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The Addict Archetype by Dr Candess M Campbell, #1 Best-selling Author, Intuitive Mentor, Speaker, and International Psychic Medium Healer.
The creativity of your subconscious mind not only shows up in dreams, but also shows up as archetypes in your life. Archetypes are overlying patterns that show up in all cultures that are seeded in the psyche. Some examples of archetypes are mother, judge, teacher and healer. When you begin to look at these patterns in your life, you can unleash your creative energy.
In this article, I will explore the Addict Archetype. This overall archetype includes addiction to alcohol and other drugs, food, sex, and gambling. You may also identify the addict as a workaholic, gluttonous or as one who compulsively consumes.
Several years ago I was sitting with a client in my office. He was a man in his late 30s who worked as a flight attendant. He loved his job, but often gambled at the casino and lost his money. He was out of control. I sat with him and outlined a plan for him to move into recovery and quit his gambling. This included weekly sessions to stay focused on his goal. In an attempt to get his attention, I also outlined what would happen if he didn’t follow this plan, which included losing his job and his home. Having counseled addicts for over 30 years, I could see that he was not going to stop his gambling and would lose everything. Although he did come to see me weekly for a couple months, he didn’t follow through with the recovery plan. I don’t know where he is now, but I felt sad when I saw his house was up for sale. Addiction is a powerful archetype and without help, it can take you over.
Everyone is affected by addiction in his or her life, whether by his or her own addiction or by someone they know. In the beginning the experience is fun, exciting and often a great adrenaline rush. You love the high! Somehow you start chasing the high and it gets harder and harder to maintain. It takes more of the substance or process (such as gambling or shopping,) more money, more time and the high is not as great as it once was. Activities you were involved in, times with close friends, the quality of your relationships waiver and all of the sudden, the addiction becomes the center of your life.
Eventually, you are preparing for the high, being high or recovering from the high and it is a vicious cycle. Denial sets in and you don’t understand why other people are not joining you or happy for you. Others begin to try to change you or confront you about your behavior and rather than see the problem, you begin to see your friends, colleagues and loved ones as the problem.
The sign that something is wrong continues and you deny the problem until eventually the addiction takes a toll on you and you “hit bottom.” For an addict to finally see they have a problem there are usually issues that arise in their primary relationship, with their friends, at work, with their health or with the legal system. Sad to say, many people do not recover and end up dying of the addiction.
For a workaholic, hitting bottom can be losing his family because he worked so many hours that his relationships deteriorated. Whether his wife became tired of being left alone and had an affair or divorced him, or his son no longer wanted to spend time with his dad because he had been ignored for so long; the obsession with work takes a toll.
With alcoholics or drug addicts their behavior changes when they are using and this usually causes anger or hurt feelings in others. The addict becomes defensive and adamant they are not the problem, and their personality begins to change even when they are not actively using. The family and friends usually rally to help, but end up enabling the addict and then they feel out of control. Resentment and low self-esteem takes over the family and the addiction continues.
Underlying this pattern of addiction is pain coming from a loss of power. Along the path, the addict loses touch with being honest, clear and direct. Her thoughts and feelings become masked with “half-truths” and direct lies. She becomes disempowered. She experiences shame and she becomes out of control. Her life develops into one of deceit, denial and often betrayal. In Alcoholics Anonymous, a program of recovery for alcoholics, they say, “You are only as sick as your secrets.”
So what to do when you have the Addict Archetype? As difficult as it is, it is necessary to learn to identify this archetype. One of the best ways to become aware is to notice if others have said something to you like “You drink too much,” “You are always working,” or “You are losing too much money when you gamble.” As much as you want to resist what they say, there is a part of you that hears the truth.
The Truth – that is the answer in the process of recovery. What is the truth underneath all these lies? A good place to start is to stop and take a clear inventory of yourself. Write out what your dream is for your life. What would you like to see your life like in five years from now? What would you be doing? Who would you be with? What are your relationships like? What do you do for play? Then look at where you are now. Are you living the life that you dream?
What are your values – honesty, integrity, and compassion? There are too many to list here, but you can list your own values and then look at the incongruence between what you believe and what you live. That is the plight of the addict. What they say is not what they do. They become caught in a vicious downward cycle and turn to the substance or process to gain control, only to continually lose personal power.
In the case of addiction, the bible verse John 8:32 “the truth will set you free” is so accurate. I have been an addictions counselor for over 30 years and although there are other ways of entering into recovery, the best solution for the most people is the 12 Step Programs. You can find them for many addictions and if not for your particular case, you can use the basic steps for Alcoholics Anonymous and change the addiction word.
The 12 Step programs allow for the components that support recovery from addiction. There are simple steps that result in a Spiritual Awakening that has been miraculous for many. The recovery process is one of getting honest with yourself and with others. There are meetings where you can share with others. In the meetings you gain support from others outside the meetings as well and you get a sponsor who will guide you individually and act as your accountability partner. And this is all free.
If you have the Addict Archetype, allow yourself to research more about this issue and find the best treatment for you. For friends and family, you can also attend Al-Anon, a 12 Step group. You will find others there with whom you can share and learn how to love an addict, but not the behavior. You don’t have to do this alone.
By understanding and working with your Addict Archetype, you will learn to access your natural path of health and move toward your Divine Soul purpose.
© Dr Candess M Campbell
Candess M. Campbell, PhD a #1 Best-selling Author, Intuitive Mentor and Coach, Speaker, and International Psychic Medium Healer. http://www.candesscampbell.com