British actor and comedian Russell Brand recently spoke with Oprah Winfrey on her show and discussed addiction. Brand said he had been sober for 11 years, and that he was able to beat his addictive patterns once he realized that each new substance or behavior he sought was an attempt to find an external solution for an internal problem.
Similarly, best-selling author and coach Michael Neill states in his latest book The Inside Out Revolution that, “The prevailing model in our culture is that our experience of life is created from the outside in – that is, what happens to us on the outside determines the experience we have on the inside.”
Are there legitimate issues or problems that have to be dealt with in life? Yes, of course. Have some of these had a direct or indirect influence on substance abuse patterns? Sure. We’re not trying to reduce anyone’s strife as being insignificant, but those outside circumstances cannot be the reason that someone continues abusing alcohol or other drugs.
Too many treatment programs try to explain addictive behavior as being more the result of external circumstances and genetic predisposition, yet if these were the actual causes then everyone experiencing those situations would become addicted as well – but they don’t. So what is different?
The difference is how people perceive and react to situations and their feelings, rather than recognizing that they are the source of their own feelings. We all view the content of our lives and the world around us differently, and by understanding the simplicity of the fact that our real experiences and perceptions come from within we can improve life by increasing our understanding of the fundamentals of living.
This allows for new insights and realizations about life to enter and change how we view and react to our circumstances. The real answers to an individual’s problems in life come from within, and sometimes it just takes the right environment or information to develop those insights. Some people might say this is an oversimplification, but a growing number of people from around the country who have ended their substance abuse problems through our program would beg to differ.
As for addiction, if people are only treating the symptoms or looking for external causes and triggers, then they’re not getting finding the ultimate solution to their problem. At Gulf Breeze Recovery, we work with people to help them find new understandings and uncover their true inner wisdom to lead a new life – one that doesn’t have any place for addiction.