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Switch Hitting


CF Ambassador
Jan 11, 2020
Switch Hitting

Addiction is a painful disorder. In the beginning, it is a way to control and manage pleasure and pain. You either get high and feel great for awhile, or you distract yourself from emotional pain like depression. In my opinion depression is the number one reason people start using substances or activities that become addictions.

Unfortunately, these mood-altering experiences feed on themselves and a process of dependency takes hold. It leads eventually to an obsession which becomes out of control.

When people attempt to break the cycle of addiction, they must admit they have a problem and then seek help. They must also face withdrawal. Usually physical withdrawal only lasts a few days with substances like drugs and alcohol, and months if you are addicted to things like love, sex, gambling and spending. Also, even when the physical withdrawal is over there is post-acute withdrawal which deals with the return of painful emotions like depression.

It is at this time that addicts are most vulnerable and need help. This is when people should turn to therapy or better yet the twelve steps. I am a recovering addict and I did both. First I worked the steps to understand my need to change, and then therapy to deal with the depression.

It is at this time that addicts are most likely to relapse, or more commonly turn to another addiction. I call this switch-hitting. This can take on a number of forms. Addicts will turn from their drug of choice to gambling, video games, excessive spending, sex and most of all love. I have seen grown men give up alcohol only to obsess about a women. One of my clients started obsessing about a woman and in the process lost his sobriety, his job, his apartment, his self-esteem and his will to live. He called me in the middle of the night saying he wanted to die and I had to intervene. He made it, and we are both grateful. He went into recovery for love addiction and is now happily married to a wonderful woman. I am grateful that he reached out for help. All addicts need help.

In conclusion, I want to say that addiction is powerful, cunning, baffling and insidious. I know because I have been in recovery from addictions to drugs, alcohol, love, and spending. I can say that today I am in recovery for all of these death traps. I am also in treatment for my depression which is what lay beneath all my obsessions.

If you are in recovery then take heed. Be vigilant. Reach out for help. Take advice from your mentors. Most of all change. This is the best solution. Change is the bridge between the problem and the solution. For ideas about this I suggest my own book, The Art of Changing.

Finally, I wish you well on your recovery journey and I hope to meet you on the “road of happy destiny.

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