Strange Encounters of the addict variety
Almost everyone encounters addiction of some kind. Others will experience it as a spectator in a tragic tale that makes no sense. Addiction is vastly misunderstood. It endures such severe stigma that the stigma itself is a primary component in preventing many from achieving recovery.
Common perception of the alcoholic or addict is so narrow in archetype that it is part of the obstacle for many who desperately need change. There are variants of addiction and different types of addicts. There is no difference even between the alcoholic or addict, the words are used here together merely for clarity of subject.
Defining the insanity
I would definite an addiction as something you want to stop or control but cannot, or a behaviour you are in denial about with regards to its power and affects over you. There are various levels of disruption, powerlessness, denial, and unmanageability.
Today addiction justifiably covers technology, love, sex, TV, gaming, co-dependency, shopping, and a host of other external distractions, as well as, eating disorders and body image obsession. When I personally identify as an addict, I am talking about a debilitating chronic addiction using mental and emotionally altering and stimulating substances like alcohol and drugs.
A mental illness
If you do not know much about addiction: Addiction is a mental illness. Addicts have ‘isms’ and character defects that outrun the substance of choice. Defects are issues with their character such as selfishness, ignorance and intolerance that are key to the denial of their addictions. Acceptance of this and responsibility to be better is fundamental for transformation and potentially a total psychic change.
Trauma and other issues
Addiction is often, but not exclusively, the result of trauma. Addiction behaviours subsequently creates more trauma as the nature and lifestyle of the addict then attracts more of the same low vibrational living that creates dismal consequences.
Addiction has nothing to do with the substance. The alcohol or substance abuse is the result or the solution to complex internal issues or the solution to not being able to handle living with emotions like sadness, anger, and shame. Addicts are often ADHD, dyslexic or and have other debilitating issues. They commonly end up in prison, in mental-health institutions or die. Many more who never find their rock bottom live in moderate unsatisfactory robotic compulsion.
Once an Addict
An addict will never not be an addict. Addicts can get clean and sober and live incredible, fulfilling, productive lives. However, it is an incurable illness that is insidious and progressive, at least for the chronic type, and many will continue to suffer with ongoing problems with emotions, finances, and relationships. Alcoholic is a way of thinking that is driven by ego-based fear. The solution is widely accepted to be spiritual.
People who ‘used to be addicts’ most likely had a problem with drugs or alcohol but are not actually addicts or alcoholic. It is not the same. Addiction never goes away. Only substance abuse goes away. The addict is still left with the same feelings that took them to a place of inhumane self-abuse. This needs to be treated daily for recovery to be successful.
What sober addicts suffer from is, at times, a chronic state of unmanageable emotional disruption. That does not mean they are craving substances. That is another misconception. It means that daily maintenance of their spiritual condition is essential to keep the addict’s suffering minimal. Much like how a diabetic might use insulin. The result is miraculous and dazzling. Those who have been rescued from self-inflicted abuse understand freedom from personal torture with a gravity of sustenance.
Next week we look further at recovery from addiction, spiritual solutions and freedom.