Addiction Payoffs vs True Joy

When we’re living in the cycle of addiction,  even though we know that acting out/in hurts us, we keep doing it. Why? A major reason is that we get temporary payoffs- we feel powerful or “high”, and we receive a temporary escape from reality. When we experience those payoffs, we may mistake sexual/romantic euphoria for joy. Deep down, though, we know it’s not. How, specifically, is joy different from the payoffs of addictive behavior?  Here are some ideas that I came up with. I’d be interested to hear yours, as well!

*Sexual addiction/anorexia makes me swing between trying to exert power and feeling robbed of it. Joy is about resting in God’s power and appreciating his providence.

*Sexual addiction/anorexia lead me to make choices that I regret, and cause me to feel shame. Joy brings contentment and makes me feel proud.

*Sexual addiction/anorexia is a false pick-me-up. Joy is genuine.

*Sexual addiction/anorexia rob me of my personhood. (They cause me to objectify myself, and to allow others to objectify me.) Joy affirms my personhood.

*Sexual addiction/anorexia  payoffs don’t last. They lead to emotional hangovers and withdrawal. Joy begets more joy, and reinforces my good choices.

Affirmation: Today, I choose joy!


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