Addiction: Can Someone Overcome their Addictions?

Overcome addiction

Overcome addiction

One day, a man called “Ben” (40 y.o., married with two young children) came into my office, and he sobbed and sobbed and sobbed… and said, “ I don’t want to lose my marriage. I am scared that I am close to losing my marriage, and I am scared that my parents and my extended family will reject me, therefore, I am lying to my wife, my parents and my extended family when I borrow money from them, and I have lost this money in my gambling. I know I am wrong. My wife said that she cannot trust me and that she feels frustrated with me because I have never given her a hand in looking after our two children. She’s threatened to divorce me if I don’t get my act together. She refused to come to counselling with me, but I want to save my marriage…”.

A few months later, Ben’s wife took the two children and left him, and ended up divorcing him. Ben felt depressed but was willing to continue counselling until he recovered from his gambling addiction. He realised that without his wife divorcing him, he would have never recovered from his addiction.*


Every one of us, whether we come from a functional or dysfunctional family, might have experienced some hurt, pain or anger. As children, even though no one taught us to, we often try to push these negative feeling away by distracting ourselves in doing something else to cope. As adults, we might experience some more hurt, pain and anger, which can trigger our past hurt, pain and anger. When this past hurts, pain and anger are triggered when we are adults, we experience double the amount of pain, hurt and anger.

As adults, each one of us will deal with it differently by doing something to be able to cope with these negative feelings. Some people choose to use drugs, or alcohol, smoking, gambling, sex, fantasy, food, work, spending money, excessive sports and many more to soothe their hurt, pain and anger. In understanding clearly how this can become a vicious cycle of addiction, let me use the example of drugs, alcohol and sex. These substances may give quick relief, however, once these substances have gone out of our body system, the hurt, pain and anger will increase, and people often feel guilty and ashamed of themselves and what they have done. As these hurt, pain, anger, guilt and shame increase, they will continue to use these substances even more to suppress their feelings, and over time this becomes an addiction.


YES! It is possible for someone to overcome their addictions, whether it is gambling, alcoholism, smoking, drugs, sex/porn, food, etc. However, to deal with these addictions, one needs to get the right professional help to work on the deeper issues than just stopping the addiction itself.


You need to find a counsellor who is an expert in working with issues of addictions, and who will walk with you through the process of recovery. Some counsellors will help you with how to stop your addictions, but psychotherapists will help you in working through the core issues that have led to your addiction.

Working through your pain, hurt and anger is worth it! Like Ben, he never regretted working through his core issues that stemmed from his childhood – the unfaithfulness of his dad, his parents’ marriage difficulties that he witnessed from a young age, and the porn and gambling addictions running in his family and extended family. He also worked through his present pain, hurt and anger, the loss of his marriage and his family unit, his work and the unknown future. Yes, Ben had to pay a high price, but his desire and commitment to working through his issues paid off with an addiction-free life. He became confident that his new life would help his ex-wife and family to come back into his life. He now even brings a good example to his family and extended family in facing whatever issues they have for a better life and relationships.

Don’t wait until it is too late! Seeking professional help for you and your family member as soon as possible can rescue your relationships and family.

*The client’s details, name and family details have been changed for the purpose of confidentiality.