Every addiction has a pattern. By
seeing the pattern of addiction, those addicted will have a greater
understanding of their addiction. Understanding the pattern of addiction will
go a long way in helping those addicted break free from the pain of addiction.
The pattern of addiction involves nine parts. Below are the nine parts
to the pattern of an addiction.
Part 1: Reasons For The Addiction
- Escape Pain, Problems, or Pressure
– Burdens in life.
Some addicts are drawn to their
addiction to get away from what is giving them so much trouble in their lives.
They do not realize how much the addiction is adding to their pain, problems,
- Experience Pleasure – Boredom
Other addicts simply enjoy the
momentary pleasure of the addiction. However, the momentary pleasure will
result in a lifetime of pain and problems far outweighing the pleasures. The
false pleasures and promises of the addiction will rob them of their purpose
Part 2: Routine Of The Addiction
Addicts have triggers to their
addictions which usually become routines in their lives. Whenever an addict
experiences one of the following, it kicks in the pursuit of the addiction. The
trigger and pursuit become their routine. Below are several triggers.
you experience adversity.
you are alone.
you are away.
you have anxiety.
you are angry.
you are around a person.
you are at a place.
you anticipate a certain event such as the weekend, a holiday, game, or social
Part 3: Rush Of The Addiction
- Anticipation of the addiction.
The addict experiences a rush of adrenaline in the anticipation of the addiction. The adrenaline levels begin to increase
throughout the day in expectation of the addiction of choice. The excitement
from the anticipation and pursuit of the addiction is part of the pattern that
must be identified by the addict.
- Participation of the addiction.
Once the addict has pursued his
addiction, then he experiences the rush of actually participating in the
addiction. Little does he know, this rush will may possibly ruin his life.
Part 4: Regret Of The Addiction
- The addict feels bad about what
he has done. (Guilt)
Once the addict comes down off the
high of the addiction, he begins to feel bad about what he has done. He regrets
his attitude and actions towards others. He feels guilty.
- The addict feels bad about who
Soon the addict feels self-hatred
and condemnation. He hates himself because of what he has done. He feels
worthless. He feels shame.
Part 5: Repentance From The
- To feel better about himself,
the addict promises to do better.
With sincerity, the addict promises
he is through with the addiction.. And, he really means it.
- To feel better about himself,
the addict practices good deeds.
With sincerity, the addict desires
to do good. He is tired of how he is feeling and finds he feels better when he
does good deeds. He tries to relieve his guilt by doing good.
- To reconcile with others, the
addict promises to do better.
- To reconcile with others, the
addict practices good deeds.
The addict believes by promising to
do better and practicing good deeds the ones he loves will not reject him but
receive him back. He hopes through his promises and practices the ones he loves
will not leave him but love him back. Through his promises and practices he
hopes to earn back what he has lost.
Part 6: Repetition Of The Addiction
- Even though the addict promises
to do better and practices good deeds, he repeats the same pattern.
The addict truly believes he will
never act out or use again. He believes he is finished forever. But eventually,
he finds himself doing the very thing he said he would never do again.
Part 7: Results From Addiction
An addiction causes tremendous pain, hurt, problems, and
loss. As the person struggling with addiction begins to feel the pain of his
hurt, problems, and loss, he will eventually reach out for help.
Part 8: Recovery From Addiction (See
the Addictions category to read 10 Steps For Overcoming Addictions.)
- The addict admits he has a
Finally, the addict comes to a place
in his life when admits he has a problem. He has hit bottom. He has lost his
wife, family, dreams, self-worth, job, health, etc... No one is rescuing or
enabling him anymore. No one is believing his promises anymore. For the first
time, he finds himself facing a life without those he loves. He is beginning to
feel the pain from the false promises of the addiction. He has nothing left and
nowhere to go. He realizes he does not have the power to free himself from the
- The addict asks for help.
Sensing his powerlessness over his
addiction and suffering from the pain of the addiction, the addict reaches out
for help. He is ready to go to a recovery center, group, or community program.
Part 9: Restoration Beyond The
- The addict receives God's
provision of grace in his life.
God's grace shines brightly in the
darkness of our sin (addiction). To the addict, God's grace begins to heal his
heart from all the hurt and pain the addiction has brought. Where there was
pain, there is now peace. God's grace is the unmerited kindness, the
unconditional love, and the unlimited forgiveness of God lavishly and
abundantly poured out upon the addict, despite his addiction. God's grace
displayed for us through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ
removes the addict's guilt. The unconditional love of God removes the addict's
shame. He begins to see himself no longer as an addict, but as a dearly loved
child of God. He sees himself based upon how God sees him, which is a loved and
forgiven child of God, a member of God's family who is totally accepted by God.
He begins to realize that his worst days never removed him beyond the reach of
- The addict realizes God's
purpose for his life.
Through grace, the former addict,
now a dearly loved and forgiven child of God, realizes his purpose for
living...to know God through faith in Jesus' death and resurrection. The Spirit
of Jesus takes residence in his heart. God makes the heart of the addict his
- The addict reaches his
God-given potential throughout his life.
God begins to do something in the
heart of this child of God. God begins to unleash the talents, gifts, and
abilities he had placed within him when he was created in his mother's womb.
The God-give dreams the addiction tried to steal are about to unfold in the
life of this child of God. This loved and forgiven child of God senses
something new is happening in his life.
- The addict reconciles with the
people he loves.
Possibly, this child of God is now
able to reconcile with his loved ones. As he experiences and expresses God's
grace to others, his relationships, once torn apart, can be healed. This will
take time. but with God's grace, reconciliation can happen.
To understand more about God's purpose for your life and grace in your life, click on the categories on the side of this page labeled Purpose, Prodigal, and Grace. Also, enjoy this music video about God's grace. No matter where you are, because of God's grace, you are not unreachable.