Years of addiction can ingrain some not so pleasant memories in someone's psyche. But the good news is that it doesn't have to control you, and it certainly does not have to drive you back to the insanity of addiction.
One of the most misunderstood parts of getting past our triggers is understanding that our thoughts have emotions attached to them. Think about it, there you are driving down the street minding your own business and you drive past a bar where you created some unpleasant memories.
The same emotions that you felt in the moment begin to surface, feelings of shame, guilt, regret and so on. And seeing how those feelings make you feel gross, you immediately want to feel good. This is the trap that pulls people back to drinking and using. They quickly go back to addiction because they are seeking a momentary solution through numbing their emotions with drugs and alcohol and in turn create a long term problem of addiction.
So how in the world does someone rid their mind and memories of this torment?
The first thing you don't want to do is try and manage the issues. Many programs and people will teach how to keep the problem around, and manage it. We want to get rid of it, not manage it.
Check out this 14 min Podcast to help with this topic.
The key to victory is understanding that this is a spiritual battle, and a spiritual battle needs spiritual solutions. Think about it, the actual event that caused the harm and emotional distress is over and gone.
So how does the thought still have a hold on you?
Our actions have consequences, and we are responsible for our actions and consequences. There is Good News though, God forgives and can remove these invisible weights that haunt someone.
When I finally surrendered my life to God and recovery I moved to another state, it made it a little easier. But I recall coming back to visit my parents not long after I started my recovery. I couldn't go anywhere in that entire county without a memory popping up. Driving past various police stations, places where I did drugs, places where I saw things I wished I hadn't, places where I did things I wished I wouldn't have, and the list could go on.
During the remainder of my visit I remember sitting at my parents house and thinking through some of this. I thought, "If God has forgiven me, why am I still being haunted by this?"
I took those feelings to prayer and spent time with God, and the invisible weight of those haunting feelings melted like wax in a bonfire. It was then that I learned something, there is a war going on in the invisible world around us.
The forces of darkness would love nothing more then to keep you locked in addiction, or drag you back into the death trap of addiction. The good news is that God is bigger and has true freedom for you.
Nearly 11 yrs into my recovery I can say that the forces of darkness still try and trigger me, but I've established a history with God. I've spent time in prayer and I've processed the past in light of God's grace and my triggers have zero effect on me these days.
It's real freedom, and it is available for anyone. Addiction may have filled a few chapters in our story, but God's desire is to fill the rest of our story with freedom and purpose.
For a some powerful and practical insights on how to deal with triggers right when they come up, check out this 15 min podcast.
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