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It’s OK to feel “young at heart” as long as your emotional tool bag
doesn’t feel too empty or too disorganised at the same time

Growing Self Awareness

Addictions - Addictive Cycles

Addictive cycles - Over-medication and vulnerability

It is normal for people to try to reduce their pain and emotional pain is no exception. A person experiencing deep emotional wounding or anxiety is extremely vulnerable and will do whatever they can to block it. When the helpful protector characters in your inner village (emotionally younger systems) run out of ways to reduce the pain and can no longer provide protection, the next thing is to try substances or processes from outside this inner village. At first these often seem to work almost miraculously, so the process is repeated more and more often. But sooner or later the treatment starts to lose its effectiveness.

What is described as "an addiction," exists when someone finds themselves trapped in a cycle in which he or she keeps increasing the amount of their (external) emotional pain reducing medication (by substance OR Process), because it is not working as well as it did at first, but expecting it will soon start performing miracles again. So, rather than the term ‘addiction’ it would be more accurate to describe the nature of the cycle that is happening inside their village.

In the same way, the person we typically call an addict could be more accurately described as someone who is ‘trapped in an addictive cycle’. The addictive nature of the cycle is made worse as he or she starts suffering side-effects caused by their emotional pain-reducing "medication", yet is unable to stop taking it.

The last thing needed at any point is for anyone to use a shaming and inaccurate term that labels the individual as for example an ‘addict’; "substance abuser" an ‘alcoholic’ or judges them as a ‘bad’ person who has selfishly adopted a ‘bad habit’ . Worse still is the shaming assertion that if the individual was a "good" person they would easily be able to get rid of their "bad habit".

It would be far more helpful, for instance, to recognise that they are a person who is trapped in the grip of an addictive cycle, and, at the same time, help them to become aware just how much they are suffering serious side-effects from over-using their emotional pain reducing medication.

For more information on addictive cycles and steps to get out of them, go to -


This issue is also covered in detail in the pdf Book G-18 Understanding your addictions & addictive cycles

as part of the Growing Awareness series.


See also The Path and the Holes - a story of recovery - on this website

Other Important Aspects in the Growing Awareness Process:

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