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Addiction: Not Your Fault
You are not to blame for your addiction. What you're going through right now is not your fault.

You’ve been told otherwise and you may even believe it, that you’re to blame for not being able to quit. After all, many people who are addicted — quit. Why not you?

The reason you are not responsible for your addiction is that it was caused, and is being kept alive, and active by one or more of the Four Causes.

You have experienced or are currently experiencing conditions in your life that have made it impossible for you to quit. Even if you’ve been to treatment and quit for a while, you relapsed; probably many times.

No one has helped you find out what created and is keeping your addiction alive.

You may have suffered a trauma in childhood that was extremely painful, either physically or emotionally, such as sexual assault or the loss of a parent or close friend, or loss of an opportunity; one of those: “If only I had (or hadn’t) done that,” and you have buried the incident because it was so painful. Or maybe you remember it and haven’t been able to live with the memory. The loss is still there, in your conscious or subconscious. Certain events trigger the feelings you originally experienced. The feelings well up causing depression, fatigue, unhappiness, pain and frustration. Even though you may or may not remember the original loss, you feel the emotional pain. Because the pain and frustration are great enough and last long enough, you use a substance to alleviate the pain. But when the drug wears off, the cause of the pain is still there.

Image by Guy Kawasaki

Even though you are able to quit for a while, the pain or depression is still with you and relief is easily at hand with your drug of choice. The reason drugs, including alcohol, which is the drug ethanol, are so hard to quit, is that they effectively ease your pain and depression. The problem is: The side effects are deadly, ruining your health, your relationships and anything else you hold dear. If there were no nasty side effects, no physical, emotional, financial, family downside, we would all use them. Most therapists don’t know what they are looking for or how to solve the mystery of your addiction. We do. But the secret is within you.

Talk to us. You will not tell us anything we haven’t heard many times before. And we do not judge you because whatever happened or is happening, it’s okay. Let us relieve you of the pain.

When you come to us, don’t hold back out of embarrassment, shame, fear or any other emotion that will keep your secret within you. We know that whatever it is, it’s not your fault. Don’t go home with your secret of your addiction locked inside you.

Image by Jeremy Perkins
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