Any addiction is a bad habit, an illness of the soul, a brain disorder characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, in the causes of sin, despite the adverse consequences.
God does His part but He does not crush our own freedom, our own liberty. We must prove that we want to escape that distortion of self (addiction) in which we have thrown ourselves into.
Worldly pleasures that lead to addiction are generated by chemical reactions. In other words, when certain chemical substances are increased in our bodies, we experience pleasure. One of the most well researched and well known substances is dopamine, but it isn’t the only one. In fact the most crucial component is DeltaFosB, more commonly written as ΔFosB, which is a truncated splice variant of the FOSB gene.
This phenomenon generates big problems for us:
1. Chemical reactions can never fulfill the inner person. Only the love of another person, especially the communion with the perfect communion of the Perfect Persons, that is Holy Trinity. That is why it is crucial to have an inter-human communication in real life and not only via technological, digital paths.
2. Pleasure is not provoked by the absolute value of these substances but by their variation. This means that what yesterday may have caused a great pleasure, today will cause a smaller pleasure, and tomorrow something bigger, something stronger is needed.
3. The brain, depleted of the substances needed to create pleasure, suffers various chemical disorders, resulting in a void of any joy or pleasure. This brings us even more fanatically towards what we believe brings pleasure: addiction.
The solution here is to force ourselves to cut the addiction by limiting the exposure to the causes of sin totally, or at least to certain periods during the day. Then we must turn to the our soul and with great courage we will decide, “I will master and extinguish this passion, the passion will not master over me!”…”Even if I die, I will not give in!”. Simultaneously, we must always be praying with the Jesus Prayer, as well as with our own words, asking God for help. We should always remember two things: our own death, and that we are eternal. We should concentrate on Christ and on eternity, and not on the distress that the attraction to a certain passion provokes in us. Since addiction involves mental pleasure, we need to be patient through the pain of being without, until we re-establish an equilibrium.
The target is a long term, but we will never leave the battle until the final victory, even if we occasionally fall. We must be constant and steadfast in this warfare constantly asking for help through prayer, advice from knowledgeable people and confession. We need to listen to God. We need to listen to the people through which God speaks – that of course includes medical personnel, and the correct medication as a temporary resort until we can submit ourselves to the correct behavior.
In time, if thoughts try to push us to fall again, we will not listen. We will find another occupation: prayer, study, work and play in the real world. Activities which generate toil are best in order to limit ones attachment to pleasure and new addictions. Bowing down with prostrations helps as an act of humility, acknowledging our weakness, asking for assistance from God both with body and soul. Persevering with these prayers, prostrations and other activities helps us to feel like we have achieved something, and finally we realize that we are not useless.
Living in the virtual reality of our thoughts, reinforced by today’s electronic media, we prepare ourselves for a world that does not exist, a world that is not natural, a world in which humans do not fit into. This phenomenon leads us to those dire consequences: depression, brain disorders, cognitive disorders and an entire range of neurotic diseases. Christ’s message that we are missing:
“I am the Truth”
“Learn from me for I am meek and humble of heart”
…and finally we realize: I am my own worst enemy.