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Reclaiming Your Freedom and Happiness

Chapter 14: The Freedom Model

As we've discussed up to this point, there is no "plan of action" to "battle" addiction, because there is no objective state of addiction to be battled. This is a crucial point that you must understand, because the myth, the "battle with addiction", is repeated constantly in various ways within the recovery society and likely has been in your life as well. All views of addiction are really just a matter of the mind and how you view your habits. We realize many of you feel as if you cannot stop using substances. It is a frustrating and depressing feeling that we have felt ourselves. But we must remind you it is just a feeling that is a result of your thoughts, beliefs, and perspectives of your options, not a biological reality. You have the power to change this feeling. As soon as you fully realize you are free in regard to substance use it will be both easy and satisfying to make whatever changes to your habits that you see fit to make. Fully reclaiming your sense of freedom means understanding you are free in these two ways:

1. You are free from addiction. You know that there is no such thing as addiction compelling you to desire and use substances, and that your substance usage has never been "out of control." For better or worse, your use of substances is what you've preferred up to this point, and changing it is a matter of changing your preferences. We have covered this in great detail throughout the text.

2.You are free to change your desires and preferences. You know that your desire for substances is a function of the benefits you've seen in your level of substance use as compared to the benefits you've seen in some other level of substance use (either some form of decreased substance use or full abstinence.) In other words, desire comes from the Positive Drive Principle. You know that you can re-evaluate the relative benefits of these options, and that this will alter your preference for substance use.

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