Many books have been written about addiction and treatment. Each author has a different slant, or take, on the subject of addiction, what can be done about it, various treatment options, and so forth. Many are poignant biographies, telling the author’s story in painstaking and heartbreaking detail.
In Healing the Addictive Personality, Dr. Lee Jampolsky offers a bit of personal reflection as well as some eye-opening and, once you study the methods, relatively easy-to-understand techniques for how any individual suffering from addiction can, well, heal.
At the heart of the matter is a blend of practical and positive psychology. Dr. Jampolsky outlines everything in 21 daily lessons and an action plan comprising 11 weeks.
Does this sound too good to be true? Is there really such a thing as healing the addictive personality? Listen to what Dr. Jampolsky has to say on the matter:
“Many people live in a self-imposed prison and don’t even know it. I did. My addictive thinking and behavior became the bars of my cell. I denied feeling empty inside and instead I looked for new things to acquire, substances to take, and goals to achieve in order to feel better about myself. Sometimes I felt momentarily free, powerful, and whole but in the end my addictive cycle only compounded my loneliness and despair. If you recognize this pattern in yourself, this book is for you. Today, I am able to tell you I now know what true freedom and happiness are, and I offer the path that I intend to follow every day of my life.”
These are powerful, heartfelt words. But can they work for millions of Americans struggling to overcome addiction and get on with their lives? Can they help truly transform those of us who have lived so long in the dark pit of despair and emptiness that we haven’t a glimmer of hope left?
If we are nothing else, we are adaptive human beings. As such, we have tremendous capacity to continue learning, to try new things, even to change our entire way of thinking and our patterns of behavior.
Here’s a novel idea: Why not choose to think and act in a positive manner, as opposed to looking at life and our role in it as a glass half-empty?
Dr. Jampolsky supports a reversal to the approach of looking at addiction from the outside in, describing behavior and then trying to stop it. Instead, he views addiction from the inside out, identifying and then challenging the thoughts and beliefs that led us into the addictive experience and lifestyle.
In Dr. Jampolsky’s view, life is the emotional, cognitive and spiritual thread that can create healing regardless of a person’s biology. This way of thinking puts more emphasis on how to create choice and growth.
There is an addictive personality within each of us. It may be addiction to caffeine or tobacco or alcohol or drugs – or gambling, overwork, overeating, compulsive sex or any of a hundred different addictive behaviors and tendencies. Dr. Jampolsky began his own drug use at age 15 after his parents divorced. He was the first student expelled from his school because, as he tells it, “there was no hope for me.” Later on, he lost his hearing, which led him into even more substance abuse.
In Healing the Addictive Personality, Dr. Jampolsky lists four fundamental parts of the addictive personality system: fear, living in the past or the future, judgment, and belief in scarcity.
What will be of great interest to readers is the section on how to break the addictive cycle of fear. Dr. Jampolsky advises people to be aware of your feelings and talk about them (or journal or talk with a therapist), identify your irrational beliefs, thoughts, and negative self-talk; and tell yourself there is nothing you want to hide, even if you could.
Getting to the heart of the matter, what follows next are the 13 core beliefs of the addictive personality. It isn’t necessary to go into all of them here in detail. Suffice to say that when you read through the 13 core beliefs, you can readily understand how they trap people in the addictive cycle. The key is to learn empowerment, how to change your beliefs and attitudes, and heal your addictive personality.
But first, you need to learn the six core truths of truth-based relationships:
- Know what you want to learn
- Know what is possible and how to attract and manifest it
- Know the purpose of every relationship
- Know where to look for happiness and great relationships
- Know how to choose what you want now, rather than repeating your mistakes and old patterns
- Know what is valuable and what is not
Here’s where the 21 daily lessons and 11-week action plan come in. There’s no better way to heal the addictive personality than to buy or borrow Healing the Addictive Personality and read it cover-to-cover. Use what works and keep an open mind while going through the daily lessons and the action plan.
After all, healing the addictive personality is certainly a worthwhile goal. Who knows? This may actually work for you — or, at least, give you more hope for your life in recovery.