Over the past thirty years I have worked with many people and many forms of addictive patterns and behaviors. Addiction is self-destructive (obvious mostly) but it is fundamentally painful suffering (not so obvious usually). Addictive behaviors are usually planned, meaningful, and non-impulsive. I consider addictions to have a genetic, biological component as well as being heavily influenced by social and environmental factors especially peer groups and rituals. Many people struggling with addictive patterns hold foundational, limiting and sometimes tyranical beliefs about themselves.
" Consider that what we as adults call negative core beliefs start out as resourceful, creative attempts to defend and protect against a perceived threat from other(s) or the environment when we are little. These original protective beliefs are purposeful in the service of physical, social, emotional, or psychological survival. They are formulated and enacted below the level of conscious awareness. So, they are almost fully beyond the reach of our adult self-reflective awareness. As such these early strategies, energetically persisting across the age span, necessary for our survival at one time, may take a toll on our sense of belonging, confidence, expansiveness, and self-worth later in life."