In this group we talk about addiction being a comfortable shell that we fit ourselves into. A lot of people feel like they stopped growing when their addiction started. In reality, addiction just promotes very uneven growth. Part of the person is younger than their biological and part far too old. Addiction is a very emotional, mental and physical disease. When we are engaged in addictive behaviors we temporarily fit all our needs into our addiction of choice. When the addictive substance, or temporary container for self, is not longer available or working a person can’t reconcile themselves. In early recovery a lot of people struggle to balance their heart, head and physical self. People become very anxious to find a new addiction to fit themselves into so that they may feel temporary peace. People look for distractions and have trouble being with themselves. People have to be careful not to create new addictions: food, exercise, sex, work, TV etcetera.
*Start the group by sharing the above passage. Talk about it.
*Next, have a conversation about how addiction really worked in the beginning. How did addiction help with social anxiety, or get through a rough patch? Did it begin for pain management or mental health management?
*Have everyone think about how they are going to get through life and its challenges without their drug of choice.
*Everyone is going to share a little and then choose a shell that is face down and read the word on the shell. On the shells are positive personality traits that are going to help the person grow without the comfort of their addiction “shell.”