Kianna Garmanian, Staff Writer
Dear Kianna, I face many addictions and struggles on a daily basis. I get stuck in the same patterns and routines and really want to break out of these habits. I try to rise above them, but feel stuck and insecure and unconfident in my own abilities. Any advice would be much appreciated! – Hopeful Warrior
Dear Warrior, I feel so honored that you reached out to me. Please know that you are not alone, and you will indeed rise above all the pain and struggles you are facing. Addictions are present in our society, and can appear in several different forms. Some include substance abuse, drugs, or other compulsive habits like over-exercising, extreme dieting, consumerism and buying goods, and food addictions. Basically, I think of an addiction as anything that consumes most of your time, mental capacity, and thoughts, deeply influences your daily actions, and brings a negative impact into your life.
Here is what I would love to share with you and anyone who is facing any form of addiction: When you strengthen the internal, who you are inside and your sense of being, you no longer need to rely, depend on, or seek the external; material objects, people, accomplishments, and worldly identities. It is so easy to let these outside components determine your worth, happiness, purpose, or identity.
Addictions stem from our own insecurities, as they are used for coping. We turn to other sources to help relieve or lessen the pain we face. Something inside is hurting and we do not know where to turn. You may not know what is broken inside or why you act this way. You may not know how to break the cycle and be free. You may feel stuck or hopeless or lost. Where to go? How to heal?
The pain is real. The pain is intense. The pain is valid, and you are not alone. You, in the deepest and truest sense, are a child of Christ. You are loved. You are worthy. You are good enough. Although you cannot see that or do not believe in those statements, know they have profound meaning, and it is okay if you are struggling to accept these truths. Just be patient and understanding with yourself and where you are in this stage of life. Be compassionate and know that it takes time to see beyond the pain and rise above the struggle.
There is no magic formula to take the pain away, no simple fix, or easy way out. It will be a fight, but a fight that is worth taking. And this is the fight to discover who you truly are beyond all the masks you wear and faces you put on. To see yourself through the eyes of Christ and know that there is no burden, difficulty, or struggle that is more powerful than God. But, most of all, to know that you are more than the pain you face, and it is this pain that will bring you to a greater glory. It is this pain that, if you allow, will redeem you in the most sacred and purest of ways.
Pray, seek, and ask. Talk to Jesus. Tell him who you are and who you want to become. Tell him who you wish to be and allow him to show you his love. I promise he will.
And once you remain patient, trust the process, and look to Jesus, you will discover exactly who you are. This strong internal conviction of knowing Christ and seeing yourself through his eyes will be your ticket to healing. Once you build up the inside- your beliefs and stronghold and sense of being- you will no longer need the external to determine your happiness and worth.
You indeed will rise, and you do not have to go about this process on your own. There are other people who will walk with you and support networks available on campus to help you navigate this life and grow as an individual. You are not alone.