Recently a good analogy came to me illustrating the process of getting out of addiction. I though it might be helpful to someone.
Addictions are like a speeding train, it has a lot of momentum built up, when you hit the brakes it will not stop straight away, it will take some time for it to stop but it will stop eventually. Have compassion for yourself during this process!
It begins with a desire to get away from how you feel about your current life’s situation. F@*# this I’m going on a Choo Choo, destination – “immoralia”. It starts-of slow “not a big deal”, I can easily jump off if I want to, it’s a big heavy train, it will take a long time to go full steam I’m thinking, I’m comfy, even looking forward to the journey ahead, invite some friends for a ride…
As we ride along, we start to think that it wasn’t such a bad idea after all to get on this train, this might actually be fun. We enjoy the views in the windows, we like that others seem to enjoy the experience as well. We only thinking short-term and don’t care much about consequences.
Then rapidly our addictions train reaches average speed. Now we don’t feel safe to jump out, now it looks like we going to be in this ride for some time. Some of our friends got off somehow, but we still try to enjoy the experience, though things like responsibilities become a little bit of an annoying issue but we think we can manage so we stay on the train.
Then all of a sudden our addiction train reaches very high-speed, before you know it, this ride became a bit scary. The cabin starts to shake hard, the train starts to jump around a bit, things are falling down all over, the people if any that are still on the train with us either oblivious to the situation or in a paranoid delusion. The nice views from the windows become a blurry mess and then you quickly realise that this train is heading for disaster and everyone will be badly hurt. You need to do something right now! So you find brakes and you pull the lever hard.
The train screech and screams and the brakes seem to have no effect. The train cannot stop straight away, it has a strong momentum built up. You get scared that the train going to fall apart and you will die, so you release the brakes and let it keep going. You try to brake a few more times but train is still in motion.
Then you realise that among all of this panic the train switched to different line and heading to some dark sad destination and you know if you don’t try to stop now, there will be much pain later, it is going to be a wreck. So you slam the brakes again and this time you don’t let go. You realise it is scary and the train might go off the rails and it will take some distance for it to stop but you keep holding the brakes because you understand that disaster ahead that this train is heading to is worse than the fear you experiencing right now.
Then finally, after all that stress, our addiction train stops. You jump off it and take a long hard look at it, grief comes up for what has happened. Then you say to your self: Never again am I going on this thing and I will not recommend to others to go on it. You apologise to your friends for inviting them for a ride with you. Lesson learned, addiction train is no fun. There are better more exiting things in life.
How do you know if you have an addiction – when you don’t get it, you get angry.
All of us have some kind of addiction right now. Some we aware of, some we yet to find out. Addictions to physical substances (harmful foods, overconsumption, drugs, alcohol, “legal medications” etc.), addictions to physical behaviours or activities (sex, internet, technology, sports, gambling, entertainment, etc..etc..) and of cause more insidious emotional addictions which control all our physical behaviours, like (arrogance, racism, superiority, inferiority, hypocrisy, manipulation, ignorance, competition, greed, lying, judgment, blaming, always being a victim, selfishness, anger, or simply avoiding scary…etc, we can have very long list here). How do you know if you have an addiction – when you don’t get it, you get angry. So what I’m getting at is that we all have issues here, we all have problems and not perfect yet and we need to see it that way in order for a change to occur.
“You can be done with your past, but the past is not done with you”.
What I have noticed that many people, myself included, after discovering Divine Truth want to be perfect straight away, already be good and loving and leave the soiled past behind. Like that saying goes “You can be done with your past, but the past is not done with you yet”.
Jesus & Mary telling us that we are the highest of all God’s Creations and at the end we are all beautiful people with something unique and special that each soul got as a birthday gift from God and all the potential bliss is with-in our reach as we get closer to God by having a relationship with Her and alining our feelings and actions with God’s Laws.
Hearing that and then discovering how far away one from that state, full of addictions, pain and anger, it is very tempting to get hard on yourself and hard on others about the current sinful state most of us are in.
We don’t need to make it harder that it already is.
This period from hitting the brakes to the time it will take for a train to stop may be the hardest time in our life. Seeing how fast and how far we let that train travel, how many people got effected, and what it will take to fix it all is not an easy task. We don’t need to make it harder that it already is.
I guess the point of this post is to say: Friends, let’s have a bit more compassion for ourselves and others. We were born into sin and did not have much good education on what is right or wrong, what is love. So just like in the addiction train analogy, if we start judging ourselves or punish ourselves during the process of getting out of addictions, pressure ourselves for not being already healed, loving and perfect, after a while we are most likely to give up and get discouraged with the whole process of stopping and actually be temped to let go of the brakes and hit that accelerator on the addiction train and head in to station Abyss.
When we become aware that we have an issue where we are not loving, don’t ignore it, hit those brakes and know that this train (addiction) is going to stop, maybe not as fast as we’d like it to be but it will stop eventually as long as we keep those brakes (desire to be loving to yourself and others) engaged.
With Love, your brother