You are on page 1of 2

TRINITY RECOVERY

& SUPPORT
A MINISTRY OF TRINITY
ANGLICAN CHURCH,
ROCHESTER, NH

Working your Addiction Backwards

This process was created within a Christian
framework and would be most effective in that
context. However, many of these principles can
be helpful within a typical 12 Step process with
the concept of “God as I understand Him/Her”.
Whether you struggle with addiction, have
anxiety, or other behavioral disorders, this process
can help.
Copyright © Working Your Addiction Backwards,
Rev. Matthew J. Mirabile 2016. All rights reserved.
No portion may be reproduced or used in any
manner whatsoever without the express written
permission of the owner.

Need Help Call
603-332-4121
Trinity Anglican Church
180 Rochester Hill Rd
Rochester, NH 03867
www.trinity-anglicanchurch.org

The Torment of St. Anthony

WORKING YOUR
ADDICTION
BACKWARDS

2.

INNER PATH OF RECOVERY

3.

Breaking the addiction cycle can be hard. But it is
even harder when no one can tell you how to do
it. Lots of people give us "have to". You know the
sound of that. “You have to stop this!” or “Why
can’t they just stop it?”. We don’t need someone
to tell us to stop it, and chances are part of us
already wants to. Anyone who has struggled with
a life-controlling problem knows that it is not that
simple. We need to know how to stop it.
This method is one way to help you “stop it”.
Working with the “addiction cycle”, which
describes the process common to most addicts,
this process will, if followed and worked over
time, give you the skills to take control of the
internal process behind your addiction. It is only
one part of a recovery plan. Other strategies
should be used with it, including counseling and
12 Step programs.
HOW IT WORKS
In the diagram at the back of this brochure we
show how addiction progresses and how the
corresponding response to each phase can help
break the addiction cycle. For those who have
only begun the journey of recovery, you will find
that you are working this diagram backwards in a
progressive way. Let’s look at addiction cycle
inside the ring:
Discomfort/Pain – The top of the
inside circle in the diagram indicates experiences
that cause feelings of discomfort, pain,
restlessness, frustration, fear, etc.

1.

Fantasizing Escape - As we
experience discomfort we begin the
process of fantasizing escape through
our drug of choice (DOC) or coping
behavior. This may include; Alcohol,
drugs, gambling, sexual acting-out as well
as isolation, rage, or self-harm.
Obsessive Thinking – As
addicts we become fixated on fulfilling
the desire for our DOC. We may also
find ourselves imagining or replaying
scenarios and conversations in our mind
that are negative and hurtful.
Acting Out – Obsessive
thinking ultimately leads to negative
action. Acting out has negative
consequences. This is the last
opportunity to stop before we suffer loss
of control and are in free-fall.

4.

Loss of Control – Once we act
out we are on a slippery slope, quickly
moving from intentional action to total
loss of control. At this point we cannot
stop yourselves from acting on our
addiction. This can have dangerous
consequences.

5.

Shame and Remorse - After
we have spent ourselves and crashed we
experience remorse, guilt and shame.
This can actually fuel another cycle,
locking us into a smaller "compulsion"
loop, that takes us through the
compulsive behavior all over again until
we are too exhausted or broke to
continue.

6.

Promise to Stop - After
remorse we make our resolutions to stop
and never to do it again. We know that
we need help because these resolutions
never work.

7.

BREAKING THE CYCLE
Working backwards at the outside of the diagram,
we should meet each of the inner phases with the
corresponding responses, to stop our problem
earlier and earlier in the process. Start working
backwards from wherever you find yourself on
the inner cycle. This program should ultimately
lead us to sanity, where we no longer “work
backwards”, but instead meet discomfort with
self-awareness and prayerful right action.
Gratitude - With the promise to stop
the right response is to thank God for His help
and practice gratitude!

1.

Confession - When we are stuck in
remorse and shame the interrupting response is
confessing our sinful behavior (addictive activity)
to a soul-friend, counselor or priest and receiving
comfort and understanding, (and absolution).

2.

Rescue - When we are out of control
we need to be rescued. Pray for and seek
immediate intervention.

3.

Accountability - When we are
beginning to act out we can interrupt our
behavior by reaching out to an accountability
partner or coach and through prayer.

4.

Replacement - At this phase we must
interrupt our obsessive thinking through the use
of a simple, positive mental exercise, like the Jesus
prayer, a passage of scripture, or other positive
statement as a means of re-centering our
thoughts.

5.

Right Action - When we find ourselves
beginning to fantasize we need to prayerfully
consider the appropriate responses or actions that
will really fix our distress.

6.

Self-awareness – We are aware of our
internal process, and, with a clear mind, can chose
healthy responses to negative experiences.

7.