Recovery From Addictions Part 4

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In Part 1 of this series of articles, I defined substance and process addictions, and described the four major false beliefs that underlie most addictions:

1. I can’t handle my pain.

2. I am unworthy and unlovable.

3. Others are my source of love.

4. I can have control over how others feel about me and treat me.

Part 2 was about the first of these beliefs – learning how to handle pain. Part 3 addressed the second and third beliefs – “I am unworthy and unlovable” and “Others are my source of love.” This section, Part 4, explores the fourth belief, “I can have control over how others feel about me and treat me.”

If I had to choose one false belief that causes the most pain for most people, it would be the belief that we can control how important people in our lives feel, think and behave.

In my work with individuals and couples dealing with addictive behavior, I encounter this belief and the many ramifications of it over and over. It seems very difficult for most people to accept the truth about their lack of control over others. The pain, frustration, loneliness and aloneness that result from not accepting your lack of control may be the underlying cause of your addictions.

Take a moment right now to reflect about what you think and do that is a direct result of this belief.

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