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Love Yourself & Set Yourself Free From Addiction

The story of the Exodus from Egypt will be remembered and celebrated and lived and experienced this Friday night and Saturday at the Passover seder.

But for those with an addiction, true liberation might seem far away, impossible to attain.

No Words

In the Passover story we’re told that the slaves in Egypt cried out to the Creator without words, because they were too overcome by their suffering to even articulate their prayers for release. Of course, we all know the famous ending: They were taken out in a rush, the Red Sea split, and they (eventually) were led into the land of Israel.

Now, history contains lessons for us, and one of the lessons in this history is that the ability to express our heartfelt feelings, even wordlessly, can offer us a measure of relief . A good cry, a wordless meditative sigh, a silent prayer all in their different ways can bring about change and resolve to move forward.

I Have A Soul

Twelve-step programs imbue the participant with the real knowledge that they count, that their life has (potential) worth. In order to fully live a life of meaning, they have to believe that they are worth the investment of focused thought, commitment to honesty, and self-restraint.

In order to move forward with recovery, you have to on the one hand understand that you have hit bottom. On the other hand, you have to believe that your life is worth saving.

One of the flawed beliefs some addicts experience is that their life is simply not worth living. This belief might be buried beneath layers of narcissistic behavior (Alcoholics Anonymous used to call this “King Baby”), but this lack of self-esteem goes deep. In order for you to move forward, to liberation from your addiction, believing that your life is your chance to bring something unique, special and good to the world is vital, even if you can’t express it fully in words.

Belief in a Higher Power (with variations on what this means) is usually an important part of 12-step programs. Living like you are no more than a collection of cells isn’t a motivating force to quit using. Finding that spark of goodness inside you is essential to healthy self-esteem. Recognizing it in everyone else is essential to having healthy relationships. Whether you call it your soul or your own higher power, this deeper belief can move you towards wonder, gratitude, and even love.


Slavery, Freedom & The Soul Of Addiction

Gossip, Slander, And Humiliation: A Passover Message  

From Slavery To Freedom


Love Yourself & Set Yourself Free From Addiction

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC is the author of Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On Without Wasting Time or Money and is licensed in addiction and psychotherapy with over 25 years experience as well as a consultant to organizations and companies in the fields of mental health and addiction. He is the executive director of an outpatient behavioral health program. Learn more about Richard here.

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APA Reference
& C.R. Zwolinski, R. (2018). Love Yourself & Set Yourself Free From Addiction. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 11, 2020, from


Last updated: 29 Mar 2018
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