Sunday, November 25, 2012

What is addiction really?

“Recovery From Self-Betrayal: What is addiction really? It is a sign, a signal, a symptom of distress. It is a language that tells us about a plight that must be understood. The drug business would not flourish if there were not so many people who, in refusing to acknowledge their wounds, are in a permanent state of self-betrayal. Thus, people work to get rid of symptoms instead of searching out the cause. There are plenty of means to combat symptoms of distress: medications, sermons, numerous "treatments," "miracles," threats, cults, pedagogical indoctrination and even blackmail. They can all work for a while, but only because they reinforce the repression and reinforce the fear of resolving it. However, many people who become abstinent this way are driven into another addiction because the real reasons for becoming addicted must be kept hidden. A lot of money and fame comes from this business of repression because it satisfies the longing of so many grown-up children: to be loved as a good child (I am blind as you want me to be. I am ready to forget all your cruelty, even at the cost of my life. Can you love me now?). In the long term, we have to pay a high price for this repression. The repressed story continues to try, again and again, to be heard at long last. Thus your plight will look for other symptoms, another language, until it is taken seriously enough. An addiction is an attempt by a person in despair, who is not allowed to be in despair, to get rid of his or her memory, to forget his or her plight. Of course, this "solution" is no longer needed if the goal is exactly the opposite, if you want to remember, if you want to feel your plight and to understand its reasons, if you slowly become aware of why you were so afraid of acknowledging the reasons. This can happen once you decide to stop running away, to stop betraying yourself, to allow the truth to enter your consciousness. You decide to do so because you finally understand that everything else is useless and because you no longer want to watch your life go by before having even begun to live. You decide to stop betraying yourself because you understand that only you can give yourself the love and care you never received and that you can't do that as long as you deny the truth.” Breaking Down The Wall Of Silence: The Liberating Experience Of Facing Painful Truth by Alice Miller, page 126

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