Resistance is a force that pushes back against movement in a particular direction. In terms of dealing with addiction, resistance will be encountered as you try to change the old way of behaving and will manifest in several ways. The first resistance encountered will be simply to admit you have a problem that needs change. This admission is the first step in the recovery process. Overcoming denial often results when the pain of our behavior is worse than the rewards it brings.
Pain is a powerful motivator in breaking down resistance to change. Admitting the consequences of our actions can make us face reality. When one sees the insanity of what you have been doing, you are ready to truly move forward in recovery.
As a person begins to give up the old patterns of behaving, all of the emotions they have been medicating through the addiction will begin to come back. Simply put, there will be an awareness of emotional pain. No one likes to feel pain, yet it is God’s way of driving us to look to Him to find solutions rather than to our own resources. Here again, one must confront and put into place new strategies for handling pain. Addicts generally have more than one addiction and will turn to those upon eliminating one.
Perhaps the greater battle will be found in changing your belief system. The Bible says that the heart is deceitful above all things. It also says that change comes by the renewing of our mind. When we get caught up in a pattern of acting that gets entrenched, we find numerous ways of defending that behavior. Resistance will be found in the reasons one uses to justify engaging in self-destructive ways. One must be relentless in rooting out distortions in thinking. In order to do this, the individual must ask help of others to confront distortions when they hear them. You must not allow pride to get in the way. Remember, it is your own thinking that got you in the mess in the first place. We must recruit help in overcoming resistance to change.
Recovery and change don’t just happen. Breaking through resistance is a daily battle. Paul reminds us in Galatians 5 of the spirit and the flesh being at war with one another. Paul had to crucify the flesh and its passions. To overcome resistance, one needs to be honest. Find safe people with whom you can share and be held accountable. Get a sponsor to assist you in working through a twelve step program and in establishing and maintaining sobriety. Establish good spiritual habits of devotion, bible study, and fellowship with other believers. Avoid isolating. We need each other in this battle!