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  • Writer's pictureChristina V. Mills

How to Heal Any Addiction or Dependency & Find Total Healing Within

Hint: Fix the hole in your heart.

If you're here, you're probably seeking answers either for yourself or for a loved one, so I'm not going to preach to you. Here is some practical information about addiction and dependency and how to heal, completely.

Before we start, let me just say that healing has nothing to do with the object of addiction in itself. It has to do with the root cause of why the person has turned to the object of addiction. Once a person heals the source, the desire for the object of addiction falls away naturally. As long as a person remains unhealed, traumatized, angry, unforgiving, and self-sabotaging, healing from dependency will remain impossible.

Addiction is a strong word, and we often think about addiction in terms of drugs and alcohol, but one can be dependent upon pretty much anything. I would argue that most humans deal with some level of dependency on something, though most of us would not like to admit it. Those of us who actually get stuck on a physical substance might actually have it better because there is a tremendous amount of information and support for those who get hooked on drugs and alcohol. But what about those who get hooked on things like toxic relationships - shopping - our own anger at those who hurt us?

Anyone who has a habit, compulsion, or even a trigger that feels difficult or even impossible to break has some level of dependence that is outside of their control. If that weren't the case, it would be easy to quit. But the flesh is weak.

Humans can Become Dependent on Anything

Other people



Video Games


Prescription Medication



Hard Drugs



Sex with multiple partners

Narcissism, self-obsession

Our own anger, fear, trauma, negative emotions, etc.

Why We Become Addicted - The Hole

We become hooked on our object of addiction simply because it feels good - in the moment. The euphoria that comes from buying something or risky sex or being high feels good in the moment but only because it masks a feeling of deficit, whether that be fear, anger, lack, trauma, lack of self-worth etc. The only reason it feels so beneficial is because there is something missing in the first place.

In reality, we become addicted because there is a leak (or many) somewhere within us, causing our operating capacity to be less than 100%. Our object of addiction temporarily increases our operating capacity, so we "feel better." The problem is, the hole is still there. The leak continues.

The longer we go, the small hole may grow, and the little leak can become problematic for us because we're not actually dealing with the root problem. We have disguised it this whole time. In reality, the initial discomfort we were experiencing that led us to our object of addiction was actually meant to show us something that needed to be fixed. We wanted to feel better without fixing the problem.

Once we deal with the root problem we actually feel better for good. And not only better, we feel great. Now that we have fixed the leaks and are no longer adding toxins to the situation, we are finally able to operate closer to 100% operating capacity. Our cup is finally full. The hole in our heart has been healed. Once we feel really good on our own, we no longer desire the object of addiction.

The most remarkable part, is once we feel really good and are totally healed, the object of addiction will actually make you feel worse. Once you stop, you begin to see things more clearly. You realize that the reason it felt good was because you were operating at, say 50% capacity because of the leak within you, and you felt better because the object of addiction would temporarily take you to 75% operating capacity. But now that you've quit and you're pushing 100% with full cup and a happy heart, you realize the object of addiction takes you back down to 75%. There is no longer any benefit.

The unfortunate realization is how many people in this world are truly operating at 50% operating capacity and feel the need to turn to external solutions to feel better. If you are struggling with dependency, you are not alone. Most people just hide it well, and things like social media allow us to present an image while masking reality. Once you realize that you can take yourself from 50% to 100% without any external means, and with no negative outcomes, the next action to take is obvious. Heal, find the fresh life, and run to it.

The reality is that everything that is achieved through our object of addiction can be achieved in a clear and better way through simply healing yourself.

Why Quitting is So Difficult

If you truly want to heal and end your addiction for good, the answer is often not to go cold turkey. As someone who has attempted this multiple times, and have watched many friends just stop trying to quit and live for years within their dependencies to toxic partners, drugs and other objects of addiction, it is profoundly difficult for many reasons. Simply removing the object of addiction does not remove the hole in the person's heart that drew them to their dependency in the first place.

In a situation where a person has forcefully removed their object of addiction but is not actually healed in their heart, the person will just turn to something else. The smoker in the absence of anything to smoke will just turn to alcohol. The sex addict in the absence of a partner will just turn to pornagraphy and masturbation. The emotionally dependent person will just turn to another toxic or abusive relationship. The gambler in the absence of a casino will turn to horse racing. The object of addition is truly unimportant, and the more we realize this, the easier it actually becomes to quit.

If the person turns to their object of addiction because of unhealed trauma, the solution is to heal the trauma. If the source is anger at their parents, the solution is to find forgiveness so they can release the anger.

So how does a person actually quit? Two solutions: a step ladder approach, simply for the purpose of seeking self-control and self-discipline and finding healing and wholeness within to eliminate it altogether.

The Step Ladder Approach

While alternatives are not totally quitting and so are not perfectly ideal, they can be tremendously beneficial as you create a step ladder approach to quitting over time. The step-ladder approach can begin to draw awareness to triggers and create levels of self-control and discipline that are often lacking during the depths of addiction.

If you're engaging in addictive activities multiple times a day, in the morning, or all throughout the day, give yourself a simple limit or some rules around your habit. For example, say you can't smoke until noon or until you've completed an important task for the day. Then you can still smoke, but it can help you to be more productive as you wean yourself off. If shopping or gambling is a problem, give yourself a spending limit as a first step.

Another alternative is to transition down to weaker substances. Transition from rolling up to a vape. Transition from harder substances to something that will give you "a feeling" but allow you to still be functional.

Make a rule and stick to it. Try not to be hard on yourself but use everything as a learning lesson to give yourself more awareness of your triggers, your levels of self-control, and your ability to follow through on what you say you are going to do. These parameters don't even have to have anything to do with your object of addiction. You can make a rule about anything and make yourself follow it just to get in the habit of following through on what you said you would do.

Identify the perceived benefits and find alternatives. Write down all of the benefits you perceive from your object of addiction. Be honest. If you like the social effects of drinking or smoking, consider what is preventing you from feeling comfortable without them. Is there anything you can do to feel more comfortable without those substances? Taking an improv class might be a good example of an alternative to feel more comfortable in social situations.

If you're in pain, look for the origin. Prescription drugs and substances like cannabis is a beneficial temporary relief for your discomfort, but if not addressed will lead to dependence. Look for the origin of the pain. See a chiropractor who can tell you what is going on. Perhaps you are holding more weight on one leg than the other. Perhaps your hips are off. Perhaps there is a disc that is off. Perhaps, it's your diet. Much of this can be treated by a chiropractor, physical therapy, yoga, pilates, diet, and some other methods. Much of this information is available on Youtube and even on this website.

Respect yourself. You will never be able to respect or listen to anyone else until you can obey your own commands to yourself. When we find ourselves in dependency, it's common for our relationships to also suffer. When we find respect for ourselves, and self-control within our actions, those characteristics carry over to improve every relationship in our lives.

Finding Total Healing & Wholeness Within

The step ladder approach is a temporary and beneficial solution toward quitting for good. Ultimately, quitting any addiction or dependence comes from healing the source of the pain, trauma, or negative feelings that led us there in the first place.

Identify the deeper problem. Write honestly in a journal and answer the following questions. You might even seek a therapist who can help you to answer these questions.

  1. When did I start my object of addiction? What was happening at that time?

  2. When did my object of addiction go from occasional to outside of my control? What was happening at that time?

  3. What unspeakable things or traumas have I experienced?

  4. Am I still dealing with the effects of these unspeakable things?

  5. Who are people I am angry at and unable to forgive?

  6. What are my deepest fears and insecurities?

  7. How am I acting out my fears and insecurities?

  8. Am I ready to let go of my trauma, anger, and fears? If not, why am I holding onto them?

  9. Am I ready to forgive those who hurt me? Including myself? If not, why?

  10. What would need to happen for me to become ready, if I'm not today?

  11. Are there any people in my life keeping me stuck in bondage?

  12. Do I need to separate myself from anyone in order to heal fully?

  13. What does a life of freedom look like?

  14. What are 3 things I will be able to have or do once I let go of my addiction?

  15. Who can support me on my journey of healing and wholeness?

Release trauma, guilt and shame. Negative emotions are the primary cause of dependency. We turn to the object of addiction to make us feel better in the moment, but afterward feel worse. This can manifest as a physical bad feeling, presenting as illness or pain. Or it can manifest emotionally as guilt and shame, self-deprecating emotions about how bad we are and why we suck so much. Even apart from whatever got us into addiction in the first place, these negative emotions are what keep us there.

One of the first steps toward healing is identifying and releasing negative emotions. Forgive whoever hurt you. Forgive yourself. Accept that your object of addiction felt like it was needed at the time for you to survive a hard time without judgement or guilt about it. You did your best at the time. Now you can let it go and do better. Free yourself of the shackles of self-shaming and deprecation.

Listen to how you talk to yourself in your mind. Intentionally replace any negative self talk with positive affirmations about yourself and prayers. If you need to, listen to motivational speakers or sermons that will help you to remember what positive self-talk sounds like and give yourself positive reinforcement every day all throughout the day, especially when you feel a craving, and even if you give in. Listen to these positive words all day and night if you have to as you rest your brain. Talk to yourself like you would talk to a small child who made a mistake. Skip the self-bashing altogether. Give yourself a pep talk and just try again. Every moment is a new opportunity to try again.

Live in the present moment. Much of our negative emotion is related to things that happened in the past. Mindfulness, however, helps us to stay in the present moment, recognizing that all we have is literally right now. Life is simply a long series of "right nows." Our animal brains like to remember past events as protection. Just like a gazelle, remembering the times it was attacked by lions, our brains like to focus on the worst things that happened to us in an effort to protect us, thinking it will prevent it from happening again. While we certainly learn from the past, focusing on the past always keeps us stuck there, and often unintentionally repeating cycles of trauma and pain.

If you are stuck with trauma or anger that is keeping you stuck and addicted, you are living in the past. Getting high and other addictive behaviors are often a form of escapism. Our trauma or our lives feel so bad that we just check out. But all that does it create a shell of a person. You have to make a choice to come back to reality so that you can live an abundant life, instead of remaining a shell.

Let's be real. The comedown sucks. If you've been smoking weed, drinking, or doing drugs for a long time, it puts you into an alternate reality. You've been escaping from your life for a long time, so coming back might be jarring at first. Suddenly, reality will slap you in the face. You will realize how much time you wasted, opportunities you missed out on, and relationships you sabotaged. It might even feel boring without all the dramatic ups and downs and excessive toxic mind chatter you became accustomed to. This is when it's most tempting to go back to old tricks, partners and habits, but stand firm. If you made it this far, you're really ok and are in fact doing great! This is all part of the process of healing and unwinding so you can finally come to a place of peace and joy. Let go of all regret and be extremely kind to yourself during this time. Accept every realization as it comes as information and let it pass through you. Breathe through the discomfort. Meditation can be profoundly helpful to help you release everything. Then move on. The nightmare is over.

Stop daydreaming. Get out of your imagination and back into reality. Focus on the present moment. What is happening right now? Give each activity, each conversation, each sight and sound all of your attention. When you focus on your sensory experience in the present moment, you become like a small child again and each moment becomes vibrant and exciting. Further, when you focus on the present moment with joy and gratitude for the smallest things like the sunshine, it's impossible to think about the past. And when you live fully, life is actually pretty good.

Seek support. Support can come in many forms. Many people healing from dependencies turn to support groups and God for the strength and support to get out of their predicament. Ultimately, there must some some type of recognition that the flesh is weak and that we've gotten ourselves stuck by relying on ourselves - we need big help - a helping hand to pull us out of the quicksand.

Support groups can offer the perspective of those who have experienced the same things we have and come out of the other side successfully. If all of your friends are also in a negative place or are also struggling with dependencies, it can feel impossible to heal as those friends will often try to keep you stuck with them in dysfunctional behaviors. Finding new friends or a support group can provide you with the positive light to help illuminate the path toward healing.

Seeking God can offer the spiritual support of a source bigger than ourselves. God can also offer the big answers to our big problems and big anger. When things haven't gone the way we expected, friends often don't have the answers, but God does. Turning to the Source of all things can provide a bird's eye perspective on our lives that can lead to a deep understanding of our journey and can offer a feeling of relief that we no longer have to go through life pretending as though we have all the answers, carrying the tremendous weight of our lives on our own shoulders. We can literally give it away. And with this is instant relief and freedom.


I am clean.

I am clear.

I am healing.

I breathe in fresh life.

I breathe out what no longer serves me.

I let go of the past.

I forgive everyone who hurt me.

I forgive myself for not knowing better before.

I am doing better and better every day.

My shackles are gone.

I am free.

I am whole.


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Peace & Pineapples!

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