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Alternatives to Quitting — A Cycle of Brief Success and Relapse

Some thoughts from Gerald May’s “Addiction & Grace” compiled by David Vraza MA.


I’m continuing to explore May’s thesis that self-deception lies at the heart of addiction. Any success in stopping our addictive behaviors triggers another layer of insidious mind tricks designed to return to the previous equilibrium of our addictive patterns. The desperate self latches onto success so quickly and easily, that new distortions filter out warning signs and unmet needs. The joy of temporary success is deeply soothing to our low self-worth after repeated failures. Reality is filtered toward our ability to feel powerful again. Relapse is confusing. The fragile self is highly motivated to minimize the seemingly unimportant decisions that led us back to our addictive behaviors. “I’m free” has been downgraded to “I can handle it.” Which is a lie. Pride is the soil for self-deception. Humility is the soil for grace and transformation.



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