My quest was and still is to seek the truth. It saved my life. I am confident it will save anyone who truly desires it. ~Paul Noiles
The genesis of the Mistaken Identity Model began when I read Deepak Chopra’s Overcoming Addiction:
“I see the addict as a seeker, albeit a misguided one. The addict is a person in quest of pleasure, perhaps even a kind of transcendent experience—and I want to emphasize that this kind of seeking is extremely positive. The addict is looking in the wrong places, but he is going after something very important, and we cannot afford to ignore the meaning of his search. At least initially, the addict hopes to experience something wonderful, something that transcends an unsatisfactory or even an intolerable everyday reality. There’s nothing to be ashamed of in this impulse. On the contrary, it provided a foundation for true hope and real transformation.”
I could see how the motivations of the misguided seeker were part of my history. Although I was working the twelve steps with a sponsor, attending regular meetings, and being of service, I relapsed repeatedly. Instinctively, I knew the misguided seeker’s concept was the key to my recovery, but I didn’t understand how to access it.
Later, after a decade of pain and suffering, I found two quotes that expanded my understanding; Eckhart Tolle’s, “Every addiction starts with pain and ends with pain,” and Dr. Gabor Maté’s, “Ask not why the addiction, but why the pain?” These highly respected men did not identify the person or substance but pain as the main component for addiction. It was an a-ha moment that led me to further inquiry.
What does someone with addiction believe about themselves when in pain? After contemplating the question, I realized I had always thought I was the pain—that any negative emotion I experienced was because of my flaws and lack of worth. This toxic shame continuously fueled my addiction, made relapse predictable, and recovery impossible. I was startled by this discovery. A short time later, while meditating, I sensed Higher Consciousness asking if I was the pain. I said I wasn’t. Higher Consciousness then asked who was experiencing the pain
I realized then that I had created a false self to deal with my psychological, physical, and emotional pain. Therefore, there must be an authentic self beyond the pain.
From these powerful questions came the Mistaken Identity catchphrase:
“Addiction is about pain, the pain of not knowing or liking who we think we are.”
By letting go of the person we thought we were, we become the person we truly are.
It’s a painful process to wake up spiritually, but the results are well worth it.
Here I am many years later a person who has recovered and now helps others discover that truth for themselves.