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Religion (cult) verses addiction

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by saraemerald, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. saraemerald

    saraemerald Well-Known Member

    Background info first:
    I've shared before. I grew up in a strict religion that some cult experts consider either a cult or high control group. I didn't like being part of it growing up because it separated me from family members, class mates, etc. But, I totally fell for all the religion's BS when I was a teen and got baptised and started following all their requirements the best I could. I literally believed that by strictly following all their requirements, it would help me be close to God and fix my life of all possible dysfunction in me that was caused by growing up in a very abusive, weird and dysfunctional family. It would fix me. I became very zealous and even believed that this religion would solve all of "mankind's problems". Ironically, following this cult and having a purpose in life helped me feel good about myself believing I was saving people's lives and a part of something good. It also helped give me strength somehow to combat PTSD symptoms, "be a good person" ( whatever that means, lol), and cope with unwanted intrusive thoughts and rise above all the crap from my childhood. I thought this religion was helping me with my life and literally saving my life.
    Also, because of the strict requirements in the religion, I never became addicted to drugs, ciggs, sex or alcohol. BUT I also felt like my life was not fun and unfullfilled. I ALWAYS wanted to do what everyone else was doing, not saying drugs, but normal socializing and enjoying life. But I kept strict for the religion. Then I cracked and sabotaged my life and any happiness I had and now I am struggling with alcohol and trying to repair what damage I did to my life and "fix myself".
    So now, I'm definitely wondering if religion or at least a religious cult could take the place of addiction to a substance?

    Like can you be addicted to a high control religion/group like you would a substance like alcohol, ect. And if you grow up in a high control group, how does that affect you?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2018
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  3. EveHarrington

    EveHarrington _______ in progress. Premium Member

    I think that we can become addicted to a variety of things. It isn’t just a drug/mind interaction kind of thing. I think it has to do with our dopamine receptors? I could be off on this.... But essentially it’s anything that hits those pleasure sensors and makes us feel good.
  4. Rain

    Rain To have hope is a choice Banned Premium Member Generous $250+

    I think so too.
    saraemerald likes this.
  5. She Cat

    She Cat Policy Enforcement Banned Premium Member Sponsor $100+

    I don’t this you were addicted, brainwashed is more likely. So now you need to fill the void. Try and find something healthy to focus on...
    Ronin, saraemerald and Rain like this.
  6. saraemerald

    saraemerald Well-Known Member

    I agree with what you said. Being brainwashed. I also think that many who are addicted to a substance, turn to cults to somehow cure them or looking for answers and their kids end up becoming a product of their issues or addictions but in a cult, if that makes sense. And if the parents take their issues out on their kids, their kids ends up with issues and either becomes addicted to the cult they were raised in and/or seeks a substance to make themselves feel better or deal with life.
    But the brainwashing part, for sure.
    I found the religion filled some void when I was in, but when I left, my self esteem plummeted and I started to hurt myself as I was leaving that faith and thought God had left me.I t hurt like hell to go through that and when in the cult, (brainwashing part) we were taught we were nothing with out God and essentially nothing outside the organization so I thought I was nothing if I left the cult which is what I did. So I proceeded to literally tear myself apart. Which meant all the healing I did from my childhood abuse, was back in my face again, only ten times worse. I thought something was inherently wrong with me and I was somehow messed up deep inside, the cult made those feelings go away. Leaving the cult made all those feelings come back again to haunt me, tenfold. ugghh! =(
  7. She Cat

    She Cat Policy Enforcement Banned Premium Member Sponsor $100+

    The religion may have filled a void or covered up your feelings about the abuse. I have a brother that molested me as a child. He now hides behind the Bible to save his soul. Pftttttt. His soul is so black that even god wouldn’t want him.

    Anything can be used to fill a void, to avoid, to use so we don’t have to focus on what the issue really is. It doesn’t have to be just a religion.

    You're not bad and deep down you know this. Whoever is responsible is the bad person....
    Sideways, cactus_jack, Friday and 2 others like this.
  8. saraemerald

    saraemerald Well-Known Member

    Thank you. This makes sense
  9. cactus_jack

    cactus_jack Well-Known Member

    She Cat, do not concern yourself with your brother. Your brother is now out of your life and in God's hands. Let God deal with him.
  10. She Cat

    She Cat Policy Enforcement Banned Premium Member Sponsor $100+

    Haven’t spoken to him in over 30 yrs. I certainly don’t concern myself with him @cactus_jack
  11. bigstrongtree

    bigstrongtree New Member

    I was addicted to my cult. I actually joined to help stop my alcohol dependence but then it became a cult dependence. The groups like that!!!! and at the end of the day it may have been just the last re-enactment of trying to sort out my neglectful and religious childhood.

    anyways now I am almost 7 years free of my alcohol dependency - almost 3 years free of my codependent cult group --and grateful that I am learning how to do this on my own (after 2.2 years of intense trauma therapy)

    I tried to post a url from lexpages on symptoms of religious addiction but I am not allowed........a quick google should bring it up.
    Ronin likes this.
  12. Mach123

    Mach123 Well-Known Member Premium Member Donated

    So IDK? First I was in AA. Then I started going to church and "got baptized and the whole thing" and whatever else you said? The church is full of people who realize they have really big problems. 12 steps are more of a cult it's less substantive in my opinion. There are sects in the church that are more cult like, then there are actual cults. My wife was yelling at me about church and not having sex then we were having a baby? I didn't even know her. Well, that was all a very long time ago. We brought our kids up in church. My therapist wrote a book about what they did to her when she tried to be a nun. Where ever I went I was crazy so,I'm not sure it mattered. I see things in different ways because I believed and thought differently at different times.
  13. Eagle3

    Eagle3 Well-Known Member

    I too was raised in a religious cult. My parents are still very deeply involved in it, but I just can't be! Leaving the cult was very difficult for me because they twist things so well! Their logic makes perfect sense most of the time, but things never really "set right" with me. It took years and some very supportive therapy for me to slowly break away from the cult's beliefs, and even though at this point I believe very little of what I was originally taught, I still wrestle with the belief that I will end up in Hell when I die simply because I broke away from the beliefs of that religion. I replaced religious cultism with Martial Arts, but because of my history with brainwashing I have been able to see the cultism inherent in EVERY religious system and even the Martial Arts! I stay out of that blind devotion and am a better practitioner for it, but its kind of funny to see how humans seem to NEED to belong to a system that has all the answers. Too bad there simply is no way of knowing who's right...So I'm just going to live my life the way I see fit, and enjoy the ride. What happens at the end, happens.
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