Beyond Addiction – What Would You Like To Create?

Most of my clients come to me with the aim of stopping their addictions. Most hypnotherapists would regard stopping an addiction as being a successful outcome. I get that. I know how horrible and hopeless addiction is. When I have been caught up in addiction, I just want it gone. Don’t talk to me about anything else. I also understand how, for hypnotherapists who have no personal experience or understanding of addiction, stopping addiction could be seen as a successful outcome.

I don’t see stopping addiction as the aim of my work. Certainly, if a client comes to me with an active addiction, it’s absolutely necessary that we work together to stop that. If we don’t stop the addiction, nothing much is possible. But stopping addiction isn’t the end. Stopping addiction is just the beginning.

One question I like to ask my clients is “What would you like to create in your life beyond addiction?”

Some of my clients get restless when I ask this. Their eyes wonder around, they may look confused or even irritated. Some might even express their frustrations “I don’t want to think about that?” Or they might say “Nothing really………… I’m happy with my life as it is”

Is Addiction Imploded Creativity?

Obviously I don’t accept either of these responses as being genuine. If they were happy with life as it is, they wouldn’t be constantly adding to themselves with this drink or that drug. Why don’t they want to think about creating something? Really? Why would anyone not want to think about doing something meaningful in life? Usually because creativity demands that we challenge and stretch ourselves. Creativity requires an open-minded willingness to learn. It also requires that we open ourselves to the possibility of failure. Creativity means facing fears, and overcoming them. Creativity means getting our sleeves rolled up and getting stuck into life. One of the many reasons we become addicted in the first place is because we fear all of that!

I strongly believe that there is a link between creativity and addiction. Although my thinking is perhaps slightly simplistic, I suspect that addiction is actually imploded creativity. I have no scientific evidence to back this theory up. This is simply based on what I have seen during the last 10 years of working in this domain.

Is addiction an implosion of creativity? It definitely is in my own life! If I open my eyes in the morning without a structure for my day, or a channel for my creative energy to flow into, then I had better watch out! Creative energy is powerful and it demands direction in the form of purposeful action. If this doesn’t happen, our creativity will, at some point, implode and find it’s own ways of entertainment.

Addiction – Creativity Gone Amok

My personal and professional experience tells me that, in many cases, addiction is creative energy gone amok! We don’t have to look too far to see evidence of this. How is it possible that different alcoholic concoctions are being invented all the time? How is it that betting companies and casinos are finding more innovative ways for the gambler to relieve themselves of their cash? What about at all the different sexual kinks that are being created? The alcohol, gambling, and porn industries are worth billions. They work on supply on demand. These industries don’t have to do very much work on creating new and enticing products. They let their consumers do that for them!

What Would You Like To Create?

So back to this question: “What would you like to create in your life beyond addiction?”

We are all creative. Our lifestyles are created. Even the addict, who chooses to stay in bed all day, smoking, drinking, and watching TV, is creating a life. If that’s the life they want then no problem. If not, then there is always the possibility of creating something else. It’s not always easy, but it is possible!

The way I see it, if creative energy can be used to create a life of addiction, creative energy can also be used to create a life beyond addiction. I know this from first hand experience. I’ve done it myself. I created a life of addiction, a life that nearly killed me before I turned 25. And I have created a life beyond addiction. All that was required in order to begin that process was a reversal of my energy in which self-sabotage became self-care. This one simple shift, along with a commitment to being sober, one day at a time, was enough to lay the foundations for creating a meaningful life. Almost 20 years later, and it’s still unfolding in many wonderful directions.

What about you? What would you like to create?

Thanks to Allison Crow for her wonderful artwork, and for giving me permission to use it as the featured image for this blog.