by Kyle Beard on Wednesday, June 24th, 2015
Picture a snowball rushing down a hill. As it picks up speed and more snow along the way, it makes it nearly impossible to instantaneously stop the snowball. Visualize this image in the context of addiction. Those who struggle with addiction often do not realize the scope of the effects of their addiction until it is almost impossible to stop, leaving behind a wake of destruction like a rushing snowball.
What happens when a cartoon character jumps in front of a snowball that is plowing down a hill? The character gets crushed into the snow. The same result happens, metaphorically speaking, when you try to jump in front of your growing addiction. Once the snowball of your addiction reaches critical mass, there is no immediate stop. But there is hope.
Acknowledging of the scope of the addiction can initially bring negative emotions that seem overwhelming. Discouragement is a normal reaction during the beginning of recovery. For the first time, you begin to see the havoc the addiction has produced in your life and in the lives of those closest to you. The effects the addiction – broken relationships, lost jobs, the feeling of being controlled by one’s sexuality – all come into focus at the beginning of the healing process, bringing a host of emotions.
Recovery does not involve instantaneously stopping the raging snowball, but looking at where the addiction began in order to stop the present and future momentum. Thoughts are the beginning of the snowball of addiction. Gazing too long at an attractive person walking by, replaying a past sexual encounter, fantasizing about a future sexual experience, are examples of thoughts that can be the beginnings of sexual addiction. Allowing these thoughts to grow and pick up speed can lead to habits and processes that are difficult to break. The power of recovery starts with this simple act: capturing these thoughts the moment they occur so that they are not allowed to grow into obsessions. This process beings to slow the momentum of the snowball of your addiction, beginning the restoration journey.