper. Start again.”

That’s the message. It doesn’t matter what happened before, you can always start again.

The addicted person needs to understand that with the help of a suitable recovery program the seed of renewal resides within every suffering person.

It’s not embarrassing to need help. There’s nothing to be ashamed of in needing help. We all need help in many areas. We need teachers to help us learn. We need doctors to help us when we’re sick. We need mechanics to fix our cars. The question is where to
get the right help.

In the early 90’s, I was editor of a magazine called Back Pain Magazine.

What I learned from running that magazine was there were a lot of different ways to treat back pain.

Here’s what I found. If I went to the surgeon, he would say, “I can heal your back pain. I need to operate on you.”

If I went to the chiropractor, he’d say, “I can heal your back pain. I need to adjust you.”

The doctor would say, “I can heal your back pain. Just take these drugs.”

The physical therapist would say, “I can heal your back pain. I need you to do these exercises.”

The acupuncturist? “I can heal your back pain. I need to stick a few needles into you.”

The yoga instructor? “I can heal your back pain. You need to meditate.”

The reflexologist? “I can heal your back pain. I just need to massage your toes.”

And on and on and on.

So, through that job and my own experience, I learned there were many different treatments for back pain. Believe it or not, most of them worked—but not for everybody. Some of them worked for some people but none of them worked for all the people. In the right circumstances, nearly every one of these treatments could be quite effective for someone.

The same holds true for addiction. There are different ways to treat addiction. Just like back pain, what we do need you to do is to get better! It doesn’t matter which way you gain victory over addiction and live a life of freedom. It just matters that you do it! Here’s what I mean. If you want to go to New York from Florida, there are a few different ways you can do it. You can fly, take a train, ride a bus, and drive a car… You can hitchhike, go on horseback or walk. Some of them take longer, and some of them are better and much more efficient than others. It really depends on how motivated you are to get there, how quickly you want to get there and what you are willing to pay. They will all get you there!

The important thing is, there are resources and ways available to you right now to insure you live a life free from addiction. In my “Free for Life – Overcoming Addiction” online program, I talk about all the different paths to recovery and which ones I believe are most efficient and effective. It doesn’t necessarily matter which one: a 30-day rehabilitation program, a 12-step program like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, individual Therapy or Counseling, Intensive Outpatient Programs, Long-Term Rehab Programs (90 days to 1 year), Celebrate Recovery program and there are others. There are many good options. Like back pain, not all work for everyone and some work better for some people than others.

Many people today say they’re simply too busy with family jobs and obligations to go and get help and treatment for their addiction.

That excuse doesn’t fly anymore, as now many treatment centers offer Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP). These programs allow people to maintain their jobs and sleep in their homes and yet get the treatment they need. People receive treatment in a condensed format, usually two or three group sessions a week with a variety of days and times to choose from. I personally know people who have come through this type of program with outstanding results. If you’re not willing to go full-time into a treatment program, then this is definitely the next best thing.

Jack Alan Levine is a nationally known author, speaker and addiction expert. Jack knows first-hand about being an addict and being a parent of an addict. Jack has spoken on “Overcoming Addiction” at Iron Sharpens Iron Conferences, Florida Men of Integrity Conferences and Strongman Conferences.

His latest book My Addict Your Addict deals specifically with addiction. Jack developed the “Free for Life – Overcoming Addiction” online program to help addicts and their families deal with recovery issues. He has written two other very popular books Don’t Blow It with God and Where the Rubber Meets the Road with God. Learn more about Jacks addiction program and books at www.LifeSolutionSeminars.com.