So what exactly does it mean to exhibit the behavior of self-will run riot? Addicts of any kind, -drugs, alcohol, food, sex, can all point to the actions of their past and see how their downward spiral was linked to the obsessive desire to control themselves and the world around them. To define it in simple terms- it is to live a life driven by self-will with no thought for anyone else.
An alcoholic or addict is an example of self-will run riot in itself, but really it’s the mindset that drives this spiral. The dangers are the disconnect between the mind and reality and what happens when two are out of sync.
The Riot Of Everyday Life
Self -will run riot manifests in all aspects of life, which is especially true for addicts. Often misconceptions regarding relationships, ideas, plans, and self-image are born, and individuals do everything in their power to manipulate the situation to fit their own desires. Maybe feelings aren’t mutual in a romantic relationship, and you try to find a way to make them reciprocated. The self-will run riot is born out of selfishness, and obsession ensues quickly as an attempt to create a structure that in reality doesn’t exist. The main player in a self-will run riot is the very notion of “the self”. Thinking you know what’s best for you, thinking you can change external circumstance and control all aspects of your life- these are dangerous thinking patterns that run the riot.
Recognizing The Riot
Self-will is our thinking and what motivates us. What makes you want to go to work every day and bring home an income? What makes you workout, buy groceries, help a friend? Self-will run riots are driven solely by the self. Thoughts like “MY life, MY will, MY future, MY way” are the underlying thinking patterns. If we are trying to make ourselves unselfish, that is selfish. You cannot use the problem to solve the problem. Just like a sick mind cannot heal a sick mind. This is when surrendering to something other than ourselves, and trusting in another with our lives becomes a choice.
Addicts of all kinds are often introduced to the ideas of a self-will run riot in recovery. Some are hesitant to listen or acknowledge their obsession with control, but often it becomes an experience of enlightenment. All the effort spent on trying to control things can be let go of-and things just might get better. It can be a tough idea to accept the whole notion that you got yourself into this predicament isn’t something anyone wants to hear. These thinking patterns over time become a habit, and some are intimidated by the idea of no longer operating this way. Addiction leaves us feeling out control and as a response, we try to do control other aspects to stay sane-but it’s an extreme behavior that causes even more problems in our lives. Once you recognize the behavior, you’re able to swallow your pride, however, and start the healing process.
Learning to Let Go
It could be through a 12 step program, a rehab, a friend, or even your own research, but once you recognize your self-will riot, soon enough you’ll be told you need to “let go of control”. A short sentence that holds a lot of meaning, and struggle with it. People shudder at the idea of surrendering to something greater than themselves-thinking they will lose their identities, their lives, and their desires. But what actually happens is something pretty amazing-you find freedom. Freedom from yourself, freedom from constantly trying to create a life that doesn’t really exist, and freedom from tension with yourself and those around you.
When you don’t realize how hard you’re trying to control things, it can be challenging to understand why everything is going wrong. Maybe you’re fighting with people a lot and getting into arguments, and you can’t see why the world isn’t on the same page as you. When you let go of control, you realize you were only seeing things from your point of view. When you let go of “the self” you give up pressures that add stress to your life. Others couldn’t give you what you wanted because what you wanted isn’t a reality- just a manifestation of your internal obsessions. There is an excitement bound with freedom that you will feel when you can learn to let go.
If you or a loved one is tired of trying to control everything and constantly getting nowhere, let our professionals at Wayside help you break free and get your life back in the right direction. You don’t have to go through the process alone, call us today and take the first step to recovery. Our staff is compassionate and experiences, and we have what it takes to give you back the life you deserve.