All kinds of addicts have something in common. Whether the addictive agent or drug-of-choice is alcohol, sex, gambling, drugs, food, money, work, or a person, addicts live a life of seeking relief from pain.
Dr. Lawrence Haterrer, psychology professor of Cornell University Medical School, with over 30 years of experience in addiction therapy, once wrote of sex addiction process this way: “Addicts don’t use sex for affection or recreation, but for the management of pain or anxiety.”
Dr. Hatterer’s statement is so common, clinically, among all addicts. They all seek comfort and healing, but impale themselves repeatedly on false solutions that only make matters worse. Physical illness, psychological disorders, and emotional stresses can all be a result of repressed, unaddressed pain. What could hurt more than trying to “medicate” your self with your drug-of-choice and in the process cause yourself even greater misery and pain?
All efforts of addicts by themselves are ultimately futile and doomed. Until addicts make a decision to seek help and confront their pain head-on in therapy and recovery, this hidden or not-so-hidden pain will hound and damage them without mercy … the rest of their lives.