We all have a choice.” – Captain Rex

If you end your training now, if you choose the quick and easy path as Vader did, you will become an agent of evil.” – Yoda

To have agency is to have control over one’s thoughts, actions, and impressions. Agency means self-ownership and self-sovereignty over the things which you can control not the things you can’t.

Addiction not only takes over agency it becomes uncontrollable. This is why people find addictions so hard to break, they no longer control the habit. The habit controls them. Addiction is the point at which we have lost the freedom of choice.

Some people forget that addiction takes many forms. For me it was addiction to alcohol. But I was also addicted to certain patterns of behaviour and character defects that led to undesired consequences. This included dishonesty, anger, resentment, fear and constantly trying to control others and situations and becoming frustrated when they failed to meet expectations.

We can also be addicted to money, attention, fame, sex, caffeine, nicotine, gambling, gaming, work, food, drugs, and adrenaline. Even good things like exercise can become addictive and eventually lead to adverse consequence. Anything that provides reward, and a dopamine rush can therefore become addictive. Eventually that thing takes complete control.

Then how do we wrest control back? How do we regain agency in our lives and freedom from addiction?

The 12 steps provided me with a spiritual based solution to my addiction to alcohol. The irony is the addiction is still there. I am not cured of my irrational compulsion towards alcohol. In fact, I have no doubt that if I took one drink, I would quickly find myself drunk and back on the merry go road of alcoholism in no time. At least I have agency where it comes to alcohol. There is no power that would compel me to drink again.

That does not mean I have agency in all areas of my life. Only a Sage or a Jedi Master of the highest order would be able to achieve anything approaching complete agency in their lives. The important this is to claim what you have control over and let go of what you do not. You need only choose.

Why not now?

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