the role of perception in overcoming addiction

the role of perception in overcoming addiction

As we go further on the path to recovery, we undergo the most important shift that we need, a shift in perception. It’s all a matter of discarding our previous lens and looking at life through a new one. It’s fascinating how we start viewing people, events and circumstances around us in a completely different way. The world is still the same, but it’s our newfound perception that compels us to see it in a new light. Marcus Aurelius echoed this sentiment in one of his reflections: “Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions — not outside.” 

Addiction is often referred to as a disease of perception. Because it has mainly affected the way we see ourselves and the world around us, it may take some time and awareness for us to get back to the healthy perception that we are born with. The Stoics teach that by controlling our perceptions, we can attain mental peace and clarity. A change in perception, along with discipline and a strong Why, will fuel us again towards reclaiming our power and our life and get us started on the path to redemption. 

We need to start believing that everything in this world is temporary. When we believe in impermanence, especially of our addictive behaviors, and the hold that our attachments have on us will decay with time, we start believing in recovery, and awaken hope within us. We get in tune with our authentic selves and start discerning what objects, desires, and choices take us towards recovery and which ones keep us stuck.

PS: If you or someone close to you is having a tough time battling an addiction or a toxic attachment, I’d encourage you to get my book The Detachment Manifesto. This book will guide you step-by-step on the journey that you or your loved one need to take from a life of imprisonment to a life of freedom.