What’s the point of shedding our skin and emerging anew if we’re just going to come in contact with all the same things our old skin came in contact with? A second chance is more than a just a retry, it’s a blessing, and our gratitude should impel us to do everything in our power to try things differently given the opportunity.
In order to fully change, you must kill off your own self completely. There is no half measures involved here if you want to reach a successful change. We must completely surrender our old self. Not a physical death, but emotionally, spiritually, and mentally we must rid ourselves of every single negative attachment.
An addict cannot say “well my problem is heroin so I’m ok to just to cocaine”, or an alcoholic cannot decide to only drink beer instead of hard liquor, a gambling addict can’t simply play keno and scratch offs, and a sex addict can’t decide to only practice oral sex, it’s insanity to think otherwise…
Let’s get deep here for a moment. We live in a material universe, when we pass away we move onto a spiritual heaven. The more attached we are to this material universe through things like “sin” the longer of a period of suffering we go through immediately after death when we are moving from the material world to the physical world. This period of suffering is known as purgatory. Purgatory in essence is a detox, or withdrawal from the material universe.
Likewise our detox from drug addiction is a period of purgatory we are feeling as we are dying to our old self and being born anew. It sounds insane to suffer through days or even weeks of purgatory only to go right back to our drug of choice and have to do it all over again, and yet…that’s exactly what we do. Often, time and time again we go back to our old selves to experience hell on earth over and over again after finally escaping the liberating fires of purgatory.
There’s a saying in the streets: “Ain’t no half stepping”, and there’s a saying in the rooms of NA and AA that says “Half measures availed us nothing”. If we want to be successful, if we want to experience success and quite possibly heaven within then we must not take any chances. We must change in every single aspect of our lives. There is no room for error.
It wasn’t until I was willing to surrender every poisonous thing that I loved and held dear that I was able to finally walk away from the throes of addiction for good. It was an uphill battle but it beat the alternative: a downhill fall. I had to change not only bad habits, friends, priorities, living arrangements, morals and beliefs, but I had to be willing to absolutely never look back on them. When you walk out of a fire and decide to run back in it to retrieve something, there’s a good chance that you’ll get burned again. The only thing that you need to rescue and save from that fire is you.
We must be willing and ready to cut out and remove all cancers in our lives in order to save ourselves, no matter how attached we’ve become. This is the surrender that is the core of the steps in any twelve step program. In the Bible it mentions plucking out an eye of it offends you. This is of course symbolic, but it means if you’re going to walk away from the hell of Addiction then you must be willing to rid yourself of anything that jeapordizes your recovery.
It may be hard at first as the withdrawal from the things you love plagues your mind. As you miss and long for the people and places you once thought you loved….but I promise this is temporary because this is purgatory. On the other side of that is a freedom from addiction and pain that is so liberating and a world full of endless possibilities so beautiful that one day you’ll look back and have no desire for the things you once craved.