We all have defense mechanisms that we’ve developed over time, often without being aware of it. In times of trouble, the behaviors that have worked to get us past challenges with the least amount of pain are the ones that we repeat; even when part of us knows they no longer work. for example us as alcoholics are constantly seeking elevated moods usually through alcohol. We know we are powerless and have lost the ability to choose a different path even though we know it no longer works for us. We continue on, not knowing exactly how lost we were and how much damage drugs and alcohol did until we seek alcohol addiction help and get into a drug addiction detox or an affordable rehab. Such behavior is a natural response from our mental and physical aspects. But because there is a spiritual solution as well, we have the ability to rise above habits and patterns to see the truth and hope that lay beyond. And from that moment on, we can make choices that allow us to be free from the bondage of our addiction.
Most of our defense mechanisms were developed in childhood; from the moment that we realized crying would get us the attention we craved. Passive aggressive ways of communicating may have allowed us to get what we needed without being scolded, punished or laughed at, so we learned to avoid being direct and honest. Some of us may have taken refuge in the lives of others, discovering ways to direct attention away from ourselves entirely. Especially when our drinking began to really take off and we started losing control. Throwing ourselves into projects or rescuing others from themselves can be effective ways to avoid dealing with our own issues. And when people are truly helped by our actions, we get the added bonus of feeling heroic. But while defenses can keep away the things we fear, they can also work to keep our good from us.
When we can be honest with ourselves about what we truly desire, as well as the true nature of our disease then we can begin to heal.