A friend of mine once related to me how he got started doing drugs. One night he thought he would have some fun so he decided he would try meth. The party was epic, he had a great time, and the night was a success. All these years later he can point back to that one night that changed everything. What started out as something he could control in an effort to have some fun slowly began taking control of certain areas of his life. He became dominated.
Experimental: In the experimental stage we are still in control. We “Chose to use.” We may just be curious. We may use to rebel. We may use in attempt to escape pain.
Occasional: In the occasional use stage we still has a level of control. We use on occasion when it is convent. Often tolerance is already beginning to build so it takes more of the drug to get the same effect.
Routine: In this stage the behavior becomes part of our lives. We don’t see ourselves as addicts only as users. We still believe we could quit at any time but we chose not to. Here we begin to see the behavior affecting our lives. Occasionally we will miss work or school, or get in trouble with our family.
Addiction: In an addiction we never or rarely pass up an opportunity to use. More and more areas of our lives are affected by our use. We go to great lengths to get what we need to feed our addiction. We become inward focused and little else matters to us but the addiction.
Dependency: Our bodies are physically dependent on the effects of our compulsive behavior. There are physical reactions if I don’t use. Headache, nausea, tremors, sweats, stomach pain, depression, and fatigue are just some of the physical signs of withdrawal. Often we will speak of, “Getting sick,” if I don’t use. At this point using is just as much about not getting sick as it is about feeling some euphoric high.
What started out as something we control in an effort to have some fun, ease the pain, or find peace has become something that controls us. In this role reversal the addiction has become the master and we its slaves. It dominates our thoughts and emotions. We become angry, depressed, and anxious. It dominates us physically, making us sick if we don’t get enough. It begins to destroy our health. It dominates us socially and steals away our love and our loved ones.
In Galatians 5:1 the Apostle Paul wrote, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” So, how about your life? Does freedom or slavery best describe you? Are you free from the power of addiction or are you dominated by it? The good news is this, God never intended for us to live in bondage! In recovery we look beyond what dominated us and focus on a renewed life. The truth is Domination turns to Renewal as we discover a renewed purpose for our lives. In my next post we will look at 5 new reasons to live beyond our addiction!
Write a brief summary of your story. Tell how you moved down the path of domination from experimental use to addiction and dependency. Then write about how your addiction has dominated you emotionally, physically, socially, and spiritually.
Do you have a story? We would love to hear it. Why not share briefly in the comment section below? You might just be an encouragement to someone in need.